‘Pokémon Go’ new users willing to pay for shortcuts to advance

Exploding interest in “Pokémon Go” is tempting experienced players to cash in by selling their high-powered game accounts.

As with many videogames, “Pokémon Go” players start with limited power, building up over time as they progress. Some players prefer a shortcut from newbie to advanced status, and others are eager to sell them the access.

Dozens of advertisements pitching the chance to start “Pokémon Go” at an advanced level can be found on bulletin-board services like Craigslist, as well as eBay Inc. EBAY and other online marketplaces.

Hieu Huynh of Silver Spring, Md., said he paid $100 last week for a level 12 account.

The 21-year-old college sophomore said he wanted to catch up to friends who had more free time to travel to “PokéStops,” the real-world locations where players acquire free in-game items.

“I can’t catch the good Pokémon,” he said. “I don’t have time to go that far.”

“Pokémon Go” has become a global sensation since it launched July 6 in the U.S.

Jackson Wares, who spent roughly 15 hours collecting more than 50 Pokémon and 300 in-game items, on Friday sold the Google account that he used to log into the game for $50.

Wares joined a two-decade-old market where gamers peddle souped-up characters and hoards of treasure to players looking for an edge. There is scant reliable data, but Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter estimates global annual sales of more than $1 billion.

People who buy their way to success can risk turning off other gamers.

“It’s just dishonorable,” said Paul Wareheim, a 31-year-old electrical engineer from St. Louis. “They didn’t earn that top tier.”

Source: Market Watch

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