Posted on June 15, 2012, David Moss Virtual Item Sales Banned in South Korea
In July South Korea will announce a new law that bans the sale of virtual items for real money. The head of the South Korean The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kim Kap-soo issued a statement saying: “The main purpose of the games is for entertainment and should be used for academic and other good purposes.” The Korean government also stated that 60% of virtual items sold were obtained by bots. Government officials believes these bots were giving games a bad reputation. The new law will punish offenders with a hefty 50 million won fine. That translates to over $27,000.
Everyone hates gold farmers, but that’s a pretty hefty penalty to impose on someone for committing a virtual crime. The South Korean Government could just report these players to Blizzard and hit them with a smaller fine. But perhaps the law is aimed at breaking up larger gold farming operations. Either way, this will be the end of Diablo 3′s auction house in South Korea. It will be interesting to see if any other countries decide to follow South Korea’s example. China has always had a problem with gold farmers and very recently a Chinese gold farmer named Markee Dragon admitted that hacking Diablo 3 accounts to farm items is a huge problem. For now, it will be interesting to see how successful South Korea is at enforcing the law.