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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I searched the forums and saw no mention of this in both thread titles and any big discussion threads from the last couple days.

If you've been following Blizzard's complete ball drop with Diablo 3, Korea, or South Korea really, has been really taking a stand for the consumer in the last couple weeks. A few weeks ago the South Korea FTC (similar to the American FTC in some ways) raided Blizzard offices in South Korea for not turning over information about lack of refunds for Diablo 3. And then the big bombshell dropped a couple days ago: South Korea has banned the sale of virtual items in online games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKoreaTimes
Korea has decided to ban trade for commercial game items from the second half of this year as a measure aimed at encouraging students to not waste time.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has announced that it is planning to halt all virtual item trades with a new law, to be announced sometime next month.

“The main purpose of the games is for entertainment and should be used for academic and other good purposes,” said Kim Kap-soo, head of the ministry’s content policy division, Wednesday.

The government official also stressed item collecting for commercial use is a serious hindrance to creating a healthy game culture.
Korea is the world’s most-wired society with the Internet penetration rate standing at above 93 percent, data from government agencies said. Korea is also the home of the world’s biggest smartphone and TV manufacturer _ Samsung.

For online role-playing games, the law prohibits users from using programs that allow in-game characters to hunt and collect items without the need of a player controlling them.

The ministry calculates that over 60 percent of items exchanged on the market were obtained by the use of automatic programs. Such programs and other method are impinging in the way of on-line games’ negative reputation, the government agency said.

Those who violate this law will face up to a 50 million won fine, at a maximum, and five years in jail.

For arcade games, game providers will be unable to list in-game items in their accounts as property, or handout gift certificates for item purchases. In 2007, the then popular arcade game Sea Story handed out certificates that were quickly exchanged or sold for cash, and the government is concerned that a similar incident may reoccur.

The ministry said that arcade game businesses that keep books registering items and scores (that can be exchanged for cash) has risen to 1,500 as of April. There were only 50 such businesses in 2009.

In a statement, the ministry says item trades contribute to many problems in society, including teenage crime, and felt that a solution was required.

The ministry is planning to give active guidelines to provincial administrations and have the police department actively enforce the new law. The government is also heightening prevention of gambling and other illegal activities using games.

Korea is a hub for online role-playing games, which have also drawn concern because of the booming trade in virtual money and items.
Source: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news...29_112964.html


So, what is Cryptic's response? I can't quote any figures of how many people play STO in South Korea, I imagine at least a few people do. Will Cryptic Studios remove the C-Store from STO in South Korea? Or will Cryptic Studios simply remove access of STO entirely from South Korea?

Again if another thread of this has been made I could not find it after twenty minutes of searching. (Not counting if one got merged somewhere else).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
06-17-2012, 12:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mavgeek View Post
I searched the forums and saw no mention of this in both thread titles and any big discussion threads from the last couple days.

If you've been following Blizzard's complete ball drop with Diablo 3, Korea, or South Korea really, has been really taking a stand for the consumer in the last couple weeks. A few weeks ago the South Korea FTC (similar to the American FTC in some ways) raided Blizzard offices in South Korea for not turning over information about lack of refunds for Diablo 3. And then the big bombshell dropped a couple days ago: South Korea has banned the sale of virtual items in online games.



Source: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news...29_112964.html


So, what is Cryptic's response? I can't quote any figures of how many people play STO in South Korea, I imagine at least a few people do. Will Cryptic Studios remove the C-Store from STO in South Korea? Or will Cryptic Studios simply remove access of STO entirely from South Korea?

Again if another thread of this has been made I could not find it after twenty minutes of searching. (Not counting if one got merged somewhere else).
many other countries are doing this as well.
Canada is planning legislation this fall.
It won't matter to cryptic. They have a plan i bet.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
06-17-2012, 12:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staran View Post
It won't matter to cryptic. They have a plan i bet.
They can't do anything... if PWE decides they aren't profitable anymore without the C-Store etc. they get laid off and STO with it...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
06-17-2012, 01:02 PM
The justification is the truly scary part of this, how games should be used for 'academic and other good purposes' and such. Nanny-Statism at its finest, our betters telling us what to do for our own good. A bunch of wannabe dictators.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
06-17-2012, 01:03 PM
The trouble is most F2P games seem to have a virtual item cash shop so it is not that simple for them due to it being a primary source of income and expenditure. Maybe they (Cryptic) will just have to go back to being subscription only with shop items being bought for in game currency again.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
06-17-2012, 01:06 PM
So much for the idea that computer games are there to have fun? So does this only relate in terms of RMT like the D3 AH where you buy items for real cash therefore promoting the use of bots to farm items to sell for real money? Or will it ban the wholesale use of microtransactions in gaming? If so what about Xbox Live and PSN?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
06-17-2012, 01:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirlettia
The trouble is most F2P games seem to have a virtual item cash shop so it is not that simple for them due to it being a primary source of income and expenditure. Maybe they (Cryptic) will just have to go back to being subscription only with shop items being bought for in game currency again.
That's the point of contention a lot of people are curious about. The Korea Times article, does not 100% specify what they mean by "sale of virtual items", and until the law is in print where it can be read, it could mean any & all microtransactions whether they are between player to player or company to player.

And even if it doesn't count them (microtransactions), how will Cryptic handle the Dilithium Exchange? You are using a secondary currency (C-Store points) that was bought with real money, to then buy another in-game currency from other players. I'm fairly sure they will consider a virtual currency, a "virtual item". Not to mention people that just buy C-Store points and then trade them to people for other items, maybe EC's, etc. I know some people who have done that. Traded 500, 1000 C-Store points for a really rare item (that isn't Bind on Pickup), that right there is a "transaction" between two players of a "virtual item".

There isn't much wiggle room thus far, but it will be interesting to see what Cryptic and PWE say.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
06-17-2012, 01:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SelorKiith View Post
They can't do anything... if PWE decides they aren't profitable anymore without the C-Store etc. they get laid off and STO with it...
Not an option.. PWE is based around making people pay extra... It's not just cryptics games... It all PWE games.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mavgeek View Post
That's the point of contention a lot of people are curious about. The Korea Times article, does not 100% specify what they mean by "sale of virtual items", and until the law is in print where it can be read, it could mean any & all microtransactions whether they are between player to player or company to player.

And even if it doesn't count them (microtransactions), how will Cryptic handle the Dilithium Exchange? You are using a secondary currency (C-Store points) that was bought with real money, to then buy another in-game currency from other players. I'm fairly sure they will consider a virtual currency, a "virtual item". Not to mention people that just buy C-Store points and then trade them to people for other items, maybe EC's, etc. I know some people who have done that. Traded 500, 1000 C-Store points for a really rare item (that isn't Bind on Pickup), that right there is a "transaction" between two players of a "virtual item".

There isn't much wiggle room thus far, but it will be interesting to see what Cryptic and PWE say.
There have been theories that the law actually concerns player to player sales, but truth is, that it is written in such a way that all in-game sales are banned.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
06-17-2012, 01:15 PM
Interesting to be sure, but as previously stated this affects all of PWE's games, not just Cryptic. Unless something like this happens in China/Japan/US/UK, I doubt they will pay much attention to it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
06-17-2012, 01:15 PM
About time honestly, US/UK/everyone should adopt this law. I'd miss my free gaming, but if/when/if I ever become a paying gamer again, I'd like to be able to pay the same price for the same game everyone else is playing.
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