Woman Sues Over Destroyed Virtual Item Worth $28,000

Woman Sues Over Destroyed Virtual Item Worth $28,000
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In the online game Lineage, you can “enchant” in-game items to enhance them. If you’re unsuccessful though, the item perishes. In South Korea, one gaming granny tried to enchant an extremely rare sword, but failed. So she sued the game’s maker.

According to Inven, a 64-year-old woman sued NCsoft earlier this spring over a lost Lineage item. She had acquired the incredibly rare Jin Myung Hwang’s Conduct Sword (진명황의 집행검), which can apparently fetch the 30 million won ($28,000) in the resale market.

The woman claimed that she accidentally tried to enchant the sword, adding that she would never actively try to enchant the item. Doing so, she claimed, would risk its destruction. Instead, she was trying to enchant a cheaper item, but instead enchanted Jin Myung Hwang’s Conduct Sword.

After NCsoft refused to restore the item, she filed suit.

Keep in mind that this is the first Lineage game, which was released back in 1998 and still is quite popular in South Korea. (In comparison, the game’s North American servers were shut down in 2011.)

However, the court showed that the gaming granny’s game log revealed she continued to enchant other items after failing to enchant the rare sword. There were also records of her failing to enchant other items as well as purchasing an in-game scroll to increase her enchanting abilities.

“Other items were enchanted along with the item in question so it is hard to rule out that losing the item was an isolated case,” said the court. The court added that even if this were a mistake, NCsoft does not bear the responsibility to restore her item.

Seems this gaming granny’s desire to enchant the legal system also failed.

[취재] 60대 유저, 리니지 최고가 무기 ‘집행검’ 복구 소송서 패소 [Inven — Thanks Sang!]

Photo: sunabesyou/Shutterstock


  • ….
    and here’s how i would have handled this…

    * Finds rare $28,000 sword…
    * Sells it…
    * Buys a car in the real world or Puts a deposit on a house.


  • Honestly though, that is a VERY shitty game mechanic. You shouldn’t be allowed to enchant ultra rare items.

    I mean, for example, if someone had bought that item from her for $28,000. Then tried to enchant it and failed, then they lost the item, AND the $28k.

    Wow. That is TERRIBLE game design. They definitely should have replaced it for her.

    • i agree the game design is pretty shitty, HOWEVER i dont agree the item should have been replaced… she was clearly aware of the risk involved yet she still took the risk… she knew the consequences…

      if the sword alone is worth $28k, can you imagine how much an enchanted version of that sword would go for?!?!?

        • That’s exactly what I thought she might have been trying to do; take rare sword worth $28,000, enchant it, and sell it for even more (assuming the enchantment was decent and useful). Unfortunately for her, things didn’t quite work out too well, so now she’s minus a $28,000+ sword.

    • The game mechanic isn’t bad, its HARDCORE.

      NCSoft were right to deny her, if they gave her the sword back then everyone will start asking for their broken equipment back.

    • i imagine that their toilet paper must be $100 notes hand stitched together using vicuna thread by the queen of england herself…

    • It didnt’ say she spent $28k on that item, it said she had acquired the item somehow, and it was worth that much money if she sold it to someone else.

    • Apparently people have spent a combined total of $135,000 on beta keys for the new blizzard game Hearthstone. The game is still in closed beta, but when released, it will be free to play.
      So people are spending an average of $100 for early BETA access to a free game… that’s pretty crazy if you ask me.

  • Theres some definitely weird facts about this story.. I have played ALOT of different MMORPGs to tell you that just because items are listed for such prices doesn’t mean they sell for that much – or are worth that much in the slightest.

    And seriously if you had a spare 30,000 dollars you could set up your own fucking server and give yourself the damn sword on a 1998 game xD

    • actually digital items going for crazy real world money isn’t that uncommon. Take a look at what some people paid for some loot in D3. Or that guy who bought a sword in an un-released game for something like $10k. People have money, got bored, decided to buy stuff. It happens.

  • If you were good enough at the game to get the item then why wouldn’t you know you might destroy it?

  • I’d like to see some proof that one had EVER sold for that much…infact, a record of that price being consistent across multiple would be cause to say it is ‘worth’ that much.

    Maybe one douche on a one off …

  • I would restore the item. When dealing with items that can get up to $28,000, you need to have systems in order to deal with things like this.

  • Just like any investment, the results are not always positive. In this case the player invested their sword in an attempt to gain an increase in value. Unfortunately for her, it went pear shaped, so she decided she’d try & pass on the responsibility for her f-up to the developers. No pity whatsoever.

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