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Activision-Blizzard has hit a bit of a bump in the road for their planned global release of Diablo III. Apparently the game is being denied in its current state for release in South Korea because of the real-money auction house.
According to IncGamers, they picked up on a news article from the Korea Times, in which the Korean ratings board has once again hit a brick wall when it comes to approving Diablo III due to the RMAH and the prospect of the game's potential line-blurring ethics of online gambling.
According to a spokesman for the Korean ratings board...
“Committee members are conflicted about what to do with Diablo 3,” ... “because of (its American developer) Blizzard’s information on the game’s ‘auction house’ feature.”... “As it is described in the (re)submission, committee members are still reluctant.”
For those that don't know, the real money auction house allows gamers to purchase credits from Blizzard and use said credits to buy items and gear from the global auction house. So basically, it's like a competitive free market where gamers can sell their loot for a varied price. Things, of course, get a little hazy when cashing out those credits for real money comes into the discussion.
Furthermore, there's a bit of a ripple effect due to this decision because Blizzard has plans of releasing Diablo III globally, as a region-free RPG. This means that every version of the game is supposed to be the same across the board. With delays from the committee to approve of Diablo III, some people are worried it could hold up the global release of the game for everyone else.
Blizzard's response to the whole thing? A spokesman simply stated that "In principle, we are always committed to a global release,".
Some gamers are worried that the delay due to the real money auction house isn't really beneficial to the game or community and that maybe Blizzard should just cave in and remove the "real money" aspect out of the auction house for the Korean version of the game. Personally, I don't see why a company would need to be so adamant on including and ensuring microtransactions for a game that will sell regardless...at this point in the game it just starts to look like the heads at Blizzard are trying to ensure that they can milk every region of every dime and dollar they can from the RMAH.
It kind of makes you miss the good old days when gamers were willing to pay for a game where they could just buy it, own it and have fun.