Zemi Interactive, developer and operator of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game 4Story, has just issued a stern warning to players against acquiring in-game money from illegal game money trading companies. Nothing new there, just a MMORPG developer trying to protect its interest.
Here’s an excerpt from the warning published on the 4Story website:
The 4Story GM team has recently noted that some 4Story users are acquiring in-game money from illegal sources. It is strictly prohibited for 4Story users to trade gold or items outside the 4Story community.
We have sent a warning to those who have been involved in such illegal activities. Starting February 24th, 2010, Zemi Interactive will take concrete action in the future with regard to the issue.
Those who are found involved in illegal game money or item trading will be banned from the service permanently without prior warning.
Please understand that this action is necessary to provide a fair and balanced economy for 4Story.
I’ve taken the liberty of editing the preceding announcement since the original is chock-full of grammatical errors.
While I commend Zemi Interactive for initiating this campaign, I can’t help but feel sorry for 4Story players who patronize these so-called illegal virtual money trading entities. What I mean is, their only fault is wanting to get ahead in the game so much that they must turn to these companies to give them what they need—in this case, lots of in-game money and items in exchange for real-world cash.
I understand that punishment must be meted to these players, but there must be a concurrent campaign to stamp out the root cause of the illegal activity—botting. These illegal virtual money traders rely heavily on bots or an entire cadre of players that farm loot from mobs to finance their business.
Although there is not much Zemi Interactive can do against companies that hire people to “pilot” characters for the express purpose of gaining loot and converting them into virtual cash, I’m sure the 4Story developer can do something against botting and sites that promote and allow the downloading of 4Story bots.
Like the famous real-world campaign against drug abuse, I subscribe to the slogan that says, “Save the user, jail the pusher.”