Nintendo, fully aware of the real-money trading (RMT) taking place in its hit simulation game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is keen on taking legal actions to stop the “illegal trade” that the game had indirectly created.
The issue arises from players choosing to buy or sell “valued” villagers or in-game assets using real currency.
“Crime” Does Not Pay
Nintendo, however, appears to be aware of the trade. So much so, that it is willing to take action to stop the trade on a case-to-case basis.
As per J-Cast News, who prompted an interview with a Nintendo spokesperson, Nintendo condemns the illicit trade that’s taking place in-game. Subsequently warning those who engage in the illegal activity of punitive actions.
As it appears, Nintendo will mostly target those individuals who conduct the trade with real money. This means that the trade itself is not illegal if players resort to trading using only in-game assets.
An Illicit Trade
Economics is a major part of New Horizons’ gameplay, which starts with the premise of making the player pay a huge debt. Players are given a myriad of ways to pool up sums of money, such as by planting and selling crops, fishing, etc. Pretty much everything that the island provides is for every player’s disposal to establish the economy.
For a game that expectedly demands much of players’ time, some resort to selling in-game stuff to players who don’t have a similar luxury. This includes not just the game’s currency, bells, but also stuff and villagers as well.
This trade created a sort of “black market” which sees players engaging in commerce that now involves real money. Essentially giving players who have lots of time in their hands a money-making gig in-game. Alternatively, also, giving moneyed players a distinct advantage in procuring game assets using cash that otherwise requires luck and time to get.
A Growing Business
The trade, which Nintendo considers as a gross violation of its established Terms and Conditions, is thriving, despite the illegalities. Even paving way for the “exchange market” such as Nookazon and Nook.market.
In such platforms, it is not uncommon to see individuals selling an in-game villager, like Dom, for 5000 yen (~$46). Others even going so far as to profit big time by wanting to sell Raymond for $1000. Raymond, being the most popular among the list of villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The pricing adheres to a peculiar principle that puts value behind each cost. The general rule being that the more “appreciated” an asset is, the greater the cost of acquiring it.
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