Crackdown On Multiple Accounts Leaves Honest Gamers Locked Out

Ma Hong (a pseudonym) spent at least 10 hours every day over the last five years playing the same old MMORPG. She put a lot of care and effort into each of her characters, so much so that they were considered well equipped by many of the top gamers in the game. Late last week, when the 38-year-old Ma attempted to continue her five-year long tradition of online gaming, she was greeted by a notice telling her that her account has been banned.

Ma's tale of a banned account is one that is shared by many in China. Recently, many online game companies across the country have started to crack down on players with multiple accounts. The reason behind the crackdown... stopping gold farmers and equipment farmers.

Not only was Ma's game account banned, it appears that all her accounts were banned. In China, online games require the use of a government issued identification number. It's plausible to say that Ma created multiple accounts using her one ID, which is against the rules — but take into account that she started five years ago.

Claiming to be an average gamer who just really enjoyed the game, Ma was heartbroken. "My characters are very simple characters," said Ma. "Some of them have equipment purchased with real world money."

Unable to access her accounts and confused by the notice, Ma called customer service. The answer she received from the customer service rep confused her even further. "He said I was seeking improper interests and that following the terms of service agreement my account was banned."

Ma, who hasn't worked in the last five years, says her characters combined have a worth of about $US2400 and that she probably spent at least $US4800 playing this game all together. Now all of that has gone to waste.

Ma isn't alone. According to North Eastern Daily, another 200 players from the same game Ma was playing were also banned for "seeking improper interests". On top of that, thousands of gamers across China have been experiencing similar issues.These "improper interests" from having multiple accounts seem to stem from China's age old problem of gold farming and the exchange of real world cash for in-game items.

According to a manager from the game company that produced Ma's game, the company sees players who play multiple accounts as players who are interested in making real world cash, and that the games are for entertainment purposes and not ways for players to make money. The manager says that he feels bad for players who got banned because of the sudden enforcement of the TOS agreement, but the only thing they can do is file a complaint with customer service.

女子游戏账号遭"封杀" 万元"装备"打水漂 [North Eastern Web via People's Daily]


    Sounds Blizzardy

      Na, Blizzard is not that stupid to do this cos *multiple accounts = multiple $$$*

    No job in 5 years? Spent over $4800 on the game? This is a wake up call. Even hardcore WoW gamers aren't as bad as this. This is unhealthy, and she needs to step up and act like an adult.

    30-50 hours of gaming a week? Yeah, that's fine. You can balance that with life, it's not that abnormal. But no job and accruing a massive debt? Come on!

      That's 20 bucks a week. Not particularly excessive.

        US$20 a week is probably a lot more for Chinese than it is for us, though...

        Wow is what $15 a month so $3.25 a week, and 3 bonus days.

        And real world money can only buy vanity items like mounts and pets, the best equipment involves raiding or PVP.

          You pay per hour for WoW in China I think, not a monthly subscription.

      I dunno, much over 30hrs a week and I think you've got a problem brewing. That's 4 hrs a day, every day. If you work, then that's all of your leisure time being spent gaming.

      Still sucks that she lost all her work though. But yeah, this is actually a blessing for her. She can get a fresh start and stop wasting her life on games.

      I love gaming. But when it starts to take over your life, it's a problem.

    congratulations Ma, your donation to the china workers fund has been received, you will be assigned a job shortly.

    10 hours a d ay for 5 years? Sounds like getting locked out of her game is the best thing for her.

    No one messes with the Ma Ma Clan :D

    Last edited 08/01/13 5:14 pm

    "She put a lot of care and effort into each of her characters, so much so that they were considered well equipped by many of the top gamers in the game"

    Remarks like this bug me when people brag about equipment when shes spent nearly $5000 buying gear of course she would be considered well equipped at that point anyone with that kind of money to throw into a game will become well equipped.

    Sounds like she plays way too much to begin with...
    And anyway, if there are laws in China that say no having multiple accounts, thats that.
    You cant say, oh but im not a farmer and I worked hard for my accounts; It doesn't matter if the T&C's say you may not have more than one account, its your own fault.

    Getting banned will probably do her some good anyway, might realise there's more out there then just her game.

    10 hours every day over the last five years? O_O That wasn't a typo, was it? If not, then perhaps she should take this as a new start and find a job and get a life rather than wasting all that time playing video games. I love video games (I'm sure we all do, otherwise we wouldn't be visiting this website), but 10 hours a day is just...unbelievable.

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