Something about Pokémon Go brings out the entrepreneur within its players.
Some players are selling their accounts filled with very powerful Pokémon, specific items, and hard-to-find Pokémon on eBay. One player managed to get a winning bid of almost $10,000 for an account that met all of those criteria.
The Guardian notes in its report on these auctions that buying or selling accounts is against Pokémon Go’s terms of service and could lead game-maker Niantic Labs to ban players.
Here’s the relevant bit from the Pokémon Go terms of service:
USER RIGHTS AND RESTRICTIONS. These Terms grant permission to you, in your individual capacity, to use the content of Service made available to you for personal, noncommercial home use only. In no instance may you:
viii) Use any Service for the benefit of any third party or transfer access to the Services to any third party;
(ix) Use the Service or content for commercial purposes, including, but not limited to: (a) selling access to all or part of the Service; or (b) placing advertising, sponsorships, or promotions on or within the Service or content;
But that’s unlikely to stop people from trading accounts like this. Ban-worthy tools have become popular, especially if they let people trick Pokémon Go into thinking they’re somewhere they’re not.
The game has also inspired some people to run little side businesses. Take PokéWalk, for instance, which lets busy Pokémon trainers pay someone to take their phone and catch Pokémon for them so they don’t have to.
Others have offered to train someone’s Pokémon for $20 an hour. But at least some of those people have given up for fear of being banned from Pokémon Go if Niantic finds out that they’ve been playing the game in exchange for money.
The people selling their accounts don’t have to worry about that much — they’re already done with ‘em. It’s the people spending thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars who ought to be worried. You don’t want to spend that kind of cash just to have your sweet, sweet Pokémon taken away once Niantic learns of the sale.