Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag real-money

Congressional report says you 'may' owe taxes on your WoW income

Image
If you're a World of Warcraft or Diablo 3 player, the federal government would like to have a word with you. Congress's U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), at the request of Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), just wrote and filed a 23-page report on the tax implications of earning gold in MMORPGs. Seriously.

The report, titled "Virtual Economies and Currencies," focuses on buying, using, and selling virtual currencies like WoW gold. The key takeaway for World of Warcraft players is that the in-game economy is a "closed-flow system" -- because you can't exchange your gold for U.S. dollars, you don't need to worry about claiming those 26 gold pieces from completing a quest on your 2013 income taxes. If, however, you decide to sell your accumulated WoW items through a third-party exchange (Don't do it! It's against the Terms of Service and could get you hacked!), then you "may have earned taxable income from the sale of these virtual goods."

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Economy, Gold Capped, Diablo 3

The Lawbringer: Q&A on Diablo's real-money auction house

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Since Blizzard dropped the Diablo 3 bombshell on us early Monday, I will post the second article in my series on micro-transaction models next week. For those of you who have been living under the proverbial internet rock (you are missing some awesome memes right now), Blizzard announced that Diablo 3 would feature two auction houses, one using in-game gold as currency and the other using real currency that would be deposited into a Battle.net account wallet and used from there.

The whole system gets more intriguing when you take into account that sales made on the real-money auction house can make their way to your own very real wallet through an unannounced third party or deposited back into your Battle.net wallet for use on anything digital in the Blizzard store, including WoW game time.

If you're a regular reader of The Lawbringer, you already know how excited I get over virtual currency. This is my wheelhouse. I feel like a master carpenter at Wood Con 2011, cosplaying as my favorite oak tree, quercus alnifolia. Pair that with real currency, and excitement levels hit the stratosphere. I may break through the atmosphere at some point. That faint sonic boom you hear will be me hurtling through the air in excitement and wonderment.

Sure, the Diablo real-money transaction (RMT) auction house is not related to World of Warcraft -- or is it? Oh, it very much is. Faithful readers and not faithful alike (how could you, Debbie?) have been writing in questions via Twitter and email asking me to explain the auction house and talk about some of the potential legal and tax issues that could come around because of it. Also, many people want to know how the RMT auction house could benefit World of Warcraft, despite Rob Pardo's saying there are no plans to bring it over to WoW. Let's take a look at your questions.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

What are the implications of a real-dollar auction house?

It was just revealed that Diablo 3 will feature a dual-currency auction house for in-game gold and for real currency, allowing players to spend real money for Diablo 3 items. Blizzard will not sell those items directly but rather will facilitate auctions between players. Players will receive real currency for their sales, and Blizzard will take a cut off the sales of real-currency items. Blizzard is entering some pretty crazy territory with the Diablo 3 auction house, and the implications may be even more huge for the massively multiplayer market than for the Diablo multiplayer experience.

One of WoW's biggest issues that currently plagues Blizzard (as well as the MMO genre in general) is the existence of a gray market in which companies sell in-game currency to willing buyers against the game's terms of service. Many free-to-play MMOs and online games combat this market by selling their own currencies for use in-game, making the currency non-tradeable, or selling items in a microtransaction marketplace. Blizzard has not yet made a free-to-play MMO where these concepts could come to any kind of fruition, and WoW's virtual goods store is very limited in scope and price point.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories

Joystiq

Massively

Engadget