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Austin GDC: Blizzard working to protect players

In his Austin Game Developers Conference keynote, Blizzard's Michael Morhaime noted that real-world financial incentives have negative implications for games

In his Austin Game Developers Conference keynote, Blizzard's Michael Morhaime noted that real-world financial incentives have negative implications for games.

Morhaime recommends that companies avoid financial incentives, referring to practices such as gold farming as well as account stealing and credit card fraud that has sprung up around World of Warcraft.

âWhat happens if there is a financial reward for doing something? Youâll find a lot of people going out and doing that thing,â said Morhaime.

This activity has negative implications to the wider group of players who just want to play the game.

Sweatshops have been set up in areas of the world where labor is cheap. Workers, often using stolen credit card information to pay for accounts, spend all of their time harvesting gold from the game so they can sell it to World of Warcraft players.

âWe do whatever we can to try to minimize the financial rewards from behaving in this way and exploiting the game like this,â said Morhaime.

Although noting it is a constant battle, Morhaime emphasize that Blizzard thinks these practices cause real damage to the game for legitimate players.

âThis is our game. We have to be able to protect our players.â

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