A thought-provoking little story, I think. Diablo III’s auction house will allow real-money trading (RMT) for items found in the game world. The fact that you can trade in items and then “cash out” and make money (minus Blizzard’s cut, of course) caused the game to clash with South Korea’s anti-gambling laws. Blizzard have resubmitted the game for approval with this feature removed and it has been accepted. (This page proves it, apparently.) The thought this issue raises, however, is how much this will change the psychological experience for Korean players. If they can’t get $$$ for epic loot, what does that mean for their response to acquiring it? Will the game be less exciting for them? Or do they get a “cleaner” experience, because it doesn’t have that connotation of cash, and of the world outside the game?
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