Saw this Maple Story news on Channel News Asia. It's good to be informed.
Maple Story ~ Singapore News ~ Original Link:
Sale of illegal virtual currencies
cause game accounts to be frozen
By Liang Kaixin / Evelyn Choo, Channel NewsAsia
Posted: 26 October 2009 2140 hrs
View all News' images
SINGAPORE: Online hackers have generated enormous amounts of counterfeit virtual currency for a popular on-line game so action has been taken, upsetting innocent gamers in Singapore. In the popular online video game, Maple Story, gamers must slay demons and earn virtual credits. But this month, some were unable to complete their gaming quests after an estimated 1,000 accounts were frozen overnight.
Ng Kok Khwang, marketing director, Asiasoft Online, said: "This is because Nexon, the game developer of Maple Story, has unilaterally decided to ban the accounts due to hacking programmes being used in the game as well as some gold farming issues."
Gold farming is the process by which players earn real money by selling their virtual currencies to other online gamers. In fact, these virtual currencies, also known as Mesos in Maple Story, can be sold at 11 Singapore cents per million Mesos on local gaming forums. But with third-party hacking software, players in China can produce more than ten times the amount of Mesos normally earned through a quest.
Leonard Loo, lawyer, said: "In the case of this computer hacker who uses a program to generate multiple accounts to accumulate points and gold, for example, ... to sell it for money later on - this hacker has actually committed an offence. "The offence punishable is under the computer misuse act, and the hacker can be fined up to S$5,000 or sent to jail for up to two years."
Maple Story has attracted 100 million gamers worldwide and hosts more than a million accounts in Singapore. And one to three per cent of this million use illegitimate ways of earning money through the game. That is a low figure compared to other countries, but Asiasoft has since added patches to the game to trace such offences. - CNA/vm