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?
Posts Tagged ‘south korea’
By Jim Rossignol on January 14th, 2012.
By Jim Rossignol on September 6th, 2010.
Well, not really a tax, more of one-off fee, but it’s still causing no end of problems for South Korean indies. The problem is that the Korean government have decided to set up a ratings agency for games, and consequently all games published in South Korea under any format – and that includes slinging them up on the web – must now pay their own age rating (by the megabyte, illogically) or be classed as illegal naughtiness. Okay for the big corporates, but a nightmare for the indies who are trying to make it on their own, where a couple of hundred dollars is just too much, and frankly ludicrous for the amateur coders releasing stuff for free. There are few sources running with this story, but it seems to have emanated mainly from this post on Reddit, where the facts of the issue are defined for us in broken English. Meanwhile, TIGSource are debating what they can do about it over here. We presume it has knock-on effects for indies outside Korea, selling internationally over Steam and so forth, too. In fact, yes, here’s a story on that. Thanks.
We will add our voices to those saying “Boo, that’s not on. Give those guys a break, please, South Korean Government. Granted, you are a sovereign state and there’s nothing we can really do, but some kind of consideration would be nice. Cheers then, bye!”
By Jim Rossignol on April 13th, 2010.
I’m not entirely sure how to dig deeper into this particular drama, as the main source sites are in Korean, and the auto-translations aren’t proving to be particularly useful. Anyway, the story as originated here reports that top Korean players are being named and shamed for throwing matches to make money on illegal betting. It’s apparently been a problem that the e-sports organisers have been trying to stamp out for a while, and it has now reached an impass, with players being outed, or forced to retire. It’s the biggest drama the game has seen in some time, and could shake things up for the leagues as they move ahead to the Starcraft II launch, with sponsorship being put at risk, and so forth.
You are permitted to respond to this article by chuckling to yourself and thinking “ah, e-sports. I remember them.”
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