Blizzard made an announcement yesterday concerning the wave of permanent bans issued on May 1 against ”a number of accounts involved in win-trading in Rated Battlegrounds” as these accounts were in ‘clear violation of the World of Warcraft Terms of Service, as well as the spirit of competitive play’ – targeting accounts used by seller agencies that exchange in-game wins for real currency:
‘‘When we took these actions, we believed that the accounts being affected were used primarily by seller agencies, who exchange in-game wins for real-world currency, and not for normal gameplay, and so they were issued permanent closures. Once those actions were completed, we started hearing from players whose accounts had been affected but were not affiliated with a seller agency.”
Blizzard announced that a re-investigation which was subsequently triggered of all accounts concluded that: some accounts caught in this action should not have been hit with a permanent account closure – as some were found to have had minor involvement in win-trading which should have receive an account suspension instead – additionally, that a small number of accounts that were not involved in win-trading at all were also caught in the wave. For minor offences the perma-ban has been reduced to a short suspension and the issue which caused accounts not involved in any win-trading to be caught in the wave – Blizzard assures – has been rectified:
‘‘Those that were not involved with seller agencies but still found to be purposefully involved in win-trading have had their closures reduced to a suspension, with a duration fitting the severity the win-trading they participated in, and beginning on May 1st (the date we applied the initial closures).
We also discovered a small number of players whose accounts had been closed but had not engaged in any win-trading at all. We are deeply sorry to have punished those players incorrectly, and in addition to overturning their account closures, we have issued them with 30 days of additional game time as an apology. We’d like to make it clear that we have fully identified the error that caused this issue to occur, and can be confident in saying that future actions do not make the same mistake. ”
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