eBay Removes Virtual Item Auctions

eBay Removes Virtual Item Auctions

eBay has begun removing auctions for in-game items from its site.

Popular online auction site eBay began removing listings for virtual game items over the past weekend.

Although items for World of Warcraft and EverQuest II were pulled, Second Life items have remained. In an interview with News.com, eBay representative Hani Durzy explained the reasons behind keeping Second Life listed. "If someone participates in Second Life and wants to sell something they own, we are not at this point proactively pulling those listings off the site. We think there is an open question about whether Second Life should be regarded as a game."

eBay's policy on digital goods requires that "the seller must be the owner of the underlying intellectual property, or authorized to distribute it by the intellectual property owner." One could also argue that Second Life players are given full ownership of their property, as opposed to virtual games where players are only authorized to use and sell items within the in-game economies.


I don't think Second Life is the only exception. Magic Online digital cards and event tickets are still on offer.

Could someone explain to me how a virtual item in World of Warcraft is different than a virtual item in Second Life?

Supposedly, those who have items in Second Life are giving ownership of the items in a very real way, and are made to be cashed in the real economy.


The head of Second Life also says that the company is still determining if a "virtual world" makes it equal to a "game".

I would also bet that publishers like Blizzard are not fond of the item black market, whereas Second Life fosters it.

Also, eBay's CEO is on the Linden Labs board of directors. Take that how you will.

Second life is not a game: It's a virtual world. The difference is simple: in a game, nothing has value except to promote success/failure. In a virtual world, items have value placed on thier percieved value to fill needs.

Although, if any game allowed RMT, I wonder if Ebay would allow them on.

Could someone explain to me how a virtual item in World of Warcraft is different than a virtual item in Second Life?

The WoW (and other MMO's) terms of service state that none of the items in the game have any real world value and that everything within the game remains the property of blizzard. As such, if your trying to sell a virtual item from wow on ebay, you are trying to sell something with no real world value that is owned by someone else. I'm pretty sure there are laws against that somewhere which, I'm assuming, is why ebay is removing these sales.

Second Life on the other hand gives you actual ownership of everything that you "own" within the virtual world. It was designed from the start for people to be able to sell what they create and collect for real world dollars.

Thanks, Goofonian. I never realized that the Terms of Service for WoW doesn't want people buying and selling their virtual items for real money. It seems to me that eBay is just respecting the wishes of Blizzard... and nothing else (though I wonder if eBay had anything to gain by it).

If a company wanted, they could build a traditional MMORPG with the intent of players buying and selling virtual goods for real money and eBay would have to allow those auctions.

I'm guessing that it comes down to the Terms of Service for a particular online title.

I'm pretty sure you could buy an xbox for 300 bux and request a signature from palin for alot less than 1.1 mil... that guy is so stupid!

Could someone explain to me how a virtual item in World of Warcraft is different than a virtual item in Second Life?

Maybe owning an item in second life means its all yours, and in WoW you can only makes business with it within that world. Or maybe they're starting slow and will remove the SL auctions later.


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