PayPal Freezes $750K in MineCraft Dev's Account

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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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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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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