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Blizzard appeals to PayPal to hobble MMO gold-sellers

Warcraft-maker claims IP violation by virtual goods vendors

World of Warcraft developer Blizzard has stepped up its efforts to curb the resale of in-game currency.

Gold sellers are rife both on the internet and on WoW servers, where players are regularly subject to in-game mail and announcements from third parties offering virtual coins in exchange for real-world currency.

Blizzard prohibits the practice and continually bans known 'gold farmer' accounts but due to the scale of the game's subscriber base has proven unable to wipe out the perceived problem. However, it has now appealed to online fee service PayPal, claiming 'Intellectual Properties violation' for virtual goods sales made via the site.

Reports Curse, a number of the more popular sites offering WoW gold received notices claiming that "You were reported to PayPal as an Intellectual Properties violation by Blizzard Entertainment Inc. for the sale of World of Warcraft Merchandise."

The option to appeal is given, but "Should you choose not to object to the report, you will be required to remove all World of Warcraft Merchandise from the website in order to comply with the Acceptable Use Policy."

Paypal takes a small percentage of all transactions made using its service, so by complying with Blizzard's request will likely see its own revenues impacted.

While the crackdown will adversely affect a number of major resellers, alternative payment systems are available and likely to be leveraged.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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