The times aren't getting any better for Blizzard. The company's latest venture has seen them go from one of the most respected video game developers and publishers to one of the most loathed, in just under a month.
Diablo III is on the receiving end of more controversial news, this time regarding the Korean Government, who has finally stepped in to ban all sales of virtual items in video games. Yes, Blizzard has ruined it for everybody.
The Korean Government has also put a ban on all botting, automated gold farming and grey market trading, according to the Korean Times. Kim Kap-soo, head of the ministry’s content policy division, mentioned on Wednesday that...
“The main purpose of the games is for entertainment and should be used for academic and other good purposes,”
I couldn't agree more. Wasting time being frustrated, not being able to play, being duped, being hacked, having your account stolen, dealing with server outages, having bots and gold farmers hyper-inflate and ruin the economy and all the other lovely things poor Diablo III gamers have had to deal with is the complete opposite of entertainment, fun or academic enlightenment. It's just a waste.
To enforce the ban, the Korean Government is issuing $43,000 fines to anyone who is caught breaking the law or engaged in automated bot farming or virtual item trades for real-life money, with potential jail time for up to five years.
You might be asking why the law is being so harsh, but in South Korea more than 93 percent of the people are connected to the net, and they are arguably one of the biggest gaming markets in the entire world. Also, unlike here in the United States, the Korean Government aims to regulate gaming to prevent consumer mistreatment and abuse, which is starting to grow rather rampant in today's gaming industry.
You can shout and scream about how Government shouldn't interfere with the electronic interactive entertainment industry, but in this case I can't say that I disagree with them. Diablo III has been a cesspool for grey market peddling and consumers left and right are being ripped off, swindled and having their accounts and personal information sold all over the black market just for a "game".
This definitely isn't looking too good for Blizzard, especially with the impending lawsuit from the Korean cafe owners set to get underway and with their offices recently raided by the Korean FTC.