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Could One Country Mess with Diablo III's Release?

South Korea Has Some Issues with Diablo III's Auction Mechanics

In South Korea, Blizzard games are huge. And when I mean huge, I mean it's their national sport. In other countries, soccer or baseball is broadcast over the airwaves. In South Korea, it's Starcraft. While Starcraft has its following in the country, Diablo has its own in Korea and throughout the world.

However, the country's governmental Game Rating Board could delay Diablo III's launch. According to The Korea Times, the reason is because of Diablo III's in-game virtual auction and how sensitive the government is to concept of gambling, especially on "jackpot items" in the game as well as being able to generate real money from "cashing out" at the Auction House.

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

In response to this, Blizzard is getting rid of the "cashing out" part of their Real Money Auction House feature. This feature is known to turn in-game money into real money. Blizzard also stated that Diablo III will get a simultaneous global release but the Korean government's Game Rating Board's could put a damper on it. A spokesperson for Blizzard told The Korea Times that they are committed to a global release.

SOURCE:
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2012/01/123_102230.html

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