You can bet every last cent you have that as soon as a law went onto the books making monetization of in game currency illegal, that a couple of things would happen. Blizzard would be ready for litigation the second it went on the books, and gold sellers paying attention to current events, would immediately cease and desist before Blizzard dropped the legal hammer down.
Because they would lose a massive potential revenue source. Blizz can squash gold sellers. They can stop them right in their tracks. The simple fact is that even if Blizz does not get a kick back from the gold sellers the method that would stop them would also remove players from the customer base who support them.
There's also hundreds of smaller businesses that couldn't afford a lawsuit.
Its a complicated matter. There is more they could/should do vs 'Chinese gold farmers' but you also have ALOT of people who sell domestically to people they know on their server, which is much harder to prove.
Chinese gold farmers can be easy, track the sellers, remove gold from buyers(you cant just ban buyers, farmers would just send gold to random people from their accts to create a fog of doubt)
For domestic sellers, bliz would really have to drastically downplay the AH in the games economy AND effectively stop botting. Botting is a massive problem most people arent aware of in game. Most gold botters use a secondary acct, and even if the secondary acct gets caught and banned, bliz doesnt touch the primary acct.
Even if you shut down mainstream domestic and foreign gold sellers, there would still be some people selling gold..
Im no expert though, maybe there is a solution to this and blizzard either hasnt found it, or doesnt want to do it. IE if it would cost them alot of subs from bannings, I could definitely see blizzard turning a blind eye to that method.
Edit: as far as why they cant legally.. already been spelled out in this thread. Many gold selling companies are small and in parts of the world where their government really dont care that their people are 'selling imaginary money in a game on the internet'
Also its not like its Wal-GoldFarm-Mart and they can just shut it down, theres so many tiny gold selling operations you could never target every one..
They have shut down some of the big bot programs, but many professional bots still remain active and effective so those examples of bliz shutting companies down are also great examples of how ineffective it can be. On top of all of that, it costs blizzard to go after these companies. :/
Last edited by Ziphr; 2013-04-29 at 07:24 PM.
Honestly Blizzard should just start their own official gold selling service and steal the market. They would make an absolute killing.
I'm going to echo what Mikey P has said:
It's not illegal.
Not what I am saying. What I am saying is that blizzard would need to remove all players who support these companies. These companies are not in business without MASSIVE support from the customer base. You get rid of the players who buy from them, and they will go away. So will a huge chunk of blizzard profits. This is of course straying away from any inference that blizz may also be in bed with the gold sellers in the first place.
So you apparently no nothing about trial accounts. You cannot trade, spam chat, or use the auction house on a trial account. Gold sellers use HACKED accounts. These accounts are liquidated completely then stand in towns spamming or setting up trades with toons that are on either another hacked account or on a legit account that acts as a mule for gold sales.
What is against the law is the gold selling companies are profiting off Blizzard's intellectual properly. That is against US laws. Attempting to prosecute someone outside US borders is tough especially in the countries the originate from. China, Taiwan, etc don't give a damn about making profits off a US company.
The only thing Blizzard can do is shut down the accounts and ban the IP addresses. The problem is many of these are not trial accounts and actual users who accounts have been compromised. This is another reason why Blizzard highly suggests you use an authenticator.
Ooh God, so many conspiracies!
Let's ignore them and listen to what sensible people have told a couple of times:
Selling gold is not illegal.
Using WoW-code to create a bot is probably copyright infringement and therefore illegal.
You can't take people to court if they aren't doing anything illegal.