Selling in-game accounts to other gamers


I wanted to know if it is permissible for gamers to sell their gaming accounts and other in-game benefits to other gamers. The more a person plays a particular playstation game they start to unlock different features. They earn points, upgrades, unlock maps etc. Once they have developed their account they then sell their user account to other gamers.

If we take the game fortnite as an example which is developed by Epic games. Their End User license agreement mentions that:

“Epic grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable limited right and license to install and use the Software on compatible devices you own or control for your personal entertainment use (the “License”)”.

From the above it seems that when you purchase a game you don’t actually become the owner of anything. Rather it is just a license to play the game, use the software etc. Also, even though there are references to purchasing some in-game items they clearly state that in reality its just a license which they are giving. They state:

*Regardless of any references Epic may make outside this Agreement to purchasing or selling Game Currency or Content, both Game Currency and Content are licensed, not sold, to you under the License”

From the above we understand that the agreement between the customer and the owner Epic, is a license agreement to utilise the software. The customer does not become the owner of the game or any in-game items. This then means that the sale of in-game items, by the customer to a third party should also be invalid as they are not the owner of the item and are selling something which they do not own.

Is this understanding correct or is there another way of looking at this. From what I understand the customer is paying for a license to use the software (ijarah) and anything created on that software belongs to the developer and not the gamer. If they were to sell the license that would be a different discussion but here they retain the license and just sell the entire account they have created along with the email account they use for that account.

Could we also look at it in this way that its the email account which is actually being sold to another gamer and they are just given access to the features through that account. Therefore you are not actually selling any aspects of the game.

This is in addition to the point that selling an account goes against the terms of use.

Assalaamu alaykum,

Playing such games and being a gamer is not a productive endeavour in real terms. Yes, people make money from it and monetize this, but the core essence and nature of this industry when it is done with indulgence is not praiseworthy. There are plenty of reports online on the dangers of gaming addiction for kids and how it impacts their attention and concentration spans. That being said, games can be shariah compliant depending on what they are.

Going to what you said, if it is illegal to sell something, you cannot do it in Shariah and it cannot be accepted. You are breaching your terms which you have accepted.

If it was legal and you were granting some rights or access, you could consider it as an assignment of some sort or a sale of rights from a Shariah perspective. However, such games are purely for entertainment and very little benefit is gained if any from such games. They are past times. Playing once in a while or with friends and family occasionally is fine as a social networking and socialising tool, but habitually engaging in it is a waste of precious time.

Allah knows best

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