I wonder how much longer that game developers like Blizzard, and gold buyers, are going to keep supporting slavery.
To be fair, Blizzard are one of the companies that do a lot to ban gold farmers and sellers, but sometimes I wonder exactly how much they really care about gold sellers. After all, each time a gold seller is banned, they simply open a new account. Often using a stolen credit card. It works in their favor.
It’s kind of like the relationship that governments have with tobacco companies. The gov pass laws to ban smoking in public places, they ban ciggy advertising, and make it hard for the tobacco companies to operate. But they never come right out and ban cigarettes because they make a huge amount of tax revenue on the sale of cigarettes. The revenue gained outweighs the cost to the health system.
I figure it’s the same with Blizzard. There are costs to allowing the gold sellers to operate; annoyed subscribers, customer service calls, and hacked and plundered accounts. But the benefit is a continual positive cash flow from banned farmers and sellers. The revenue gained outweighs the cost to the playerbase.
If Blizzard were serious about dealing with gold farmers they could do a number of easy things, including.
- Remove the ability to send gold by mail. Instead provide an option to transfer between characters on a single account. Or perhaps just let each character gain its own gold. After all WoW is technically a Role Playing Game.
- Ban players who buy gold. Full Stop. Most players would never contemplate risking their account if they knew Blizzard would ban them. There would be some difficulties with this simply because of false positives, but the first step would be to ban the most obvious gold buyers.
- Disallow the transfer of gold between players; perhaps make gold BoP, and only allow transfer via the auction house and cap buy it now amounts to some multiple of the average price for the item being traded.
So do you support slavery?
If you buy gold, you are.