PayPal Freezes $750K in MineCraft Dev's Account

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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PayPal Freezes $750K in MineCraft Dev's Account


The creator of MineCraft [http://www.minecraft.net/] has run into a bit of a snag with PayPal, which has frozen his account with over $763,000 in it and refuses to let him touch it.

Because it's a struggle for me to scrape together 750 bucks, much less 750 thousand, I can't really imagine how much it would suck to have it but not be able to get at it. So I'll let MineCraft creator Markus Persson describe the situation in his own words.

"blog [http[://www.paypal.com]. "My account is still limited. I've called them three times, they keep telling me it's being reviewed. Most recently they told me it'd take up to two more weeks for it to get resolved, and that if they decide something bad's being going on, they're going to keep the money. There's over 600000 euro in there. Money I was planning on investing in the new company."

In response to people suggesting that it's somehow his own fault for letting all that money build up in a PayPal account, Persson noted that he actually clears out his account every week. "They limited my account just as sales started spiking, so this money has accumulated since they limited the account," he said.

One obvious question emerges from Persson's ongoing troubles with PayPal: How the hell does one guy rack up more than three quarters of a million dollars off a single indie game? My first thought was that it had to be a typo, but apparently MineCraft is just a really good game. As one commenter on Slashdot [http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/09/10/1713217/PayPal-Withholding-Indie-Game-Devs-euro600000-Account?from=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2FslashdotGames+%28Slashdot%3A+Games%29] noted, "I bought the game a couple of months ago and every other game in my collection had been neglected... Single player is an amazing time waster, it's so easy to get completely sucked into a world made up of giant pixels. It's one of the best indie games I've ever tried and it's made by just one guy."

Persson said he's sure he'll get things sorted out, but described the situation as "kind of frustrating" in the meantime. Hopefully he'll have better luck than Something Awful did during its 2005 run-in [http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/paypal-fiasco-summary.php] with PayPal: After raising over $30,000 in nine hours to aid Red Cross efforts following Hurricane Katrina, SA's PayPal account was frozen for suspicious activity, ultimately resulting in all donated funds, minus service fees, being returned to donators.


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FloodOne

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Apr 29, 2009
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What a joke. There needs to be some sort of business edition of paypal. Hopefully the government steps in and gives the money to it's rightful owner.
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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I wonder if the speed in witch it grew drew questions or maybe suddonly the amount each person was putting in increased.
 

Altorin

Jack of No Trades
May 16, 2008
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why in all holy hell would you keep 750,000 dollars in your paypal.
 

silver wolf009

[[NULL]]
Jan 23, 2010
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Those untrust worhy swine... burn them!!

Seriously though, nothing sucks more than having money and not being able to use it. I, as someone who plays minecraft and someone who I has any amount of humility, really hope that he gets his money back.
 

Cpt. Red

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Jul 24, 2008
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"600592 registered users, of which 133537 (22.23%) have bought the game." And the price have been ?9.95 so that's a total of ?1328693.15... A bit more then 750k...

EDIT: As a response to
Andy Chalk said:
One obvious question emerges from Persson's ongoing troubles with PayPal: How the hell does one guy rack up more than three quarters of a million dollars off a single indie game? My first thought was that it had to be a typo, but apparently MineCraft is just a really good game.
 

Shihoudani

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Oct 3, 2009
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I really can't believe PayPal continues to use these sketchy business practices. This isn't the first time we've heard of PayPal pulling this on people.

I haven't bought Minecraft, though I have been wondering if I should. The free to play demo is pretty fun.
 

A Pious Cultist

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Jul 4, 2009
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I'm honestly suprised he hasnt got his own purchasing interface up at this point, stuff that's far smaller in scale have them but this huge phenomena is still going through Paypal?
 

Aenir

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Mar 26, 2009
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Fuck PayPal, they think everyone is a criminal. Shit like this is just stupid. They rejected money raised for fucking KATRINA? My god...

Altorin said:
why in all holy hell would you keep 750,000 dollars in your paypal.
Read the article: "In response to people suggesting that it's somehow his own fault for letting all that money build up in a PayPal account, Persson noted that he actually clears out his account every week. "They limited my account just as sales started spiking, so this money has accumulated since they limited the account," he said."
 

hecticpicnic

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Jul 27, 2010
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paypal do this kind of thing alot e.g. my father opened a paypal account for my mother and put in 200 euro on her birthday and they froze both my mothers and my fathers(he had over a grand in there) account because they had the same address ,they were very vague about it , it was something to do with betting fraud or they can't track you or whatever and it took like a year took work it out, and they closer my mothers account
 

Celtic_Kerr

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FloodOne said:
What a joke. There needs to be some sort of business edition of paypal. Hopefully the government steps in and gives the money to it's rightful owner.
American Government, won't do shit.

I work for this industry, I understand how it works and a massive spike of sales like this WOULD look incredibly suspicious. I can't doubt Pay Pal's investigation, but the dev SHOULD be getting his money back. Almost guaranteed. They're most running through transactions and matching them up.

The only reason this is so appalling is because of the amount. I have small time business owners gettingh $8000 frozen and THEY freak out.
 

Imsety

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Oct 26, 2009
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Goddammit, they better not have my ten bucks in there. I paid to support an indie developer like myself, not to line the pockets of that giant multinational bastard of a corporation.

Also, Minecraft is awesome and addictive. Luckily getting killed by a huge mob of skeletons has dissuaded me from playing for a while, otherwise I wouldn't get any work done at all...
 

rembrandtqeinstein

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Sep 4, 2009
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Awesome!...I'm buying that tonight if I can get the demo to work with a gamepad on my htpc.

Publishers take note: games like this prove we don't need photorealistic grass and martin sheen's voice to make a good game.
 

SometingStupid

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Dec 6, 2009
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Well I guess that's just what happens when somebody exposes your game to over 1.2 Million people, one of those being SeaNanners, who may be the most sub'd YouTube Commentator. Who then also exposed the game to all of his subs.

Surely PayPal could just Google this one.

And yes, it's definatley worth the buy. Single Player is borderline epic and the MultiPlayer has barely been touched yet.
 

Toycat

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Nov 9, 2009
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Actually, either way the money is his again in 6 months (paypal freeze rules means he gets it either way, he just has to wait 6 months)

However, thats not intersting news.... :p
 

GiantRedButton

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Mar 30, 2009
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The source is rock paper shotgun i assume?
Great game to get creative btw, had a free 2 play option but i dont know if thats still available.
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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I just bought this the other day... Played for an entire night. They better give him his money, so he can add more stuff. XD
 

Drops a Sweet Katana

Folded 1000x for her pleasure
May 27, 2009
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Altorin said:
why in all holy hell would you keep 750,000 dollars in your paypal.
Didn't read the whole article? It said why. PayPal froze his account when he STARTED to make that money. And plus it froze a few weeks ago and the money's just been accumulating since, not to mention the game has become insanely popular over the last few months.
 

SurfKansas

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Nov 25, 2008
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Suspicious activity = we can freeze this account for a couple of months, grab a crap load of interest off investing the money, then give him his cash (minus the interest) after we have "reviewed his case"
 

JourneyThroughHell

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Sep 21, 2009
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This is not how you make a good case for yourself in the business, guys. First screwing up a donation drive and then denying a guy his hard-earned money - not good.

At all.
 

Cynical skeptic

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Apr 19, 2010
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There seriously needs to be an alternative to paypal. Its just fucking weird how you can't really do business on the internet without it, but theres nothing comparable.
 

Charli

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Nov 23, 2008
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I don't touch pay pal with so much as even looking at the logo it's WAY dodgy to use and very hit and miss what you can do with it alot of the time. They need to fix all these problems with it because I've heard horror stories attached to this companys name.
 

Lightslei

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Feb 18, 2010
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So can anyone explain to me how Paypal's business practice isn't illegal in some form. I'm still scratching my head from having to deal wth them.
 

Dexiro

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Dec 23, 2009
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That guy's getting his money back one way or another, he's an amazing developer and there's no reason he shouldn't get it back. Paypal are fucks for freezing his account in the first place.
 

halfeclipse

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Nov 8, 2008
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If he gets it back anytime soon its because hes got enough funds to hire a bunch of lawyers and take them to the cleaners.
 

oshin

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Apr 25, 2008
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If they see something suspicious then they have to act, there dealing with millions of dollars and they are a no doubt a target for alot of hackers, so really, there right to be cautious.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Cpt. Red said:
"600592 registered users, of which 133537 (22.23%) have bought the game." And the price have been ?9.95 so that's a total of ?1328693.15... A bit more then 750k...
Jesus, I wouldn't want to invest that money into a company. Just invest it into something else, generate more revenue so you can realize more dreams.
 

Phoenixlight

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FloodOne said:
What a joke. There needs to be some sort of business edition of paypal. Hopefully the government steps in and gives the money to it's rightful owner.
I agree I would furious if I was making that sort of money then all of a sudden my account was frozen.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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Lightslei said:
So can anyone explain to me how Paypal's business practice isn't illegal in some form. I'm still scratching my head from having to deal wth them.
AFAICT, & IANAL, but it's pretty standard practice for most monetary institutions. Since Chip/Pin came in, banks (and similar) regularly monitor transactions in case your card/account is being used fraudulently or being used to launder money.

At any time you go past certain spending/donating limits, it will freeze you out so their accountants can do a detailed scan.

We've had people froze out over Christmas, Weddings, Summer Holidays by banks I'm not at liberty to mention - but the advantage of them is you can walk into the nearest place and prove your ID.

With online banking though...

Saying that, I've never had troubles with Paypal/Steam or any other micro-transactions apart from SOE, who ignored my cancellation of MMO fees because my browser crashed. They didn't inform me until months afterwards.
 

ZippyDSMlee

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Paypal has a very arbitrary and vague set of rules it can be a hassle to deal with it when they want to mess with you....
 

yoyo13rom

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FloodOne said:
What a joke. There needs to be some sort of business edition of paypal. Hopefully the government steps in and gives the money to it's rightful owner.
Namely itself. Call me a commie, but this capitalism is just crap sometimes.
Although under communism you would be relatively broke, I find it more frustrating to have money and not be able to access it.
 

AndyFromMonday

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rembrandtqeinstein said:
Publishers take note: games like this prove we don't needmartin sheen's voice to make a good game.
I will hunt you to the deepest corners of hell and make you apologize for that statement.


OT: Minecraft is the best game of this generation. GIVE THE MAN HIS MONEY BACK!
 

GiglameshSoulEater

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Altorin said:
why in all holy hell would you keep 750,000 dollars in your paypal.
He didn't, read more closely.
Andy Chalk said:
PayPal Freezes $750K in MineCraft Dev's Account


In response to people suggesting that it's somehow his own fault for letting all that money build up in a PayPal account, Persson noted that he actually clears out his account every week. "They limited my account just as sales started spiking, so this money has accumulated since they limited the account," he said.

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Marsell

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Minecraft is really good game. Tho... it does have some issues.
In the game, during nighttime (or while cave exploration) your likely to run into monsters that kill you. This isn't so much a problem as much as a augmentation to something much more aggravating. You see when you die, you drop all you items. (armor, equipment, resources, RARE ITEMS.) So if you want your stuff back, you have to walk all the way back to where you dies and pick them all back up, of course by the time you get there, it will be guaranteed to be the newest monster spawn point rave party. this couples with the fact that lava destroys all items will do nothing to slow computers being chucked out windows. Then when you get so frustrated to turn monsters off it gets really boring.
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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if they take his money that will be another -1 to law enforcement for me
 

Steve the Pocket

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I was gonna say, here's hoping this encourages people to stop using PayPal and switch to one of their competitors, but let's face it, people didn't even stop buying BP gasoline, even though there's almost always another gas station right next door with the exact same price and no real difference between brands. And PayPal is an institution. Nobody supports any of its competitors.

Although maybe we could start a petition to have Valve start supporting PayPal competitors because of this. We already know they love Minecraft.
 

Albino Boo

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Yeah dam Paypal for conforming to international bank standards. How dare they apply the anti money laundering and tax evasion laws of the EU, what an evil company.
 

oranger

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Well, if -another- roadblock pops up, we know there's a conspiracy...because really, paypal can't be THIS stupid...can it?
 

Magnalian

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Didn't know Paypal could be such dicks. I don't own Minecraft myself, but I know of and one day I do intend to buy it. But seeing this I think it's best to wait until the money actually gets to the right person.
 

Legendsmith

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Ironic Pirate said:
What exactly is Minecraft? I've heard lots about it...
Exactly?
Well Minecraft Alpha is a game in which a cheerfully coloured, blocky world is randomly generated for you to survive and build, thrive or die. (For scale, the player is 1.7 blocks tall) This is achieved by (funnily enough) mining and crafting. You start off with just your fists, and much punch down a tree in order to make a crafting bench and rudimentary wooden tools. From here you can get stone tools (the staple grade, stone. Stone is plentiful and effective), iron and diamond. Gold tools are possible, but useless due to gold's malleability. Tools are: Sword, pick (mining stone and ore), shovel(digging sand, clay, gravel and dirt), hatchet(chopping trees and leaves), hoe(preparing dirt for farming and finding seeds).
When you destory a block of anything (except glass), it drops a block "item" that you can pick up and then use for crafting or place in the world again. Not all blocks drop their own type when destroyed. Stone drops cobblestone, clay drops clay balls which can be used to make bricks.
Tree blocks can be crafted into wood plank blocks. One tree block yields 4 wood blocks.


There are also various "mobs."
Mob is just a name for monster. There are 2 types, friendly and hostile.
Friendly mobs include:
Pigs, which exist for you to harvest pork.
Chickens lay eggs and can also be killed for feathers (required for arrows)
Cows, provide milk when alive and leather when dead. (Leather is used for basic armour)
Sheep. These provide wool, which at the moment does nothing.
Then there are hostile mobs, these include:

Zombies: These annoying mobs make heavy breathing sounds, move slowly towards you in attempt to get close enough to kill you. (Your attacks knock mobs back, thankfully).

Skeletons: These mobs attempt to get into range to shoot arrows at you. quite annoying, as they make almost no sound except when shooting an arrow. They drop arrows when killed.

Zombies and Skeletons catch fire when exposed to sunlight

Slimes: these come in various sizes, they hop towards you in an attempt to kill you. Mainly found underground. Larger slimes break into smaller slimes when hit with anything other than a sword.

Spiders: These mobs don't attack during the day time, however when night comes they scuttle rapidly towards you then jump. Since all attacks knock the receiver back, this makes spiders especially deadly, as if you miss they jump again, meaning they can instantly attack and attack. They drop string, which is required for bows.

Spider riding Skeletons: These occur when a spider meets a skeleton. The skeleton gets on the spider's back and... You run away.

Creepers: Arguably the most feared mob, creepers creep, making no sound. When they are next to the player, they emit a "sssss" sound and explode. If the player is too close, instant death.

In all this explanation I have forgotten to extrapolate on the world. The world is randomly generated as you need it. I have seen some beautiful scenery in minecraft, as well as some odd formations. There's nothing like building a castle in the sky. (especially with lava falls)

More information can be found at http://minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Main_Page
 

RowdyRodimus

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AndyFromMonday said:
rembrandtqeinstein said:
Publishers take note: games like this prove we don't needmartin sheen's voice to make a good game.
I will hunt you to the deepest corners of hell and make you apologize for that statement.
100% agreement. I just started Mass Effect 2 about 2 weeks ago and when his character came onscreen (I didn't watch or read anything about it so it was a surprise) it was like seeing the parting of the Red Sea I was in such awe. His voice is so much better than Patrick Stewart or Liam Neison (the standards of celebrity gaming voices), he could just do the Street Fighter "Round 1...FIGHT!" and it would make it the greatest game of all time.
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Cpt. Red

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Serris said:
Cpt. Red said:
"600592 registered users, of which 133537 (22.23%) have bought the game." And the price have been ?9.95 so that's a total of ?1328693.15... A bit more then 750k...
but he clears out his paypal every week, that explains it ;)

OT: and just before this article, I wrote this review here on the escapist looking at why minecraft sold as well as it did:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.231494-A-successful-business-plan-Minecraft#8105154
It wasn't a comment on how much he had in his account but rather at this part:
Andy Chalk said:
One obvious question emerges from Persson's ongoing troubles with PayPal: How the hell does one guy rack up more than three quarters of a million dollars off a single indie game? My first thought was that it had to be a typo, but apparently MineCraft is just a really good game.
 

twaddle

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....what the hell. isn't there some other better online alternative to paypal with better service?
 

Pandora92

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Woah, I was reading that paypal sucks sight posted on the SA link, and that's actually pretty scary/worrying. T_T
 

Xyphon

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Ironic Pirate said:
What exactly is Minecraft? I've heard lots about it...
It's an indie game that has a survival mode and let's you build things on other people's multiplayer servers. There are almost no limits to how creative you can get with your buildings. The only thing that may hold you back is a semi-minited choice in colors.








GiantRedButton said:
The source is rock paper shotgun i assume?
Great game to get creative btw, had a free 2 play option but i dont know if thats still available.
Yes, both classic singleplayer and multiplayer are free. I play every day.

OP: I haven't bought the game because my computer can't handle Alpha, but I know he damn well deserves every penny of that money that Paypal denied him.
 

w00tage

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albino boo said:
Yeah dam Paypal for conforming to international bank standards. How dare they apply the anti money laundering and tax evasion laws of the EU, what an evil company.
News flash, bankers are not your happy friendly friends, they just spend some of your money on marketing so you'll feel like they are while you hand over your paycheck, and spend more of your money on laws to protect their money. Those laws are there so the banks can't be sued for possession of dirty money, not so that criminals can be stopped - that's just the cover story.

Logging the transactions for use in any potential investigation is an answer that satisfies all parties - innocent parties are not punished, and law enforcement has their evidence and can get the necessary legal orders to take action. Seizing funds without evidence even temporarily is absolutely bullcrap, and justifying it by saying "it's in the rules" is also bullcrap.

Here's a test case - suppose you start an Internet business to market a safe home medical product and omg- you are successful! Sufferers are ordering products at 10x your anticipated rate and the sales are surging like a tidal wave from there! Woohoo! Time to take that order money and pay the suppliers so you can honor those orders!
So you go to transfer the order money to your business account so you can pay the suppliers to make and ship the parts so you can make the product to fill the orders and WTF PAYPAL FROZE THE ACCOUNT?? Why? Suspicious spike in activity?? A monumental spike in orders is the BEST THING that could happen to your company, and Paypal is going to freeze your payment system the instant it happens?

Best case, your business and your customers are stopped short exactly at the moment of victory for both parties, and you won't be able to resume business for weeks. Worst case, your business is promptly labeled a scam because people paid you for a product and you didn't deliver. And they report you to the BBB, file court claims, etc., and all you can do is say "it's Paypal, they have your money". Which does not fly with the guy who sent YOU the money and has the receipt with your business's email on it to prove it.

So yeah - bad on Paypal. I'm going to rethink the payment system for the business I'm working on. I'm not going with a service that will arbitrarily kneecap my business in its first moment of success - that'd just be stupid.
 

Waif

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Mar 20, 2010
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I certainly have had my reservations about Paypal in the past, even though I use it. The fact that they would freeze his funds, and threaten to keep them, allows me the opportunity to think negatively about their business practices as a whole. I hope the developer gets the money that is rightfully his, and that Paypal stops acting like a lesser company. If they do take his money away from him, I think that is fair grounds to refer to Paypal as a scammer in the present tense.
 

Albino Boo

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w00tage said:
albino boo said:
Yeah dam Paypal for conforming to international bank standards. How dare they apply the anti money laundering and tax evasion laws of the EU, what an evil company.
News flash, bankers are not your happy friendly friends, they just spend some of your money on marketing so you'll feel like they are while you hand over your paycheck, and spend more of your money on laws to protect their money. Those laws are there so the banks can't be sued for possession of dirty money, not so that criminals can be stopped - that's just the cover story.

Logging the transactions for use in any potential investigation is an answer that satisfies all parties - innocent parties are not punished, and law enforcement has their evidence and can get the necessary legal orders to take action. Seizing funds without evidence even temporarily is absolutely bullcrap, and justifying it by saying "it's in the rules" is also bullcrap.

Here's a test case - suppose you start an Internet business to market a safe home medical product and omg- you are successful! Sufferers are ordering products at 10x your anticipated rate and the sales are surging like a tidal wave from there! Woohoo! Time to take that order money and pay the suppliers so you can honor those orders!
So you go to transfer the order money to your business account so you can pay the suppliers to make and ship the parts so you can make the product to fill the orders and WTF PAYPAL FROZE THE ACCOUNT?? Why? Suspicious spike in activity?? A monumental spike in orders is the BEST THING that could happen to your company, and Paypal is going to freeze your payment system the instant it happens?

Best case, your business and your customers are stopped short exactly at the moment of victory for both parties, and you won't be able to resume business for weeks. Worst case, your business is promptly labeled a scam because people paid you for a product and you didn't deliver. And they report you to the BBB, file court claims, etc., and all you can do is say "it's Paypal, they have your money". Which does not fly with the guy who sent YOU the money and has the receipt with your business's email on it to prove it.

So yeah - bad on Paypal. I'm going to rethink the payment system for the business I'm working on. I'm not going with a service that will arbitrarily kneecap my business in its first moment of success - that'd just be stupid.
Hmm lets see has he compiled with the eu directive on charging vat on online sales? Opps no he hasn't, bingo tax fraud. Account frozen. Next case please. If he had the sales that you would normally expect to see from a game that could only be paid by pay pal they wouldn't check. However when large funds are rapidly moving into an account ALL banks are required to, by law, to run checks to discover if money laundering and/or tax evasion is taking place.
In fact in the UK all business are required to comply with anti money laundering legislation.
 

Wesley Helton

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Celtic_Kerr said:
FloodOne said:
What a joke. There needs to be some sort of business edition of paypal. Hopefully the government steps in and gives the money to it's rightful owner.
American Government, won't do shit.

I work for this industry, I understand how it works and a massive spike of sales like this WOULD look incredibly suspicious. I can't doubt Pay Pal's investigation, but the dev SHOULD be getting his money back. Almost guaranteed. They're most running through transactions and matching them up.

The only reason this is so appalling is because of the amount. I have small time business owners gettingh $8000 frozen and THEY freak out.
He lives in Sweden, so there's no telling what might happen. This story just makes me mad. It would take 5 minutes to go the the minecraft.net website and see that it's a legit game that people like and tell their friends about. If there's so much money at stake here, too, you'd think it'd be a little higher on the priority list.
 

samsonguy920

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If I had an online business doing that well, I would be talking to my bank about setting up something, and not using Paypal. Paypal has always smelled fishy to me. I have an account there but never planned to use it for more than an alternative to a debit card for small transactions. Glad I haven't put any money into it.
I am on the hope that this guy is in the right, and if so he needs to be talking to legal authorities pronto. Paypal shouldn't have any right to keep those funds. Reverse them yes, keep them no.
The_root_of_all_evil said:
Lightslei said:
So can anyone explain to me how Paypal's business practice isn't illegal in some form. I'm still scratching my head from having to deal wth them.
AFAICT, & IANAL, but it's pretty standard practice for most monetary institutions. Since Chip/Pin came in, banks (and similar) regularly monitor transactions in case your card/account is being used fraudulently or being used to launder money.

At any time you go past certain spending/donating limits, it will freeze you out so their accountants can do a detailed scan.

We've had people froze out over Christmas, Weddings, Summer Holidays by banks I'm not at liberty to mention - but the advantage of them is you can walk into the nearest place and prove your ID.

With online banking though...

Saying that, I've never had troubles with Paypal/Steam or any other micro-transactions apart from SOE, who ignored my cancellation of MMO fees because my browser crashed. They didn't inform me until months afterwards.
Ouch. So the way I take it they kept deducting the fees until you finally did find out?
Having a physical bank to walk into, and someone that knows you right off can be such an incredible freedom that many take for granted. It's no wonder why ID theft is so bad because the credit cards don't know you or your face, and don't feel as motivated to do anything. Go into your bank and point at something on your statement that shouldn't be there? It will be fixed before lunchtime. At least that is what I have. If you don't(you being any reader of this post), it may be a good time to switch banks.
 

Tich

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Aug 13, 2008
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Cpt. Red said:
"600592 registered users, of which 133537 (22.23%) have bought the game." And the price have been ?9.95 so that's a total of ?1328693.15... A bit more then 750k...
Notch (Perrson) actually withdrew everything from his account every week, but when the sales started spiking his account was limitted, so the 750k that is still on there is simply all the money he couldn't withdraw anymore. Says so in his blog update:

http://notch.tumblr.com/post/1096322756/working-on-a-friday-update-crying-over-paypal
 

Bendoverknowmoore

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Sep 11, 2010
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HELP NOTCH AGAINST PAYPAL GET HIS MILLION $$$$ UNFROZEN --- w w w .paypalfreeze.squarespace. c o m Although Paypal is a name known around the world and boasts over 125 millions accounts less known are their unscrupulous policies and deceptive tactics that would make even the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge look like a amateurish rookies. Billions of dollars held for nefarious reasons for long periods of time typically 180 days! Funds are held for a host of ridiculous reasons and computer screens which do not allow the user the ability to even correct the supposed issues that their funds are frozen to begin with-videos document this. Also documented in a customer phone recording is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to even CLOSE a Paypal account once opened. The site reveals Paypals until now little known ability to remove funds from checking accounts linked to Paypal accounts even after the Paypal account has been closed. Businesses have been shuttered across the USA as what is known as "rolling reserves" strangle businesses to the point of bankruptcy. Who are the real powerhouse players behind the scenes that allow this to growing pandemic? Powerful connections that extend to AG offices across the US and even to the Oval office. Former eBay CEO for one does not want this powerful new website to be viewed by anyone thinking of voting for her. Exposed is the real eBay and the way it's corporate leaders behave including the behavior that lead to the ongoing lawsuit filed by Craiglist against eBay. An amazing source of information about two of America's most well-know companies. The blog launched only a couple of weeks ago and is already being read by viewers in more than 60 countries! A video is scheduled to be released based upon the information in the middle of October. Next month a media blitz titled STOP GLOBAL FREEZING willl launch in New York City and other metro areas to distribute STOP GLOBAL FREEZING bumper stickers and other promo materials. The effort is a well-organized global information campaign put together by victims who were unable to get attention or justice going through the normaal venues that are most often perceived to be therr to support consumers. Example of one such case is Tammy Scott of California who lost over $6000.00, her business, and even her marriage due to the stress caused by Paypal's abusive tactics. She went so far as to expose the deceitful tactics Paypal uses to defraud consumers by telling the merchant credit card processor to accept chargeback claims despite the customers objections!!! Must see material for any person who uses Paypal or sells on eBay. Despite its claims that Paypal insist it is cannot be REGULATED as a bank in the US that is the exact opposite in Europe where it fought tooth and nail insisting it IS a bank for the express reasoin to beat competitor GOOGLE to that huge lucrative market. This is better info and reading than any spy novel that will shock and surprise the average citizen about the way a well-known US corporation is operating right under their nose!
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
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Cpt. Red said:
Serris said:
Cpt. Red said:
"600592 registered users, of which 133537 (22.23%) have bought the game." And the price have been ?9.95 so that's a total of ?1328693.15... A bit more then 750k...
but he clears out his paypal every week, that explains it ;)

OT: and just before this article, I wrote this review here on the escapist looking at why minecraft sold as well as it did:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.231494-A-successful-business-plan-Minecraft#8105154
It wasn't a comment on how much he had in his account but rather at this part:
Andy Chalk said:
One obvious question emerges from Persson's ongoing troubles with PayPal: How the hell does one guy rack up more than three quarters of a million dollars off a single indie game? My first thought was that it had to be a typo, but apparently MineCraft is just a really good game.
ah, but he said "more then". 2 million would still be "more then".

but, every copy of minecraft sells for 10 euro. Persson only gets about half of that due to outlandish swedish taxes and paypal fees. right now 136589 have bought the game, so that's about 682945 euros (well, it's not exactly half that gets lost, and some people may have bought the game while i'm typing this.), but if you convert that to dollar that makes 866,022.06 USD.
so yes, it's a bit more then that, but that is what he said
 

Cpt. Red

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Serris said:
Cpt. Red said:
ah, but he said "more then". 2 million would still be "more then".

but, every copy of minecraft sells for 10 euro. Persson only gets about half of that due to outlandish swedish taxes and paypal fees. right now 136589 have bought the game, so that's about 682945 euros (well, it's not exactly half that gets lost, and some people may have bought the game while i'm typing this.), but if you convert that to dollar that makes 866,022.06 USD.
so yes, it's a bit more then that, but that is what he said
Good point...
But the MOMS(=VAT) is at max 25% and that's nowhere close to the 50% you are talking about but then again there might be some additional taxes I don't know about...

Also sorry if it looked like I was complaining I was just trying to give more details...
 

Celtic_Kerr

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Wesley Helton said:
Celtic_Kerr said:
FloodOne said:
What a joke. There needs to be some sort of business edition of paypal. Hopefully the government steps in and gives the money to it's rightful owner.
American Government, won't do shit.

I work for this industry, I understand how it works and a massive spike of sales like this WOULD look incredibly suspicious. I can't doubt Pay Pal's investigation, but the dev SHOULD be getting his money back. Almost guaranteed. They're most running through transactions and matching them up.

The only reason this is so appalling is because of the amount. I have small time business owners gettingh $8000 frozen and THEY freak out.
He lives in Sweden, so there's no telling what might happen. This story just makes me mad. It would take 5 minutes to go the the minecraft.net website and see that it's a legit game that people like and tell their friends about. If there's so much money at stake here, too, you'd think it'd be a little higher on the priority list.
Ecxept that the industr has the same basic concept worl wide, it's called "Pay Pal's Risk department". They might also be called the fraud department. Think about it, this tiny little Indie game has grossed more per month than ALOT of videogames with intense advertising can do. This looks really suspicious in the business world.

You can take a personal apprach, play the game and asy "Oh! It's really good! no wonder!" and drop it, releasing the funds, but that is NOT why it's the risk department. They don't simply go to a website say "We heard good things abou that game" and drop it. You know why? What if only 1/4 of that money is legitimate? He's been running their credit cards Multiple times? If they take a personal approach, they don't catch that. They are required to look through the transactions and make sure it matches up.

Oh yeah, and you check $750,000 worth of trransactions through bank accounts, credit card establishments and all that, and YOU tell me it doesn't take a few weeks to do. Don't bash the time frame. Trust me, it's a legit time frame
 

Leroy Frederick

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Jan 27, 2009
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Always great to hear indie success stories.

Although overall, this is what I would call a 'Great problem to have!' ;)
 

Fleo Black

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Sep 11, 2010
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Paypal has been fucking with me ever since I sold my first item on Ebay, it was Kyle Petty Hotwheels Racing Jacket back in 2005. Over the years, they froze my account, limited the funds, unwanted transfers, constant verification and re-verification. They even suggest that I close my account and open new ones. Even to this day, I am still fed up with them. There are hundred of other companies that do the same exact thing as Paypal. The cannot legal hold onto his money because they are not a FDIC insured bank. But it is his fault. After fund over 100K, I would have just put in a saving account or put in a U.S. Saving Bond or the stock market.
 

MR.Spartacus

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I've learned to two thing here. Try Minecraft and treat Paypal in the same way as a venereal disease.
 

Joe Deadman

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Fleo Black said:
But it is his fault. After fund over 100K, I would have just put in a saving account or put in a U.S. Saving Bond or the stock market.
He does withdraw the money on a regular basis but this has all built up since his account was limited.
Also he's Swedish and wants to start his own company so I doubt he would want to invest the money in U.S saving bonds :p.

Anyway I hope he gets his monies back I would hate it if something like this happened to me.
 

Albino Boo

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Cpt. Red said:
Good point...
But the MOMS(=VAT) is at max 25% and that's nowhere close to the 50% you are talking about but then again there might be some additional taxes I don't know about...

Also sorry if it looked like I was complaining I was just trying to give more details...
Hes going to be liable for personal tax on what ever is left of after he has paid the 25% vat per sale, in Sweden I think the top rate tax is 55% or there abouts.
 

LightOfDarkness

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Altorin said:
why in all holy hell would you keep 750,000 dollars in your paypal.
His PayPal account was disabled, but people could still buy the game. The 750K is from accumulation over about 2-3 weeks.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
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He says he clears out his paypal account every week?

"Persson noted that he actually clears out his account every week"

Holy fucking shit, how much money does this dude actually have then? sounds like 750k is a drop in the f'ing bucket for him, he might as well tell paypal to shove it up their asses and switch to a direct deposited credit card system.
 

KaiRai

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Jun 2, 2008
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Payapl once froze my account for a week when I bought my car. It was £675. They sent me an e-mail detailing it was "An oddly specific number." OF COURSE IT WAS YOU ASSHOLES! I'D JUST PAID FOR A CAR!

Needless to say they did eventually give in 16 days or so later.
 

TOGSolid

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On one hand, people have told Notch that he had to ditch PayPal ASAP due to how crappy that service is.

On the other hand, PayPal has a bit of a track record when dealing with sums of money more than a hundred bucks. They really shouldn't be trusted for large transactions.
 

Bill_Stanbrook

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Oct 13, 2009
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It's always a good idea to have multiple payment processors as backups in case on of them has issues, and it's also a good idea to have your payment page setup so that you can easily enable and disable links for payment processors on it.
 

Squiggers

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May 10, 2008
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Michael Flick said:
He says he clears out his paypal account every week?

"Persson noted that he actually clears out his account every week"

Holy fucking shit, how much money does this dude actually have then? sounds like 750k is a drop in the f'ing bucket for him, he might as well tell paypal to shove it up their asses and switch to a direct deposited credit card system.
Because of how Paypal works, its generally advisable that you don't keep vast sums in the account connected to your paypal. Mainly as you'll have no end of fun if someone demands a refund (Ebay.. mm.), or if they freeze your account. Hell, i'd clear it out if i was having an income of £100 a week.

The_root_of_all_evil said:
With online banking though...
Paypal isn't technically a bank - due to how its set up, it doesn't have any form of regulation body to keep it in check. Not to mention, Paypal makes substantial interest on the money it has on its books - so, like this $750,000 here. Paypal is making money off that while its on their accounts.

Legally, theres bugger all you can do, as theres no regulation for the type of service that is provided/what Paypal is. Anywhere. Which is deeply concerning.

I'd suggest an alternative, such as google checkout for example. I've yet to start properly using paypal, but I suspect i'd begin to have issues as an indie developer due to income spikes. Although most probably nowhere near the levels that Notch has seen.
 

SimuLord

Whom Gods Annoy
Aug 20, 2008
10,077
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Paypal remains a constant source of headaches and fraud on the Internet. It's a wonder anyone bothers with it anymore.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
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A Pious Cultist said:
I'm honestly suprised he hasnt got his own purchasing interface up at this point, stuff that's far smaller in scale have them but this huge phenomena is still going through Paypal?
because it's only just become a big phenomena
 

Tony2077

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i only have 5$ in mine and its limited i need to confirm my location but my photo id is in the mail somewhere and the other thing i have no idea what would work
 

De Ronneman

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Altorin said:
why in all holy hell would you keep 750,000 dollars in your paypal.
Read the article, it's one weeks revenues.

But seriously, how awesome must that game be to make 750k in one week?
 

The Random One

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Squiggers said:
Paypal isn't technically a bank - due to how its set up, it doesn't have any form of regulation body to keep it in check. Not to mention, Paypal makes substantial interest on the money it has on its books - so, like this $750,000 here. Paypal is making money off that while its on their accounts.
Not to mention that, if you read the terms of service, they keep all the money they have in bank accounts and keep the interests. So if a bunch of people leave ten bucks in their accounts for a long time they make money off just keeping them.

I never had any problems with Paypal but I only use it to pay. It's probably better to use only for microtransactions. If you're making 750K a week you can pay more to use a better service.

I'll also comment that if Minecraft is the game I'm thinking of I tried the demo and found it utterly drab. Do notice that I'm not some ADD-addled idiot, I just found it to be a tamer, more colourful Dwarf Fortress. Which speaking of Paypal I need to give money to.
 

Zing

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Minecraft is great if you're a neckbeard with a lot of time to waste. Gotta congratulate him on his success though...hope he gets his money.
 

Thaius

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Straying Bullet said:
Cpt. Red said:
"600592 registered users, of which 133537 (22.23%) have bought the game." And the price have been ?9.95 so that's a total of ?1328693.15... A bit more then 750k...
Jesus, I wouldn't want to invest that money into a company. Just invest it into something else, generate more revenue so you can realize more dreams.
If your dream is to make games, that makes perfect sense. Heck, it's what I'd so. Well, a new car, a PS3, then split it evenly between college loans and money for my next game. Close enough.
 

Swifteye

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Altorin said:
why in all holy hell would you keep 750,000 dollars in your paypal.
Oh you didn't read the whole article did you? He empties the money in paypal weekly however there was a unexpected spike in sales.
 

Sneaky Paladin

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Jan 21, 2009
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I love Minecraft. Infact I reviewed it on this site once but anyway. I can't beleive how unfair this is. He made all this money as a bedroom programmer alone and now he may lose it all. And worse even Paypal gets to keep it then. I hope they figure out he just made a really good game is all.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
0
0
Ironic Pirate said:
What exactly is Minecraft? I've heard lots about it...

part LEGO, part crack.

http://www.minecraft.net/


OT: that sucks, but I smell a lawsuit should pay-pal decide they get to keep the money.
 

Quaxar

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Sep 21, 2009
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Well, looks like Paypal and he won't be
*puts on sunglasses*
pals anymore.
YEEEAAAAAH!

I'm sorry, overused meme and everything. But this is weird. Can't he... tell Paypal that he's using the account for big business money transfers?
 

dawdarsd

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Aug 16, 2010
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the explanation why they took the money should be this
paypal guy:hey some kid just made 750k off an addicting indie videogame that was made with cheap resources
paypal guy 2:hey this asshole isn't donating his hard earned money, let's steal everything he owns and say it's clasified
paypal guy: this is the most awesome idea we ever though of thanks!
one hour later
minecraft creator:why are you taking all my money away from me?
paypal guy: it's clasified, but we probably will go rob some video game companies next, because they use millions on video games then instead of giving away the money to africa like we planned to, we are gonna take over the world k?
my op they're downright retarded
 

fanklok

Legendary Table User
Jul 17, 2009
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Clearly he couldn't have been selling a game he must be taking bribes and dealing drugs to childrens hence Paypal rightfully freezing his account, we can't let this fiend access his drug and bribe money it should all go to Paypal so they can continue to stop such evil doers.
 

Bulit523

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Aug 10, 2010
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I, until recently, worked in the credit card industry. You cannot even begin to believe the number of Paypal complaints we received. Like any company involved in "banking", their main goal is to hold onto the money as long as possible. They earn interest on it by investing it. They saw an opportunity to hold over $700,000, thus earning TONS of interest on it. They will give it back, but only when they've milked it for every 1/2 penny they can. I'd like to say stop using Paypal for this practice, but really this is common practice. Why do you think banks hold deposits for a day or two before entering them to your accounts?
 

LeQuack_Is_Back

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May 25, 2009
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Nice job PayPal. We'll see how smug you are about it when people start avoiding you because of crap like this.
 

TraderJimmy

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Apr 17, 2010
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albino boo said:
Yeah dam Paypal for conforming to international bank standards. How dare they apply the anti money laundering and tax evasion laws of the EU, what an evil company.
Ha, +1.

I get that this is irritating (Slight understatement :p), but this is to prevent money laundering. There's nothing dubious about it.
 

Vrach

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Jun 17, 2010
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PayPal are a bunch of fuckwits. I'm surprised he didn't think of switching to a more trusted company. Really rooting for the guy here, hope he gets his cash back and hopefully sues their asses off to boot.

Andy Chalk said:
One obvious question emerges from Persson's ongoing troubles with PayPal: How the hell does one guy rack up more than three quarters of a million dollars off a single indie game?
The better question is how the hell does one guy rack up more than three quarters of a million dollars off a single indie game within a single week - considering he said he clears the account weekly. Even if that was one major sale spike, 40k units sold in a single week? Wow is all I can say :)
 

ViciousTide

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Aug 5, 2011
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He could just Sue, then sue for damages, then sue for the loss of potential profits.
Paypal takes 3% of all transcations, even donations. Those Greedy...