South Korean Game Rating Board Targets Jackpot Items in MMO’s

September 22, 2011 -

The South Korean Game Rating Board (GRB) has accused several MMO publishers of obstructing an investigation related to in-game "jackpot items," according to a report in This Is Game. The GRB wants to know from game makers if the in-game purchase of jackpot items should be considered gambling. The Jackpot item system lets players pay a set amount of in-game currency in return for a random item of potentially greater value. The GRB has asked 10 MMO publishers to provide details on in-game systems that offer such features. They include Neowiz, Smile Gate, CJ, WeMade, NCsoft, Actoz Soft, Mgame, NHN, Nexon, and HanbitSoft.

Publishers have cooperated in part to the GRB's requests, giving up the item names, costs and virtual currencies involved in the transactions, but they are refusing to provide information on payout percentages.

The publishers say that the information is of a confidential nature because it relates to their business models, and does not fall under the jurisdiction of the ratings board.

The Korean industry self-regulates on gambling by following a set of rules established in 2008, but the GRB openly questions if MMO publishers are still following those rules.

"Game companies ask us why GRB tries to touch their business model and refuse to our request. But the jackpot item is a content of the game," said GRB chairman Soo Keun Lee.

"We don't care whatever they do outside of the game but what is matter to us is that it is a part of the game. There should have been no problem if they have followed the criteria they have made by themselves. But we doubt if they are abiding by it now. To us, it is nothing more than a dead recommendation."

We'll continue to follow this story as it develops.

Source: GI.Biz


Comments

Re: South Korean Game Rating Board Targets Jackpot Items in ...

... This is an in-game purchase, right? As in, you have to pay using in-game currency as opposed to actual real-world currency?

By that logic, the Random Item bags in City of Heroes are part of gambling. :P Although they don't have CoH over there- poor Koreans... they almost had it, too.

Re: South Korean Game Rating Board Targets Jackpot Items in ...

....What?  They are raising this stink about fictitious money being used on a random fictitious item?  That is like saying that players of 18 years of age in the US aren't being carded when making Niko Bellic drink in GTA4.  I fail to see the relevance to the real world.

Re: South Korean Game Rating Board Targets Jackpot Items in ...

I am reminded of the occasional Mog Bonanza raffles done by Final Fantasy XI. At least in the case of the first one, the generation of the winning numbers was actually recorded on video by Square Enix in case anything like this took place.

Re: South Korean Game Rating Board Targets Jackpot Items in ...

That's not a bad comparison, but the difference in this case would be if buying your Mog Bonanza numbers cost real-life currency, which is the case with the jackpot items the GRB is inquiring about.

Re: South Korean Game Rating Board Targets Jackpot Items in ...

Um, actually no.

See

"The Jackpot item system lets players pay a set amount of in-game currency in return for a random item of potentially greater value. The GRB has asked 10 MMO publishers to provide details on in-game systems that offer such features. They include Neowiz, Smile Gate, CJ, WeMade, NCsoft, Actoz Soft, Mgame, NHN, Nexon, and HanbitSoft."

and

"Publishers have cooperated in part to the GRB's requests, giving up the item names, costs and virtual currencies involved in the transactions, but they are refusing to provide information on payout percentages."

 

So South Korea is really concerned with currencies as real as "Bison Dollars" for some reason.

Re: South Korean Game Rating Board Targets Jackpot Items in ...

With all due respect to the author, you should disregard the terms they've chosen and read the source material instead: http://www.thisisgame.com/go/2011/09/21/whats-speculative-and-whats-not/

The GRB is concerned with the virtual "cash points" currency of the games.

 
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Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
Andrew EisenOr, at the very least, that gamers aren't turned off by female leads.06/30/2015 - 11:49pm
Matthew Wilsonyou would think games like metriod, portal and tomb raider would show that it work, but hopefuly those knew ones will.06/30/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenBut, luckily strides are being made and the money peoples are slowly learning that diversity -> larger targeted audience -> more potential dollars.06/30/2015 - 11:43pm
Andrew EisenSure does. That's why there should be more than just one or two attempts. (7 games at E3 with female leads and 35 with a gender option. I think it's safe to say that not all of these will fail!)06/30/2015 - 11:42pm
Matthew Wilsonthat puts alot of presure on the early stuff to do well. lets hope games like recode and harizon are good, and sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenLuckily, money people also like to follow trends. So, it's a "simple" matter of making proper representation a trend. And wouldn't you know it, we're seeing the beginnings of exactly that!06/30/2015 - 11:34pm
Andrew EisenBut yeah, money people are risk averse. That's why we see so many sequels, reboots, and adaptations. To a lot of money people, "there's no evidence this works because it's rarely ever been tried" is the same as "this doesn't work."06/30/2015 - 11:33pm
Andrew EisenThat's why I think it's worth convincing the money peoples that proper representation (in any of its forms) isn't a financial risk, it's the path to expanding your audience and making even MORE money!06/30/2015 - 11:32pm
 

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