Could This Country Muck Up Diablo III's Worldwide Release?

In South Korea, the games of American developer Blizzard are huge. StarCraft is a national pastime, and the upcoming Diablo III is eagerly awaited.

However, the country's governmental Game Rating Board could rain on Diablo III's launch. It is reluctant to give the game the rating necessary for a South Korean release. According to The Korea Times, the in-game virtual auction is a stumbling block for the board.

South Korea is sensitive to gambling and gambling imagery in its video games. The country cracked down last Sept. on "jackpot items" in massively multiplayer online games, saying they were a form of gambling. In 2010, the country's pro-gaming community was rocked by a StarCraft betting scandal that was compared to the 1919 Chicago Black Sox.

"Committee members are conflicted about what to do with Diablo III," said a board spokesperson, "because of (its American developer) Blizzard's information on the game's 'auction house' feature."

For the South Korean release, Blizzard is nixing the "cashing-out" Real Money Auction House feature that turns in-game money into real money.

Blizzard stated that Diablo III will get a simultaneous global release, but the Game Rating Board's foot-dragging could make that impossible. A spokesperson for the company told The Korea Times, "In principle, we are always committed to a global release."

Diablo 3 release up in air [Korea Times via IncGamers]


    When i read the title i thought it was refering to all the early street dates broken in Australia recently.

      And i dont like the use of RL money for AH, i will still get it but will not be using that function.

        Ditto. I've always seen Diablo as a singleplayer game anyway. I know a lot of people play multi but I don't see the attraction myself.

          I like you, McG. We share many opinions. What are you doing this Friday? Lets get married.

            Didnt even buy him a drink...or a copy of the dig.

          Then you missed out on the craziness of running DII all nighters on LAN with a bunch of mates. Even just recently myself and my brothers puled out DII and ran the high res version across hamachi. It's great to have a team of four and be able to trade useful loot that would normally be npcd. Not to mention "Diablo's minions grow stronger".

          Good times my friend, good times.

          Back to the OP, I've smashed through the D3 beta a dozen times, multiple times on a couple of characters. It's a beautiful piece of machinery and I have no doubt that Blizzard will make the AH work and work well. There are a number of reasons they've put it there, it's not just about making money.

    Whew. I thought this was talking about Australia too. I don't care about Korea, no-one does! But I just hope that Australia gets the release on time!

    Also why is it that Starcraft is more popular than WoW in Korea?

      I care about Korea... I have a few Korean friends and they're lovely people, just with a fetish for Starcraft.

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