Man in China ordered to pay $13,000 to get his $1.4 million game avatar back

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

The story reads like some strange sitcom episode from an alternate reality. The South China Morning Post reports the unnamed player “loaned” the character to his friend. The supposed “friend” (now former presumably) then tried to sell it back to him for 388,000 yuan ($55,138).

When the original owner did not want to fork up the dough to get his avatar back, the buddy turned around and sold it on the game’s marketplace, hosted by NetEase, for 3,888 yuan ($552). He attributed the low price as a typo caused by a long session of gaming, but before he had time to retract the offer, someone has already snagged it.

"After the settlement, the local court in Sichuan posted on social media that the case was a great example of the protection of digital assets, and it warned gamers not to spend too much in video games."

Having heard of the sale, the original owner sued both his friend and NetEase. A Chinese judge mediated the bizarre case.

In the final settlement, NetEase reversed the transaction and gave the owner back control of his character. However, the man had to pay the buyer 90,000 yuan ($12,789) in damages — more than 23 times what he purchased the character for on the marketplace. Of course, that is about a 77-percent discount off what his supposed friend tried to extort out of him.

The lesson here is: if you have a digital asset that you care about, don’t lend it out, even to a friend. More importantly, don’t spend a million dollars on your game characters, people. You’re the reason microtransactions are out of control in the industry.

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TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
That's insane. Never heard of the game Justice Online. I can't even imagine for ANY MMORPG what you'd be buying in-game that would run you 1.4 million dollars.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
OK, I've got an avatar that I'll sell to anyone! It's got bulging arms with an anchor tats on each, a squinty face under a captain's hat and smoking a pipe .... it's very ..... wait, what? Popeye has already been taken???? Dang, it's going to be a slim Christmas this year!
 
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amghwk

TS Guru
How the heck can he afford so much, just for developing a game character? I know the Chinese are becoming more and more rich nowadays, but this is way too much. With that money I can retire already.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
Wtf did he even purchase in an MMO for 1.4mil? Does it have mobile restrictions like fatigue and hard limits? There should not even be enough costumes and other such items in the shop unless it's many pages long with crazy prices (stupid prices like in SC :D )

For 1.4mil I can make my own MMO for crying out loud and I'm not joking.
 

Ravey

TS Addict
I want to know more about this avatar! what does it look like and why did he spend so much money on it?

Given that this game seems to have a lucrative market place, it's possible he has just been buying and selling in game content to fund the build of his own character? I suppose spending 1.4 million would be easily done if it was slowly spent over a long period of time?
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
To each their own... some people spend that much on a car.... can't say it's much more useful...

I'm assuming it's not just the "avatar" that he spent $1.4 million on though... it's the entire character... not knowing the actual game, I'd assume he got various "power-ups", items, etc, allowing him to be one of the (if not THE) best player in the game.

Assuming he spends several hours a day playing, and has the disposable income, why not spend it?

If you're crazy rich, you got to spend the money on SOMETHING...
 

Jules Mark II

TS Rookie
I had the chance to get in to Justice Online early back in 2018? But Chinese government nowadays want you to register online games with you real name and id now.

So as a Canadian I couldn't register nor can I register my credit card with Ali pay, oh well turns up this game is pay to win anyways so no big deal.
 
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texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Why is eveyone worried about how he spending HIS money? Its HIS money, he can do what he likes with it.
If people dont like how he spends it, to bad. Go out in the world n make your own money n give it away to whoever.

Never tell a person how to live their life or how to spend their money. Its not your place to worry about how people live or spend money, worry about yourself, youll tend to live longer.
 

m3tavision

TS Evangelist
Why is eveyone worried about how he spending HIS money? Its HIS money, he can do what he likes with it.
If people dont like how he spends it, to bad. Go out in the world n make your own money n give it away to whoever.

Never tell a person how to live their life or how to spend their money. Its not your place to worry about how people live or spend money, worry about yourself, youll tend to live longer.
Nobody is telling anyone anything. They are commenting on how fubar the story is, and why/how/who would spend that amount on a character in ONE game. And... the fact this is supposedly "poor china" who been stealing from every nation out there....

$1.4 M on a MMORPG, is a far cry from a working in rice patties, or Foxconn.


I responded, because you are telling us the rest of us what we can, & can not do...!
 

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