Gamasutra reports that a 29-year-old British man has been convicted of hacking into Zynga's game servers and helping himself to 400 billion virtual poker chips. "'The defendant sold around one third of the 400 billion poker chips, and looking at the auction history where one can purchase such items, he was selling them for around £430 ($695) per billion,' said prosecutor Gareth Evans, according to a report from local newspaper Herald Express. Sold legitimately through Zynga, the full amount of chips would have brought in some $12 million. The prosecutor estimated that if Mitchell sold all of the virtual chips on the black market, he would have made a fraction of that, around £184,000 ($297,000). Evans admitted that valuing virtual currency can be difficult and that the company was not actually deprived of tangible goods, but he said that the theft could still affect the developer by indirectly causing legitimate online gamers to stop playing Zynga Poker or its other games."
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