With the beta test for new World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King now underway, access keys given out by Blizzard at its fan conventions are changing hands for large sums of money on eBay.
The record price paid on eBay's UK site so far is GBP 513 - that's EUR 652, or an astonishing USD 1,021.
This may have been a one-off, but keys are regularly changing hands for between GBP 150 and GBP 300.
Beta keys obtained in the normal manner, by opting in to the test on the official website, cannot be sold - they're attached to the account of the player who registered.
But the keys given out on scratch-cards at the Blizzard Worwide Invitational event in Paris in June, and BlizzCon 2007 in Los Angeles last August, have no such restrictions. It's these that are changing hands for serious cash. Originally billed as beta keys "for an upcoming Blizzard title", Blizzard only announced that these would work for the Lich King beta once it had started.
WWI keys seem to be selling at a particular premium, perhaps because they also come with an access code for an exclusive Diablo III-themed vanity pet, Tyrael.
It's still possible to opt in to the beta test via the accounts page on the official WOW site, but access is not guaranteed. If you absolutely must play Lich King now, there's only one thing for it: check your bank balance, get out your wallet and head over to eBay.