Article published on Monday, August 16th, 2010
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Ever thought about starting your own private server for a MMO and getting filthy rich from it? Well... think twice before you do it!

On August 10th 2010, California Judge Stephen V. Wilson made his final judgement and ordered Alyson Reeves (a 34 year old mother of 3) to pay Blizzard $88,594,539.00 ($3,052,339 in disgorged profits, $85,478,600 in statutory damages and $63,600 in attorney fees)., the website that Alyson was running made 3 million dollars from its World of Warcraft private servers by including microtransactions in the game. She ran her business like a free-to-play game by selling in-game items to the players that funded her criminal empire. Alyson was ordered to pay Blizzard back at the rate provided by law until all $88 million is paid back.

(Photo of Alyson Reeves)

Even with this devastating news, new private servers of WoW continue to be shared everyday. One particular site that shares them is which lists many successful private servers of WoW and other online games. There are also gaming communities dedicated to learning about running private servers on the web. Like the music industry, it looks piracy cannot be stopped and lawsuits are only being thrown at the ones who get too big.