South Korea bans virtual item trading, Diablo 3 auction house dead

South Korea has officially banned the trade of virtual items, which would make Diablo 3’s Auction House illegal in the country. Blizzard originally sent the game to the Korean rating board without the auction house enabled but it now looks like the RMAH will never launch in Korea.

According to reports, the government took the decision in a bid to prevent students from wasting their time. The law will be set in stone next month.

“The main purpose of the games is for entertainment and should be used for academic and other good purposes,” said South Korea’s secretary of The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kim Kap-Soo, adding that item farming for commercial gain is a “serious hindrance” to a “healthy gaming culture”.

Of course, the implementation of such a law means that Blizzard’s Diablo 3 Auction House has no chance of launch in the country.

A separate, but related, law has also been passed that bans the use of gold/item farming bots in online-enabled games. Players found using programs that “allow in-game characters to hunt and collect items without the need of a player controlling them” will be made illegal and blocked from internet access.

The punishment for breaking the law will be a 50 million won fine (£27,612) and a maximum jail sentence of five years.

According to the South Korean government, some 60 per cent of virtual items traded online are acquired through the use of bots which gives online games a “negative reputation”.

Source: Korea Times

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  • Luke Kneller


  • Frank Grant

    wow…. no matter what country you look at, diablo 3 has had the worst launch of any game i know about

    • Djstar

      It’s been fraught with problems. Blizzard must be fried by it all. Successful sales but what of their reputation long term now?

  • Edmundo G

    Well thank god I like in central america and have access to the RMAH so I can make some $$ for more games 😀

  • Bloodyhead

    This is what I like most about Korea, their government is really protecting gaming and gamers.

  • Mr.Kim

    Regular gold auction still works. It is just RMAH in Diablo 3 that does not work.

    Also, it is funny that there is actually “legal” gold&item trading websites in Korea. I bet these websites must have bribed the government.

  • asshole

    What a noobs are there! 😀


      What a englicsh their isnt! 😀

  • Altamura

    Shouldn’t the government look at more important things instead of sticking their nose in gaming? I mean, for god sake, these are video games! Don’t they have more important things to look at? North Korea anyone? Then, if that’s the situation, how about regulating other trivial things like people standing too close behind one another when queuing? That must certainly be annoying. The government ought to intervene! I always thought that Asians never grow up and they remain children throughout their life. Hence the petty and trivial problems.

    • dumb

      you are so shallow. Who are the majority of gamers? Those are kids, and the more time they waste on flipping on virtual items, the less time they spend on studies or anything else in life. There’s a domino effect on education and the overall society

      • Rudd-O

        It’s always nice to see people bending their brains into a pretzel to rationalize the prohbitions their masters impose on them.

        Authoritarianism is a disease.

  • Yetenexs

    5 years of jail time for having fun “wrong”. lulz

    • Rudd-O

      I know, right? 🙂

      The funny part is how so many comments here are already gushing with servility: “oh, it’s so great that our government threatens us with putting us in cages for interacting peacefully — I lurv how ‘protective’ my gummint is”!

      They are children walking around in adults’ bodies.

  • Rudd-O

    South Koreans, it seems, are children that need to be micromanaged and babysat by their masters.

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