China cracks down on "gold farming"

By on June 30, 2009, 2:28 PM
The Chinese government has announced new regulations that would limit the impact virtual currencies have on the country’s economy, by prohibiting their exchange for cash or real-world goods. The move is widely seen as a crackdown on so-called “gold farming,” in which people amass virtual money on MMO games (usually by repeating mundane actions over and over), and then sell it to other players for real cash.

A survey carried out in 2008 by Richard Heeks at the University of Manchester estimated that up to 500,000 people worldwide were involved in gold farming activities. The practice is actually frowned upon and embraced by many depending on how you look at it – after all there are those who want to get ahead on games the easy way and others willing to make a living out of it.

The market is particularly strong in China, where it amounted to nearly $2 billion last year, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. In issuing the rules, the government said they were meant to cope with a growing number of problems associated with virtual currencies, including fraud concerns.

User Comments: 15

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Twister123 Twister123 said:

I believe this form of gaming was coming to the states at one stage before clinton was elected ,but he stopped the legislation going through due to heavy lobbying from the casinos

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This is one of the reasons I don't play MMO's. People who run macro-bots farming for gold, loot, whatever to circumvent the entire MMO experience. Nothing worse than running into a dungeon only to see some macro-bot killing everything in site and scooping up the loot.

I'll stick with stand-alone RPG games where NPC's serve a purpose and not as an exploit.

FoReWoRd said:

same here these MMO's have NO effective anti-cheat/hack method to prevent these autobot from ruining gameplay

fimbles fimbles said:

Agreed.. world of warcraft was ruined by bots.

Guest said:

Fimbles Wrote "Agreed.. world of warcraft was ruined by bots. "

I've been playing world of warcraft for 4 years and a bot farming for gold has never ruined my gaming experience. Gold is very easy to come by in the game if you know how to use the auction house.

Usually bots are off in some remote location farming the same mobs over and over and over again. That doesn't really effect my experience in a 10/25 man raid, or in a battleground/arena.

Bots that spam channels with advertisements can easily be preemptively blocked with addons.

I'm really not sure how bots have ruined WoW outside of pumping more gold into the economy.

complexxL9 complexxL9 said:

next step for the fovernment is to think about limitng the time per day or week a player can spend on mmo coz this is really affecting the RL in a bad way.

isamuelson isamuelson said:

Ahh, one of the reasons I like Guild Wars. It frees and dungeons are instanced to just your party. No other players to interupt you or to release bots onto you.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Guild wars...ew

Badfinger said:

EQ2 has in general a more mature player base and they have /report for reporting 'bad' behavior.

Actually gets dealt with... bans for using exploits and other things people should know better than


Haven't seen many gold farmers lately, if you raid, you'll typically get 3p minimum from named chest drops, vendor trash drops on bodies and varies in its worth, at higher levels, typically 17-24g item per item, some items worth a lot less, but you get the idea... gold is easy to get if you make an effort.

Effort varies... 8)

Also Shiney's Rule! WOW aint got that!

I've played WoW, AoC, DAOC, Warhammer, Vanguard, Runes of Magic, and EverQuest 2.

EQ2 I always wind up going back to, Runes of Magic is free (mostly) so I always have it to fall back on.

Badfinger said:

Oh yeah forgot about Guild Wars, only played the original, and thought it was pretty weak, nice for people who insist on no M2M pay, but I'd highly suggest they try Runes of Magic!

TJGeezer said:

Twister123 said:

I believe this form of gaming was coming to the states at one stage before clinton was elected ,but he stopped the legislation going through due to heavy lobbying from the casinos

Wasn't that legislation sponsored by Halliburton? I heard Clinton's stopping it was the reason Cheney became a Republican. It was Clinton's fault.

tengeta tengeta said:

Wait, theres tasks and quests that aren't repetitive and mundane actions in MMO's?

siiix siiix said:

yeah exactly

who cares , its they personal freedom, if anyone the game publisher should be involved not the frekin goverment

Zeromus said:

Oh yeah baby, I know this.

Crackalack said:

Gold Farming

Let the farmers farm, it stimulates MMO server economy by always having an item of value that people are after. If you want to ignore the farmer's ads ingame, thats what /ignore is for. (if the game you play doesnt have that option, perhaps a higher caliber MMO is for you) in World of Warcraft, its easy to even remove yourself from the .trade channel - and if the numbers are right and China's gold farming industry pulled in 2 Billion dollars, well - who are we to argue over someone who took capitalism and multiplied it by a factor of cheeto's eating kids and dead beat parents. Blizzard and other MMO companies are just angry because someone else did something that makes more money than the original companies had thought possible.

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