Goodbye Gold Farmers, Hello Gold Frauders

And you thought gold farming was bad. Steve at PlayNoEvil has an interesting analysis up of the next wave of things MMO operators and players will have to worry about: gold frauders. The number of stolen credit cards being used to pay for WoW accounts has led to the UK bank Halifax to block payments to Blizzard, among a few other industry moves to try and deal with the ever-increasing problem of stolen credit cards, illicit RMT transactions, and other money-related issues. What is the problem - and why?

Now we have a problem. And it is not gold farmers.

Banks don't like chargebacks. High risk/ high fraud markets (the adult industry and gambling) pay a substantial premium for payment processing. If fraud gets too bad, payment processors will simply refuse to service companies. The also will impose additional procedures to combat fraud - all of which cost money.

The first consequence for the entire game industry will be a broad increase in payment processing fees. New game providers will face difficulty entering the market as most payment processors will refuse to work with them.

Subscription gaming is in trouble. While the free-to-play business model has been pitched by many as a good strategy, it is going to become necessary in a higher payment processing world.

Eep. Will there be more fallout à la the Halifax bank incident? Time will tell.

You hate Gold Farmers? Here come the Gold Frauders


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