Pssst! Buddy. Wanna buy a toon?
Let me just say right at the beginning of this post that I have no hard opinions on the topics of gold buying and account selling. I’m sure everyone took the time to carefully read their End User License Agreement (commonly referred to as a EULA) and consulted with their personal lawyer as to the ends and outs of Blizzard’s wording and how it could impact them down the road.
(I just did a google search on “eula” with the first result being the wikipedia link and the second being the official WoW agreement page. Second!)
No, if you were like me, by the time you got the game loaded and all the patches downloaded and installed, you spent approximately 1.2 microseconds clicking past the agreement screens. I want to play dangit. Obviously, agreements are in place for a reason and if every agreement, law and statute was ignored as we all saw fit, the world would be in sad shape.
Well, we’re not talking about arms dealing here – it’s just a computer game after all. Near as I can tell, it breaks down this way:
- By accepting the agreement, Blizzard allows you to install and play the game (Section 1 – Grant of Limited Use License)
- All aspects of the game, including objects, characters and character names, are owned or licensed by Blizzard (Section 3A – Ownership).
- You may permanently transfer your rights to someone else by uninstalling the game client and giving them your media (Section 3B – Ownership). I’m not a lawyer, but I take this to mean that it is not explicitly illegal to sell your character as long as you transfer ownership, which includes your game client.
Why are we talking about this? I was recently contacted by the operator of an online account-selling website to get some exposure on this blog. It’s kind of like eBay for MMO’s. What’s it called? Well, mmobay of course.
Full Disclosure:mmobay has paid Adventures in Azeroth for this post.
I checked out mmobay and it’s setup just like eBay. Once you create an account, you can bid on auctions, or post a WoW account for sale. At the time I checked there were 110 US server accounts for sale.
The auctions function just like eBay in the sense they list user comments on what is being sold, the starting bid, current bid, number of bids, etc. There is also a buyout feature for those of you that just can’t wait. From my observation it looked like about 2/3 of the auctions had buyouts.
Seller’s “reputation” is listed in the auctions, and again it functions pretty much exactly like eBay. However, given the newness of the site and I’m guessing the small amount of auctions each seller probably has, I’m not sure it tells you much. However, most of the auctions I looked at had the seller’s E-Mail address in the details so you can at least contact them before you bid. There is also a feature within the auction where you can ask the seller a question and they can respond.
Most of the seller’s have a little ribbon next to their name indicating they are a “verified seller”. I could only find a quick overview of what this meant in the site news, and it appears to be a required process to verify the seller’s E-mail address matches their Pay Pal address.
On the negative side, most of the auctions I looked at were pretty sparse on details. I saw a lot of auctions that simply said something like “Great account for sale. Lvl 70 with a couple epics. Also 2 twinks.” Obviously, I need a few more details before I fork over a few hundred for the account. This isn’t mmobay’s issue; the poster needs to put more details up. However, with the “ask a question” feature, and many of the auctions having the seller’s E-Mail address, you do have ways to get more information.
The site is not just for World of Warcraft accounts, but many other MMO games. While fairly sparse on auctions once you leave WoW, they do have categories for City of Heroes, D&D, Guild Wars, LotR, and even Runescape accounts, among others.
Yes, they sell gold. Yes, I’m sure I’ll get flamed for posting this. No, I am not making a personal statement on whether this activity is “acceptable” or not. It’s obvious to me the game-playing community is pretty split over the issue. All I’m really trying to do is get the word out to those of you that might be interested in this kind of service. So if you want to buy wow accounts, give mmobay a shot for your money.
Feel free to comment on this topic. The discussion on the two WoW Insider posts I linked at the start of this article were pretty lively. I’m sure mmobay will also be watching the comments, so if you have questions about the site or service, post them here and I would imagine they’ll respond. Please just watch your language – there are players of all ages reading this blog. I will be actively deleting any comment containing harsh language.