2

Knowing the ToS and EULA of the game prohibit one of selling his game items for real life money transactions, my question is, is it legal to create a website to act as the middleman for these transactions? From my view there is two options the website could work:

  1. Serve as a fully middleman: user posts an item; service bot receives the item; whenever a user buys the item the service bot gives the item to that user.
  2. Serve as a transaction website: user posts an item; waits for someone that wishes to buy it; service takes care of all the money transactions and confirms the item was given by both users;

My thoughts are the first one is illegal as a service because of the bot doing actions against the ToS and EULA but the second one I'm not that sure because the risk is on both accounts.

For research purposes the game in question is Rocket League. There are also real examples of this for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive such as Bitskins and DMarket which are still running, if this is not legal could someone explain why these examples are still up knowing they are in the same situation as the game I mentioned?

4
  • 3
    "if this is not legal could someone explain why these examples are still up" – If speeding is illegal, how come people still drive over the speed limit? Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 7:52
  • And, of course, even if it were lawful to operate such a site, that would in no way change the fact that users engaging in cash transactions for in-game items thereby violate the ToS of the game. Many would consider it a form of cheating, especially on the buyer side. The results of discovery depend on the details of the violation(s) and on the other provisions of the ToS, among other things, but an account suspension or ban is a common response. Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 13:23
  • @JohnBollinger Knowing the in-game items can still be bought using in-game credits that require real life cash and the in-game items are only for visuals it does not change the gameplay by any means, no item in this specific game does but yes you are correct the results of discovery would result on a ban or suspension of both accounts that interacted. Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 16:05
  • 1
    My point is less the consequences than the fact that a breach of ToS is involved no matter what. Presumably that will matter more to people who consider it an ethical imperative to abide by their agreements than it does to people who are guided more by what they think they can get away with, but even the latter would want to take the potential consequences into account. Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 18:02

1 Answer 1

5

Tortuous interference with contract

Both websites would be able to be successfully sued under the tort of interference with contractural relations.

The requisite elements of tortious interference with contract claim are: (1) the existence of a valid and enforceable contract between plaintiff and another; (2) defendant’s awareness of the contractual relationship; (3) defendant’s intentional and unjustified inducement of a breach of the contract; (4) a subsequent breach by the other caused by defendant’s wrongful conduct; and (5) damages.

The damages would be caused by the reduction of the play experience by allowing these things to be bought instead of earned.

1
  • 1
    They still can be bought thought, if you buy game credits and trade with a person those credits for the item. I guess the damages considering this point would be removing income from the company. Thanks for your answer. Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 0:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .