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World Of Warcraft Purges Thousands Of Cheaters

Blizzard Entertainment Inc., maker of the massive online game "World of Warcraft," purged thousands of players' accounts this week for cheating.

The online fantasy game, which boasts more than five million subscription-paying customers, has been plagued with players, and even massive marketplaces, selling in-game objects, including characters and gold, for real-world money. Unlike other online, multi-player games, World of Warcraft bans the practice of trading virtual items for real dollars.

Some games in fact, such as Sony Online Entertainment's Everquest II, have established officially sanctioned marketplaces where players can buy and sell game goods.

The company banned more than 5,400 players and suspended 10,700 more for breaking those rules.

According to Blizzard, many of the banned players were using third-party software to "farm" the game's gold and other items. "Such actions can severely impact the economy of a realm and the overall game enjoyment for all players," Blizzard said in a statement issued Wednesday.

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