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Thread: PTCGO Account on Ebay

  1. #1

    PTCGO Account on Ebay

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pokemon-TCG-...item41628127f7

    I was trolling Ebay for Mewtwos (won't buy them for the prices they're at) when I saw this. Someone selling their PTCGO account for 30$ which has a couple Mewtwo in it. It might be worth it considering how many codes you'd need to buy to get those cards.

    PTCGO has been a heated topic for discussion over the past few months. There have been several threads about several issues. One of which was an issue a while back with players trying to sell online cards and not being allowed to (players would be banned if caught doing this). The backlash by players was pretty harsh.

    Now seeing this come up again, I wonder: Will a black market develop for buying/selling online cards? Considering that the game developers can't even fix bugs, do they have time to police this issue? Also, does selling an entire account count as breaking the rules of the game? (Do we 'own' our account even if we don't own the digital property therein?)
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  2. #2
    Probably not, most online videogame companies have gone the route of saying that they own everything about your account, even if you paid for access to digital content.
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  3. #3
    There is no doubt that a black market will exist for PTCGO cards and it already does exist, though demand for virtual cards has sharply fallen due to the failures of the game and the lack of information regarding the development of the game. The policy of PTCGO to not allow the selling of singles hinders the growth of the game. Part of the reason Magic Online does so well are that cards can be bought & sold in a free market. This gives players more incentive to play- afterall, they can win cards that are actually worth something.

    One very scary element of PUI's policy is that even trading online cards for anything other than other online cards is forbidden! What does that mean? It means that if you trade your friend your virtual Emboar for a real Emboar, you've broken the rules. Punishment for doing so? Suspension or banning of your account. That's right: you are not allowed to trade your online Pokemon Trading Cards for real Pokemon Trading Cards.

    When this policy was posted on the PTCGO Support boards, players (including myself) made it clear that we did not like it. PUI's Moderators (anonymous strangers from an undisclosed location) gave two reasons for this policy:

    1) Players could scam others by simply not sending the cards. (This was very professionally titled as "People can suck.")

    The Moderator explained that PUI would have no way to get involved in these disputes. Of course, this argument holds no water. It's 2012. We all know we choose who we buy from. Feedback on sites like eBay allow us to be confident we will receive the item we paid for.

    2) The gem program.

    It was announced that in November 2011, a new system of gems would be unveiled. How would gems work? Well, you could buy gems, which could then be redeemed for digital items to decorate your avatar with. But not just that, you were allowed to trade the gems too! What's PUI's brilliant plan? That people buy gems to trade for single cards, further increasing their profits as they now control the secondary market as well.

    Of course, there's a big problem with this. Who wants gems? No one is going to spend money on silly items to decorate their avatar. Those of you that have played played PTCGO know that you sometimes get a code card in certain tins/packages of cards that redeems avatar items. These code cards are worth nothing. If you don't believe me, try trading your Liepard hat on PTCGO and see what you can get for it.

    Of course, it's now February 2012, and we still haven't even seen gems.

    For those still interested in reading the original thread, it is available here.

    Though it was not written that gems could be, I speculated that gems might also be redeemable as tournament entry fees. If that were the case, PTCGO would be on the right track. Say you could buy gems for $1 each. Tournaments run daily, with buyins ranging from 1-5 gems. These tournaments award virtual booster packs to the winners. The higher buy-in tournaments would award more virtual boosters. Would that be a good system? Would PTCGO prosper under this system?

    The answer is no. Sure, tournaments would be fun at first - just like the initial boom of the PTCGO was fun, but what would ultimately end up happening is that people would grow tired of spending money on gems to win more and more online cards that have no value. Afterall, what the heck are you going to do when you acquire a 15th Typhlosion Prime?

    So what does PTCGO need to draw interest and to get people to spend money? The answer is give real prizes, things that have monetary value. PTCGO Boosters & digital singles have no value because they cannot be sold. If there were real prizes, things like real boosters, invites to exclusive tournaments, playmats, etc. players would be eager to spend money playing in online tournaments.

    Another simple solution? Remove the ban on the sale of online cards. If you remove this ban, virtual boosters can be given as legitimate prizes in tournaments. If the sale of these virtual cards was allowed in the free market, PTCGO could host tournaments for real money, yet give no real prizes. Players would be content earning digital prizes as those cards could be sold for cash. The buyer is happy because he can play PTCGO with his newly purchased cards. PUI is happy because those digital prizes cost them nothing - the tournament entry fees are pure profit!

    This is not a difficult system to fix. It takes a very basic understanding of economics. I hope those of you that agree with me will let your voices be heard so that we can eventually enjoy what is a game with nearly limitless potential.
    Last edited by Ness; 02/20/2012 at 01:04 AM.
    Jason Klaczynski
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  4. #4
    hear hear! the online (and as such, potentially the entire) future of pokemon may hinge on whether they allow cards to be sold. To not do so would be short-sighted and foolish, to say nothing of the somewhat expected greed, on their part.
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  5. #5
    Ness, people spend real money on fake things all the time, an extreme example is Team Fortress 2 and hats. Team Fortress 2 is free to play, very much like PTCGO, but there are things you can buy with real money. PTCGO hasn't evolved this far, but the secondary market for codes shows that people are willing to shell out money for something they essentially do not own. The free to play model has existed forever, Neopets was one of the first and is still very prominent, League of Legends is a more recent and very popular example, and neither game offers real world rewards yet have a very sizable player base. You had me going and agreeing with you until here:

    The answer is no. Sure, tournaments would be fun at first - just like the initial boom of the PTCGO was fun, but what would ultimately end up happening is that people would grow tired of spending money on gems to win more and more online cards that have no value. Afterall, what the heck are you going to do when you acquire a 15th Typhlosion Prime?.

    So what does PTCGO need to draw interest and to get people to spend money? The answer is give real prizes, things that have monetary value. PTCGO Boosters & digital singles have no value because they cannot be sold.
    There is a long history of games that offer no substantial real world reward from purchasing anything from hats to an actual playable character. The tournaments and buy-ins would likely thrive even without real world reward. Granted there is a secondary market for TF2 hats which helps drive prices up on certain items, but Pokemon likely wants to maintain a friendly environment by restricting the sale of its virtual items. But my point stands, people will play in these tournaments because they have a chance to make some value back in their money. We also have to remember this is still a "beta" who knows where the program goes from here, they could likely be creating a better system for trading, selling, etc behind closed doors while we toy with the basic functionality. I feel like people have gotten very demanding over what is literally a beta test to test their program, there are plenty of games that have user betas, PTCGO just happens to be going for a very extended period of time.

  6. #6
    Honestly, I wouldn't mind if PTCGO put a system in place where people are allowed to sell their cards in an official PTCGO Marketplace. That way, it still would be a safe environment, and TCPi can make money by setting up a fee for every sale. I'm sure that wouldn't be a simple thing to instate, but it sure would help to avoid a lot of problems.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka View Post
    Honestly, I wouldn't mind if PTCGO put a system in place where people are allowed to sell their cards in an official PTCGO Marketplace. That way, it still would be a safe environment, and TCPi can make money by setting up a fee for every sale. I'm sure that wouldn't be a simple thing to instate, but it sure would help to avoid a lot of problems.
    If you're suggesting this would be the only allowed way to sell cards, that would end up just being an insult to the players. That's PUI saying "Okay, you pay money for your code cards to get online cards. Then, if you wanna sell your online cards, you can only sell them if you give us a cut." I wouldn't mind an online marketplace like this as a supplement to the free market, so that those who want to use it can, but I definitely don't like this as the only allowed method.

    Ironically, PUI's best bet for making money is to leave PTCGO's secondary market (the sale of single cards) completely untouched. This ability to sell cards will stimulate growth in the game and draw interest. When tournaments roll around, people will actually pay to play in them, knowing what they win will have real cash value, even it is more virtual cards. The end result is that anything short of a completely free market for PTCGO cards hurts everyone. It hurts the people who want to sell their cards, the people who want to buy their cards, and believe it or not, it even hurts PUI because allowing such a marketplace would give the game unprecedented growth.

    Oh, and btw, regarding that an online marketplace wouldn't be simple: Yeah, when you're working with an incompetent developing staff, maybe. The staff hired to design the first PTCGO needed to be fired a long time ago - and I believe they may have been. We get so few details I don't even know who is working on what.

    Quote Originally Posted by makiri View Post
    Ness, people spend real money on fake things all the time, an extreme example is Team Fortress 2 and hats. Team Fortress 2 is free to play, very much like PTCGO, but there are things you can buy with real money. PTCGO hasn't evolved this far, but the secondary market for codes shows that people are willing to shell out money for something they essentially do not own. The free to play model has existed forever, Neopets was one of the first and is still very prominent, League of Legends is a more recent and very popular example, and neither game offers real world rewards yet have a very sizable player base. You had me going and agreeing with you until here:
    I knew this was going to come up and I decided I'd let someone bring it up before I further explained the need for real prizes. Of course, people will still spend some money to play games. There's countless examples. But how much money will they spend?

    Right now, the only way PTCGO makes money is by encouraging the purchase of more booster packs as they are the only way to acquire code cards. Unfortunately, the game's failures have resulted in a surplus of code cards on eBay and TrollandToad, with the price falling back to 49˘ on T&T, their lowest point in six months. When that happens, PTCGO quits making money. No one buys booster boxes to acquire code cards because there are so many of them available dirt cheap.

    However, there's another way PTCGO can make money, and that is by charging for tournaments. And yes, you're right, some people would pay money to enter these tournaments. But I promise you they won't pay much if your only prizes are gems that can only be used to decorate your avatar or at best enter more tournaments. If your prizes are virtual boosters that can never be sold, that doesn't work either. This is where common sense & economics come in. If you want people to spend money, give them an incentive: real prizes. You'll see the price of code cards again rise, which then will stimulate more purchases of booster packs. Players will be eager to purchase gems (or whatever is necessary) to enter tournaments to win prizes. PUI will make money, the players will have fun, and new players will have easy access to cards in the secondary market.
    Last edited by Ness; 02/20/2012 at 01:45 AM.
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  8. #8
    Ness, go look at the various thousands of Zynga games. LMK when you see a "real" prize in those games. I'd say they're doing pretty durn well for themselves, wouldn't you?
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bullados View Post
    Ness, go look at the various thousands of Zynga games. LMK when you see a "real" prize in those games. I'd say they're doing pretty durn well for themselves, wouldn't you?
    I don't really think that's a fair comparison, as you can play Zynga games without shelling out any money. The real money stuff is just supplemental and has a very small amount of effect on gameplay. With PTCGO, a significant monetary investment is required for the game to be even remotely fun.

    A more accurate comparison would be the hypothetical scenario in which one cannot buy or sell cards. With this, consumers have either two choices: spend an unreasonable amount on booster packs or spend untold hours trying to trade for key cards. One requires a significant monetary investment, the other a significant time investment. Can you imagine trying to pull in packs/trade for Mewtwo EXs/Magnezone Prime/key card of the moment? Most people don't have the money or time for this, so it's a much more efficient route to just buy the cards off the secondary market. If they could not do this, many of them would most likely not buy ANY cards because it was impractical for them to try and build a competitive deck.

    One argument against this is that it will sell less packs. Regardless of if the card is bought off the secondary market or pulled in a pack, someone still bought that pack and opened it. For example, Troll and Toad has hundreds upon hundreds of each and every card from the new set, save for the EXs. That takes a LOT of packs to do. It doesn't matter to Pokemon who buys the packs or where they get sold, just that they got sold out of their distribution system.


    TL;DR version: It takes a significant investment to play PTCGO; a secondary market makes it easier to play PTCGO to its full potential; someone still has to buy the packs/packs that contain the code cards, doesn't really matter who.

  10. #10
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    I dunno, even if you go through say ebay to sell your online cards, you're still paying a listing fee to ebay and likely a paypal fee to collect money on sales too (though I dunno about the paypal part since I've only ever bought and not sold), so either way you pay a fee; what's so wrong with buying/selling through PTCGO in that regard then if they take their fee over ebay listing fees and such? Pretty much pick your poison, and it's probably the same with many other sites too...granted that isn't relevant to trading in person or buy/sell over say these forums, but still.

    That being said I haven't ever played on the PTCGO myself, heck I never buy boosters anyways these days when it's a lot easier to shop for actual singles you need. Not gonna waste a lot of money opening boosters for a few cards I need like Catcher when I can hop online and spend about the same money (or less) for the cards I need.
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  11. #11
    One very sad aspect of this policy is that through months of uploading codes & trading for cards, I would have been able to sell people complete decks for about $30-40. For about $150, I could probably have given everyone a playset of every single playable card from every set. They would never need to upload a single code or spend a minute trading. I would have done all the work for them.

    Because of the time I spent on PTCGO, I learned the most efficient way to trade for each of the playable cards. I learned how to acquire each card while giving up as little as possible. That means I could then sell the playable cards to you cheaper than it would have cost you to buy codes & do the trading yourself, and still come out slightly ahead myself.

    You win because you save time & money by buying from me. The other person I traded cards with got something they wanted too. The vendors/stores make money because I bought the codes from them. PUI makes money because the stores have to buy booster boxes to get the codes. Everyone wins with a free PTCGO market. Instead, we're left with a policy that doesn't make sense, that hinders the game, that discourages new players from entering & spending money.

    Before we go any further, let's first hope PTCGO begins working properly. Then, we can set our eye on fixing this counterproductive policy.
    Last edited by Ness; 02/21/2012 at 07:34 PM.
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  12. #12
    I'll be interested in using gems to better my avatar once they make a bikini outfit.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ness View Post
    One very sad aspect of this policy is that through months of uploading codes & trading for cards, I would have been able to sell people complete decks for about $30-40. For about $150, I could probably have given everyone a playset of every single playable card from every set. They would never need to upload a single code or spend a minute trading. I would have done all the work for them.

    Because of the time I spent on PTCGO, I learned the most efficient way to trade for each of the playable cards. I learned how to acquire each card while giving up as little as possible. That means I could then sell the playable cards to you cheaper than it would have cost you to buy codes & do the trading yourself, and still come out slightly ahead myself.

    You win because you save time & money by buying from me. The other person I traded cards with got something they wanted too. The vendors/stores make money because I bought the codes from them. PUI makes money because the stores have to buy booster boxes to get the codes. Everyone wins with a free PTCGO market. Instead, we're left with a policy that doesn't make sense, that hinders the game, that discourages new players from entering & spending money.

    Before we go any further, let's first hope PTCGO begins working properly. Then, we can set our eye on fixing this counterproductive policy.
    And if anyone is offended by one person making a little money thanks to PTCGO, keep in mind that a freer PTCGO market means that more people will compete with Ness over that market, thereby making individual cards even more affordable, and even easier to get. The policy makes little sense, and is another reason why I personally am not interested in pursuing PTCGO (I encourage everyone else who's interested to play, though).


    As for the topic question, the seller was unwise to advertise it as selling his/her account, since it's tied to a MyPokemon. Even if there wasn't a de facto ban on selling individual cards, this is still something you couldn't (and shouldn't) do.
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  14. #14
    Once you are able to trade with specified users it will be impossible for pokemon to efficiently enforce a ban.

    Right now I would think the issue of trading being broken/ unenforceable/ difficult/ abused / scammed is secondary to actually getting the game functioning well enough that it can leave beta.

  15. #15
    Its an issue of liquidity. People want to be able to have the capacity to turn the things they own into cash if they need their cash for some reason. We can sell codes but not the cards within PTCGO once those codes have been realized? Does that make sense?

    Basically it seems like Nintendo is so concerned with the liability they're taking on with the possibility of people reneging on trades and having to arbitrate everything that they're willing to pretty much destroy an incredible amount of value for the players on PTCGO by revoking their ability to buy and sell cards for cash. On its face it just seems to be like a short-sighted way of avoiding a headache. Once you dig deeper you realize that it assures the failure of PTCGO. Nobody would allow themselves to have substantial collections on PTCGO that couldn't be monetized.

  16. #16
    IF they set up something in-game like Diablo 3, then it'd probably be alright, right?
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