Demons, elves, and shiny treasures. What does this have to do with user safety and classifieds websites? Oh, sweet summer child. But don’t worry. Let’s look at World of Warcraft accounts for sale and how it’s a huge risk for your website.
Want to know more?
Great, because as they say: Here be dragons.
Now that we have your attention, let’s discuss the Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game World of Warcraft (WoW) by Blizzard Entertainment.
Gamers are a part of your audience
According to the latest estimates, World of Warcraft will have around 8 million monthly players in 2022, and revenue has reached over $14 billion from 2004 to 2022.
Every new release of its expansion is a really big deal for the entire WoW community. Players take time off from work and spend the weeks up until the release doing in-game preparations, so their characters are top-tuned and ready. It’s common for gamers to attend huge launch parties in the real and virtual worlds, celebrating the new content with their fellow gamers.
The most popular game on Twitch
There are some truly amazing numbers to extract from Twitch, and Twitchtracker is the place to go when you want to nerd out on numbers.
On average, World of Warcraft attracts 140,096 viewers per day on Twitch. With a mind-boggling 23.5 million hours watched per day. The average daily playtime for World of Warcraft is 3.7 hours.
Here’s a distribution of the top 10 most popular games on Twitch worldwide:
Why is this relevant for a website with classifieds?
According to statistics published by Headphones Addict, the average age of a World of Warcraft gamer is 31.29 years old. That means chances are the majority of them are also potential users of your website.
Expansion releases are times of hectic activity and excitement within the WoW community and a time when former players return to the game. This also means a rise in interest in buying and selling WoW accounts, gold, and items.
Great news for a classifieds website that can facilitate these transactions, right?
Well… Hold that thought.
The real cost of characters, in-game gold, and items
Buying a character can be done from reputable websites, but where there are honest folks, there’s also an opportunity for scammers.
According to Blizzard:
“You are not allowed to buy or sell WoW items, products, or services for real money. Accounts involved in real money transactions may be penalized under our End User License Agreement.”
Buying and selling in-game gold for real money has long been a no-no in Blizzard’s book. They are so determined to stop the practice that they have introduced multiple measures to stem these activities. A few years ago, they allowed players to buy so-called game time tokens for real money that can be sold for gold in the game. Thus, people who want to pay for in-game currency can do so legitimately.
Why is Blizzard so keen to prevent people from buying accounts and gold directly from other players?
First of all, it’s an easy way to scam. The whole setup of the gold trade is based on trust. Wire me money in real life, and I will send you gold in the game. The buyer cannot know if the seller will keep to their end of the bargain and deliver the goods. And if they don’t, well, the buyer has no way to identify their real identity.
Secondly, and probably the main reason for Blizzard to clamp down hard on gold selling, is that most of the WoW gold sold is stolen from hacked accounts. Possibly gained through “botting,” – where the user sets up programs to play for them. This is often combined with hacks to the game, allowing them to collect treasures more efficiently than honest players could hope for.
The sale of World of Warcraft accounts
There’s a demand and good money to sell WoW accounts. So why not allow them on your website?
Blizzard currently doesn’t have a legitimate process to sell or buy accounts. However, they have made it possible to buy a so-called character boost that allows players to get their hands on a max-level character easily.
Old accounts can be quite valuable as they have achievements and in-game items that might no longer be obtainable. Account prices vary widely from a couple of hundred USD to the unofficial record sale of a character in 2007 for around $8,000.
Digital goods are easy to reclaim
First of all, not everything about buying a WoW character is shady.
Maybe a friend of a friend is quitting the game and has expressed interest in possibly selling their account. Buying from someone you trust, like a friend, is a great way to buy an account. No doubt about it. There is no substitute for peace of mind.
For many players who quit, selling their account out of lack of interest in the game is a great way to recoup some of their time and effort. It’s a way for them to “get something” for all their hard work.
However, all that glitters is not gold.
There are some very questionable deals out there on reputable forums.
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