Elder Scrolls Online says it won’t punish players using gifting to swap gold for crowns


At the top of the month, ZeniMax Online Studios annoyed Elder Scrolls Online players with a “pause” of in-game gifting, a decision it attributed to “ongoing fraudulent behavior.” Gifting is what the system was built for, but it’s also the key method to essentially buy things off the cash shop with in-game gold, using other players as broker. That system works great right up until one party is innocently tangled up in the other’s stolen credit card or hacked account scheme, which leads to ZOS losing money. So the move was temporary, but that hasn’t made it any less irritating for legitimate users.

As of last night, ZOS’ Matt Firor penned an update to the situation for players. While admitting he knew the move would be unpopular and telling players the studio won’t be taking action against players who participated innocently (and really, how could it – it’s not going to make you prove you’re really friends before sending or receiving gifts), he explains that this is an old problem in MMOs that “requires adaptation and adjustment from time to time to react as new methods come up for illicit users to gain access to ‘free’ currency and items that can be sold for profit.”

As one player noted on Reddit, one of the “new” methods here appears to be players subbing for a year, selling their stipend crowns on the black market, and then getting a chargeback for the sub. Regardless, ZOS says it’s still working to get legit gifting back online, though it’s not clear that player brokerage will still work or that players will ever see a proper in-game exchange to alleviate the demand for these shady trades.

“We recognize that many of you do not use Crown Store gifting in the manner described above and we know that you are frustrated with us. Users of (normal) gifting are among our most passionate, dedicated members of the community and unfortunately, disabling gifting for everyone was the quickest and most efficient solution to protect players while we work on updating the process. That said, we are working on a solution that will allow us to re-enable gifting so it will fill its normal function, while better protecting the system from outside bad actors. While we can’t go into the details just yet, we hope to be back in the near future with an updated timeline and plan to share.”

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