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Korea bans online game item trades

Korea bans online game item trades

Fri 15 Jun 2012 6:00am GMT / 2:00am EDT / 11:00pm PDT
BusinessOnlineLegal

Details to be announced next month

According to the Korea Times, Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) announced that it is planning to ban the trade of commercial game items, in order to keep students from wasting time.

Details will be announced sometime next month, but apparently all virtual item trades will be halted. "The main purpose of the games is for entertainment and should be used for academic and other good purposes," said Kim Kap-soo, head of the ministry's content policy division.

The Ministry said that the law would prohibit users from using programs that allow in-game characters to hunt and collect items automatically, without player input. The Ministry determined that over 50 percent of the items exchanged on the market were obtained by automated programs. Item trades contribute to many problems in society, according to the Ministry, including teenage crime, and therefore need to be halted.

Violators face up to a 50 million won fine (about $43,000, or £27,600) and a 5-year prison term.

The crackdown would also affect arcade games in Korea, which will be barred from listing in-game items to attract buyers. MMORPGs and other games that are free-to-play and depend on virtual item sales may be shut down, or will need to find other ways to monetize.

Given the huge importance of gaming in Korea, and the prevalence of virtual items, it seems like a safe bet that there will be some forces working to keep this law from going into effect.

7 Comments

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,235 396 0.3
Is Korea a single country now? When did that happen?

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Curt Sampson
Sofware Developer

596 359 0.6
I don't think it's too hard to figure out which Korea they're talking about.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,235 396 0.3
Probably not, but it wouldn't hurt to say.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

782 588 0.8
I guess, but you know; one Korea has videogames, the other barely has anything to eat.

Back to the topic: will this affect Diablo III? I guess so, I wonder how anyway...

Posted:2 years ago

#4

André Bernhardt
Free Bird

6 0 0.0
I am not quite sure wether "bots" will be forbidden or item-trading?

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,071 1,005 0.9
The way the Korean article is phrased, it sounds as if botting is not forbidden under threat of five year imprisonment. Same goes for selling those item codes on Ebay you got during the latest convention.

All this is done under the veil of protecting the youth. Regardless of botters being the only people with enough time to learn on their hands, should they play f2p games.

This sounds more like a law heavily lobbied for by publishers operating f2p games. Also a law targeted at blizzard's most recent monetization strategy.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Klaus Preisinger on 15th June 2012 1:50pm

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 81 0.4
The Ministry said that the law would prohibit users from using programs that allow in-game characters to hunt and collect items automatically, without player input. The Ministry determined that over 50 percent of the items exchanged on the market were obtained by automated programs.
I think this section right here is referring to bots. Exchanged on the market? What market? What game? I think the ITC needs to forget about this Microsoft vs Motorola BS and pay more attention to this. If this law is not written carefully, it could seriously damage United States business as well as others around the world that monetize through legit means.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

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