An MMO character ‘worth’ $1.4M was sold in China for $552

With guest appearances by the cast of Ducktales

    
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Now my stats are good!

So here’s a fun story of people being particularly… odd. Let’s go with odd. Player A, hereafter referred to as “Scrooge McDuck,” spends the equivalent of $1.4 million on a character in NetEase’s MMORPG Justice Online. Scrooge then lends the use of the character to Player B, hereafter referred to as “Launchpad McQuack.” Having been loaned a valuable character, Launchpad attempted to sell the character back to Scrooge… but apparently wound up listing the price far lower than intended, winding up with Player C, hereafter referred to as “Donald,” purchasing the character for just $552.

As a result of all this, Scrooge learned a valuable lesson about the actual worth of virtual goods and the senselessness of investing that much money in a character, by which we of course mean that he sued both NetEase and Launchpad over the incident. The judge in the case ultimately reversed the transaction but ordered Scrooge to pay Donald over $12,000 in restitution for the erroneous transaction. Thus, we can see the clear winner in this story is… people who don’t put nearly this much money into video games, seriously. Any other victories are secondary.

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Robert Mann

$1.4 Million… okay, if game companies want to chase these idiots, I’m deciding I’m okay with it if 10% goes to the rest of the players. There can be a separate league for them for any real PvP stuff, and a ‘joke’ queue for the regular players to get rewards in game a few times a week for playing “Sheep” for these people. I don’t mind so long as I know beforehand at that point, and so long as beyond that setup I don’t have to deal with them.

Sign me up to get paid to let morons feed their epeen. XD

Without paying me, though, no way. I’m not playing target dummy for no reason.

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Mewmew

I think the real lesson here is not to lend your $1.4 million dollar character to someone else.

If these people have the money and feel like spending it on video game characters, more power to them. It’s their money they can do what they want. It seems like a fairly good guess that if they have that much to spend, they’re rich people who can afford it.

If it’s an addict that just spent their entire life savings and future living money on the character, sure that’s a different story. But this was just some rich person, and I really don’t care how or where they spend their money. If they want to buy video game characters from people for huge sums of money, whatever :P

You could argue that if they’re dumb enough to lend that character to someone, they almost deserve to lose it I guess.

If I was the one who bought it, I’d be trying to keep it despite the person saying the listing price was a mistake. I’m surprised they were able to get it back from the person, though considering the value of the character the Courts could see that it really was clearly a mistake (though is that still a reason that they can get it back if it was their own fault for listing it at that price? It was the original person’s fault for “lending” it to this other person to begin with).

I guess the $12,000 the 3rd person involved ended up getting to keep for the mistaken price listing should make him feel a bit better though.

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Tanek

I suppose if you lend an item to another person and that person sells it without permission, the buyer might be technically receiving stolen goods, so that would be a way to get it back to the original owner. At least where I live.

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Michael18

Where do you live? In most western countries this is not true as long as the buyer is in good faith (bona fide purchase).

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Tanek

I know wikipedia is not as good as citing actual law, but as a quick search result, this is what I have:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possession_of_stolen_goods
“If the individual did not know the goods were stolen, then the goods are returned to the owner and the individual is not prosecuted.”

As far as I am aware “finders keepers” does not work when you are in possession of stolen property. I am happy to be proven wrong if you have specifics, though.

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Michael18

Nothing against Wikipedia! :)

But that Wikipedia article is about the mere possession of stolen goods and wheteher that constitutes a crime. It does not refer to a purchase and whether a purchaser in good faith (bona fide purchaser) obtains property or not. The latter is covered by this article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bona_fide_purchaser

The important sentence: “Even when a party [= Launchpad] fraudulently conveys property to a BFP [= Donald], that BFP will, depending on the laws of the relevant jurisdiction, take good (valid) title to the property despite the competing claims of the other party [= Scrooge].”

However, there are many exceptions to that rule and they differ greatly from country to country. But in general it is not certain that stolen goods will be returned to the original owner after someone bought them in good faith. For the law it is a tricky situation, because both the original owner and the purchaser have an interest worthy of protection.

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Bryan Correll

He attributed the typo to being dizzy from excessive gaming at the time.

Damn you gaming! Damn you!

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Zero_1_Zerum

If that doesn’t show that the Chinese aren’t actually Commies, I don’t know what does. That’s the most silly capitalist thing I’ve ever heard of, and it didn’t happen in the US.

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3dom

The intended price of sale back from Launchpad to Scrooge supposed to be $55k. I wonder – what kind of service has Launchpad provided to receive $55k from Scrooge?

The whole thing look like a bribe or money laundering.

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Bryan Correll

I’m thinking something must have been lost in translation. Cause I just can’t get my brain to make sense of the situation as described.

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Robert Mann

I give it 10 to 1 that it was the rich person trying to get stuff done for them in game, and that the other person felt less than appropriately rewarded. “You power quest me, get paid peanuts, mkay!?”

“Sure.” *Watches rich person leave.* “Yeah, screw your peanuts, I got $1.4 million that you want back dumdum!”

Totally fits my image of the sort of people involved.

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Michael18

In some other article (don’t remember where) it was said that Launchpad received access to the character in order to power level it.

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wonderrat

I didn’t know 3 people even play Justice Online.

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Armsbend

I read this article this morning – now I get why Chinese officials want to limit their citizens playtimes.

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Witches

My objection is with the duck aliases, the loanee should be Fethry and the buyer Gladstone.

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Diego Lindenmeyer

if the guy sold it mistake or not, gg its gone…
The buyer should sue company for fcking his deal

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Armsbend

He did. It was in the article.

Sufo
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Sufo

Aha love the tags for the article.

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Michael18

Yeah, just don’t click on these tags if you have any plans for the rest of the day (or week), lol.