PayPal Freezes $750K in MineCraft Dev's Account

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PayPal Freezes $750K in MineCraft Dev's Account

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The creator of MineCraft 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.

"Paypal. On the 25th, they limited my account for unspecified reasons (a suspicious withdrawal or deposit! wow, thank you for that amazingly detailed information), and asked me for a bunch of vague documents. I did my best to give them what they asked for," he wrote on his blog. "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 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 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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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 wonder if the speed in witch it grew drew questions or maybe suddonly the amount each person was putting in increased.

why in all holy hell would you keep 750,000 dollars in your paypal.

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.

"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:
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.

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.

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?

What exactly is Minecraft? I've heard lots about it...

Sounds like Paypal just made 750,000 dollars.

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

Altorin:
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."

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

FloodOne:
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.

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...

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Altorin:
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.

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"

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.

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.

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.

Nice smear campaign, you, paying pal.

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.

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.

I always preferred the wire transfer of money.

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.

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.

Cpt. Red:
"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.

FloodOne:
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.

Lightslei:
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.

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....

FloodOne:
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.

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