In China, video game property is starting to become legal property. What that means is, player accounts and virtual assets are starting to become real business and this change in the law is starting to affect some players in a negative way.
Earlier this year, Wang, 24, purchased a gaming account from a friend of an "in game" friend. Wang was a self-confessed game addict; he would spend hours and dollars on online multiplayer RPGs, but he was never really satisfied with his in-game progress. After learning about purchasing accounts from his in-game friend, Wang was introduced to a Xiao (小）Han.
Han had an account with a high level character and strong equipment and was looking for a buyer. He sold the rights to his account to Wang for 12,000 yuan, about $2000. Wang was given control and access to Han's gaming account and the game administrators were notified. Per the games' rules, Han had 90 days to cancel his agreement with Wang.
Delighted with his new account, Wang spent hours and hours leveling up Han's character as if it was his own. He even spent money to equip it with better gear. Wang spent an additional 28000 yuan on subscription fees and in game purchases.
However, Wang's glee was short lived as he forgot to keep an eye on the 90 days. Han had decided not to sign over his rights in the last minute and Wang was locked out from the game. Desperate and upset, Wang called Han to return his money, however Han refused. Wang decided to take Han to court.
Luckily Wang had enough documentation such as bank account information, phone calls, and chat logs that his lawyer was able to suss out who Han really is. Taking Han to court, Han claimed ignorance of the fact that he had sold his account to Wang, however bank records showed that Han did receive the original payment from Wang.
Citing a lack of precedent for digital property, the Judge decided to rule in favor of Wang. Han was ordered to pay $4000 to Wang.
1万2买个游戏账号 卖家反悔了 被诉至法院 [People's Daily]
(Top photo: Eric Jou | Kotaku)
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