PayPal Freezes $750K in MineCraft Dev's Account

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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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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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

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Nov 12, 2002
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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

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Aug 20, 2008
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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

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Nov 12, 2002
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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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Dec 19, 2007
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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