Blizzard Entertainment has permanently banned more than one thousand users from its massively multiplayer World of Warcraft title after an investigation into "gold farming".
An investigation into gold farming, which involves collecting large amounts of gold and selling it to other individuals in exchange for real world currency, has been going on for several weeks.
In a posting on the game's official forum, in-game support manager Maleki said Blizzard has "issued permanent suspensions to over one thousand accounts that have been engaging in this practice".
"We do not condone such actions and will take decisive action as they are against our policy and damage the game economy as a whole. We will continue researching this matter.
"If you suspect someone of taking part in said gold farming, please email the report to firstname.lastname@example.org," he added.
Since the game launched in the US last November, Blizzard has been firm in its apparent zero tolerance policy on cheaters, suspending a large number of accounts for a variety of reasons and encouraging users to report anybody suspected of hacking or cheating the game in various ways.
Speaking last year prior to release, the game's producer Chris Sigaty said that cheaters would be identified and dealt with, but added that the developer was willing to acknowledge grey areas where quirks of the game gave out an unfair advantage and would deal with those without penalising players for discovering them.