Having been involved MMO’s since the BETA of Everquest, it’s about time that the law cracks down on gold farmers. Gold farmers are those who sell currency and items in an MMO in violation of the Terms of Service. This short circuits the in-world economy, and can wreck havoc on play balance. The worst violation is when whole avatars are sold through these services. Someone in a game like WOW who has purchased their level 60 epic avatar stand out like a sore thumb due to their lack of experience in even the most basic gameplay strategies.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office of Economic Crimes has issued a subpoena to gold-seller IGE (and parent company). The subpoena is investigating their dealings in sales related to World of Warcraft. WOW specifically bans such activities in their Terms of Service, and readily bans individual accounts monthly if caught participating in these purchases. It’s about time the root source is exposed and investigated.
Here’s an article from Wired Magazine with more details on this specific case: