At the beginning of the month a report about the relationship between MMORPGs and Gambling sent by the South Korean Game Rating Board to the government of the Asian nation, sparked a media storm, with several headlines alleging that Diablo III would be denied rating due to the real money Auction House included in the game.
Looks like Blizzard doesn’t really care too much, at least according to Paul Sams, Chief Operating Officer of Blizzard Entertainment. During Blizzcon 2011 he held a special press conference for the Korean Media (that indicates how important the business in Korea is for Blizzard), and as expected he was asked about the issue, multiple times.
His response, as reported by the Korean media, was pretty simple, but left little doubt about Blizzard’s intentions.
Legally, we decided that there’s no issue. Therefore we plan to apply for rating including the full auction house. Of course this may change in the future, but we always want gamers around the world to play the same version of our games.”
There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. While the South Korean media seemed to be very afraid about Diablo III being denied a rating, Blizzard doesn’t seem as worried, and plans to request a rating from the Korean GRB without removing the auction house.
Looking at the Korean language version of the official Diablo III website, we can easily notice that the use of real money in the auction house is explicitly mentioned, exactly as in the English version of the site, as you can see below.