Rumors claim that a staffer was selling virtual gold coins and buildings for use in Ultima Online on the eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY) auction site for several hundreds of dollars. Since being accused of wrongdoing, the employee in question has been fired.
GameSpot News contacted Origin representative David Swofford to inquire about the rumors surrounding the now ex-employee's activities, but the representative declined comment, stating that, "since this is a personnel matter, no more can be said [by Origin]."
In a statement, Origin says that it will take actions to monitor support-staff activity. For those concerned about anonymity, Origin also posted an e-mail address (email@example.com) for those wishing to report questionable activities.
Regardless of the ex-employee's activities, Swofford said that Origin still has "all the faith and confidence" in its support staff.
So it looks like crime doesn't pay, not even in Britannia.
eBay is a hot bed of Ultima Online auctions. A large brick mining house created by an Ultima fan currently has a high bid of $255. Smaller items such as weapons and gold go for tens of dollars.
Here's a repost of Origin's statement:
On Thursday, June 24th, Origin Systems (OSI) was alerted to the possible misconduct of an individual employed within the GM Support Department. Upon investigation, OSI found reason to believe that this employee was engaging in activities that breached the trust that must exist between a company, its employees, and its customers. The decision by OSI management in this case was immediate dismissal. All actions that are taken by members of our support staff are logged and monitored, and we investigate all reports of GM misbehavior that we receive. We are grateful to players who bring these incidents to our attention, as these reports are used to ensure that OSI representatives are providing the best possible service at all times. If you believe that a GM or any OSI representative is behaving in anything less than the highest standard of service, we ask you to please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your issue. Only the most senior representatives of our support staff read this mailbox, and we assure you that your issue will be thoroughly investigated. We take our responsibility to our customers very seriously, and we will not allow anyone - staff or otherwise - to abuse our service or our customers.