The number of World of Warcraft accounts that developer Blizzard banned in June has reached about 59,000, according to a Blizzard employee's post on the game's official message boards. More than 22 million gold--the game economy's currency--has been plucked from all the realms, the representative added.
The user accounts that were banned had violated World of Warcraft's end-user agreement. Among other restrictions, it prohibits the use of third-party programs to "farm" gold and items--a practice that lets characters acquire gold and equipment through self-running computer programs.
"Such behavior not only negatively impacts the economy of a realm, it diminishes the achievements of those who play legitimately," the representative said. "We will continue to aggressively monitor all World of Warcraft realms in order to protect the service and our players from the harmful effects of cheating."
Blizzard urged those who traverse the fields of Azeroth to report suspicious activity to the company.
A fellow maker of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, Square Enix, recently announced similar account bans, albeit in much smaller numbers. After cracking-down on 250 Final Fantasy XI users in June, the company handed down 2,000 bans and suspensions this month.