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Account Deletion


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I haven't seen a lot of games that allow account deletion, but it is requested from time to time.

I am not really against it, but it does leave some questions of what should happen to the data connected to other players? Mainly I am thinking of forums and private messaging. But there could also be things like previous owner list for a pets history and probably others I haven't thought of.

My games don't currently have a built in delete feature. I think if I did I would handle similar to a frozen account removing data but keeping the connections for old forum posts especially.

Has anyone specifically chosen to allow account deletion? How have you decided to handle the deletion? 

Has anyone chosen not to allow account deletion? How do you handle peoples request to delete an account?

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Maybe instead of account "deletion" something more like account "closure". So the data in various places will still exist, it just won't be accessible? Unless the purpose of wanting to delete an account to remove all trace of the person from a site (which, as you've noted, affect more than just the user's personal page of pets).

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While not there yet, I plan to allow account deletion on my sites. Basically it would delete only that user, and whatever pets they own would be sen to the pound. Private messages wouldn't be affected, since if a receiving user (or the sender) no longer exists then it would say "From: [deleted user]" or something along those lines. Any forum posts and other data would stay as well. Cancel any "in-progress" actions they have, like trades/trade offers, bids, contest entries, etc.

I feel like users should be able to delete their account, since it's their choice. People just might not want to play anymore, and don't always return to an abandoned account. (I don't play neopets anymore, but I'm sure my 10 year old account is still there) Just make sure it's not easy to do it accidentally, since that can be a major problem.

Allowing users to delete accounts also help keep your player count accurate. You can say you have 1000 users, but what if 500 of them hadn't logged in for years? Those accounts could be abandoned, and they weren't given a choice delete them. It keeps the database clean too, and I'm a stickler for that lol.

Troll accounts are a concern (so people don't just make accounts for spam and delete them afterwards), so there would be layers to the process. IE: confirmation email and the request is reviewed by staff. Maybe include a "why" field they can fill in, in case you ever wanted feedback on what's causing so many people to leave.

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I've been planning on adding account deletion into Pony's V2

The way I was planning of doing it was the player had to pay a decent sum of game money (Probably ~10% more than the account starting funds) to start the deletion process (since they're not planning on returning); this should stop players that think they're clever for creating extra accounts to swipe the start up money and delete the account to repeat the process.

Step two would be all their pets being either deleted or sent to the shelter and their remaining money, credits and items will either be deleted or sent to the Giving Tree (player's choice).

The Giving Tree is going to be an area where players can place items, money and credits for new players with accounts under 7 days old can randomly receive a gift every day

Third step would be a email confirmation that would have a link for the player to click. That link would expire in 24 hours (and would have a cancel option for them to keep the account) and their money refunded if they don't continue the process.

Step four is the account being added to a queue to be deleted in 6 months and their pets, items and currency go to the preselected destination; the void or the Giving Tree. The account will still show on the player's login history until it's selected to be deleted in the queue so if they're exceeding the 3-account limit, they won't be able to create more accounts and delete them to keep taking the money and start up items given to new players.

I dunno if this seems too lengthy a process to just delete an account, but I wanted to try safeguarding from account hoppers that make extra accounts over the allowed limit to steal the extra start ups.

1 hour ago, Dinocanid said:

Troll accounts are a concern (so people don't just make accounts for spam and delete them afterwards), so there would be layers to the process. IE: confirmation email and the request is reviewed by staff. Maybe include a "why" field they can fill in, in case you ever wanted feedback on what's causing so many people to leave.

Perhaps you can block account deletion for accounts under a certain age and under investigation for rule/ToS violations? This way, you can track who did what and tried to bail out before getting caught.

Edited by Shinobu
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We plan on having account deletion, too. Just a matter of getting around to the coding.

Does anyone offer to remove any personal info such as IPs, email, password, etc. or any content the user created such as forum posts, messages, animal names, notes, etc.?
User created content would not include things like animal genetics, IDs, statistics on their account, settings, etc. The animals they breed belong to the site, for example, but custom signatures or profiles is user-created. Most big commercial sites seem to delete all user created content when an account is deleted. Is it because there's no way for the user to request having their content removed after deleting their account?

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  • 4 weeks later...

We will "close" (i.e. ban them) accounts for players who want to take a break and come back and open their accounts again later.

I completely delete accounts when players request it (also I'm pretty sure we're required by law to do this when requested, at least in terms of removing their personal information from the account, but I'm not a lawyer, so don't take my word for it), and I also purge old and inactive accounts sometimes.

When an account is deleted, the animals on it are moved to the rescue account to be re-sold and everything else associated with the account is deleted besides financial records.

I think it's bad practice to not allow account deletions at all - people should be able to control what websites they have accounts on and where their personal information is. HOWEVER, I would not allow users to delete their own accounts just because it's pretty common for people to share their account info and I don't want someone with a vendetta against a player to delete their account and I don't want players to break a bunch of rules and delete their account before it can be banned. That's asking for trolling, in my opinion.

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