If you’ve played an MMORPG long enough, you’ve probably misclicked and done something foolish, like deleted your mount, dropped your best sword on the ground, or even added a few extra zeroes on the auction hall. That last is akin to what happened to an Entropia Universe player in Planet Calypso earlier this month: She apparently misclicked in the in-game auction and sold off a stack of house deeds at significantly less than their value.
Now, in any other game, you’d probably shrug and figure that was just digital currency lost forever, but this is Entropia, one of those rare MMORPGs that allows players to cash out of the game, such that in-game money is indeed valued as real-world money, meaning that the player had accidentally tossed away currency worth well over $10,000 in real money.
“Please help me I am crying my life savings, I cant believe,” the player sobbed on the official forums. Within a few days of the seller’s plea, the purchaser of the dirt-cheap deeds, who goes by Pitbull, had been located and returned them in exchange for “a good gift.”
It might end there as a feel-good story of the week, but not when money’s involved! Angry players began accusing MindArk, the studio behind the game, of stepping in to force Pitbull to return the cash, possibly propelled along by the original statement that the studio had acted as a “mediator” in the ordeal and by the revelation that Pitbull’s account had been locked by the admins during the investigation. While Pitbull made clear that the decision was his alone, other players wanted to know why MindArk would intervene now when it hasn’t compensated or helped other players who’ve lost money due to the same faulty auction system in the past. At the very least, these players say, MindArk should establish clear guidelines for the cirumstances under which it will intervene in the future. All in all, it’s an interesting slice of life inside a sandbox where money rules the day.