The buying and selling of virtual currency in MMOs has been around almost as long as the genre itself, however an easy way to transfer money between parties has not. PayPal is probably the number one way in which these transactions go down, and now Blizzard has teamed up with the popular service to put a stop to transactions to known sellers of World of Warcraft gold.
They are sending out a notice to anyone who’s PayPal account is flagged, telling them that their actions are violations of Blizzard’s intellectual property. While the legality of this is kind of a gray area at this point in time, private companies like Blizzard and PayPal can indeed control who does what on their services, and if they have partied up, so to speak, against gold sellers, this could be a huge blow to that business.
Blizzard hasn’t had the best of luck recently with intellectual property suits, even losing one in the case of the 3rd party program Glider. Of course, this didn’t have anything to do with in-game assets, which is the opposite when it comes to gold buying/selling. It’s always nice to see action being taken against those who attempt to screw with the in-game economy, but whether it will amount to anything in the grand scheme of things is anyone’s guess.