Man in China ordered $13,000 to get back his $1.4 million avatar game

WTF?! A man in China spent more than $1.4 million on the Chinese MMORPG Justice Online, designing his character. As if that wasn’t strange enough in itself, the man’s friend sold the avatar to someone else for $552, and to get it back, the original owner had to pay another $13,000.

The story reads from an alternative reality like some odd sitcom series. The South China Morning Post reports the character “loaned” to his friend from the unnamed player. The alleged “friend” (presumably former now) then tried to sell it back for 388,000 yuan ($55,138) to him.

The buddy turned around and sold it on the marketplace of the game, hosted by NetEase, for 3,888 yuan ($552) when the original owner did not want to fork the dough to get his avatar back. He attributed the low price as a form caused by a long gaming session, but somebody had already snagged it before he had time to withdraw the bid.

“The local court in Sichuan posted on social media after the settlement that the case was a great example of digital asset security and cautioned gamers not to spend too much on video games.”

Having learned about the sale, both his friend and NetEase were sued by the original owner. The bizarre case was mediated by a Chinese judge.

NetEase reversed the transaction in the final settlement and gave back control of its character to the owner. But the man had to pay the buyer 90,000 yuan ($12,789) in damages — more than 23 times what he paid on the marketplace for the character. Of reality, that’s about a discount of 77 percent from what his supposed friend was trying to extort from him.

The lesson here is: don’t even give it to a friend if you have a digital asset you care about. Most importantly, don’t spend your game characters a million dollars, people. You are the reason why microtransactions in the industry are out of reach.

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