ArenaNet blames gold farmers for Guild Wars 2 hacking wave

By Frank Lewis,
The Guild Wars 2 developer claims that gold farmers are trying to hack into the new MMO in order to steal accounts for bot farming and spamming purposes, reports gaming website

"Hackers armed with email addresses and passwords stolen from other sources are probing Guild Wars 2 accounts to see if they can break in and use the accounts for botting or spamming gold sales, ArenaNet confirmed earlier today," wrote Kotaku's Owen Good over the weekend.

"The statement came after many users were notified of attempted logins to their account from locations in China," he added.

China: Gold Farming Headquarters

China has long gained a reputation as a bustling headquarters for gold farming operations. As the popularity of online games boomed in the West, so did the demand for virtual currency. Chinese gold farmers mushroomed to take advantage of the lucrative but illicit trade. It has become such a profitable venture that even prisoners are being forced into the activity, The Guardian reported last year.

Gold farmers are largely left unchecked in China, and are even sometimes encouraged for their ability to provide jobs and boost the local economy on which they are based. The government is known to act against gold farmers only if they target subsidized online gaming companies like Shanda. In one instance, Shanda was able to go after and convict a husband and his wife to six and three years in prison, respectively with government assistance.

Guild Wars 2 Demand and Player Protection

With Guild Wars 2 sales topping ten European markets and the US market also signaling strong player interest, there is currently a huge market for Guild Wars 2 Gold- one that Chinese gold farmers are desperate to corner, ArenaNet would have us believe.

Since the Guild Wars 2 developer cannot hope to track down the hackers halfway around the globe, it is doing what all developers are constrained to do: Re-fortify their systems against hacking attempts and warn players to keep their Guild Wars 2 account secure. The top advice? "Use a strong, unique password for Guild Wars 2 that you've never used elsewhere."

For those whose accounts have already been hacked, ArenaNet assures that there are still remedies available. "If you log in and see the message: 'This account has been permanently banned for a violation of the User Agreement,' and if you are not a gold seller, it's likely that your account was hacked. Please contact customer support using the instructions below," the developer said.

Previous Article | Go to Articles Overview | Next Article