Blizzard gets Raided by Korean FTC for Thousands of Complaints.
The DRM system implemented in Diablo 3 has caused tension to reach new levels in Korea where thousands of gamers asked for a refund for their purchase from Blizzard but the American game developer refused to comply to the demands of their customers.
As of now, Blizzard managed to get the Korean government angry as well.
It seems that this Monday, the FTC (Fair Trade Commission) raided the official Blizzard office in Seoul to gather documents that might incriminate the company. As per an official press release from the Fair Trade Commission, the American game developer violated multiple laws regarding electronic commerce and commercial contracts.
to the players, they were denied a refund by Blizzard on the grounds of sales contracts terms.
It seems that when the players buy a copy of the game, they agree that they will not be eligible for a refund and Blizzard will not honor such claims. According to the FTC, this practice is disadvantageous to the buyers. This caused the government to act on the behalf of the players and set into place an ongoing investigation to decide if Blizzard should be held liable or not.
Korea is a critical market for Blizzard. In fact, some of their games have dedicated TV programs and have become a national sport.
Up till now, all the issues encountered were accepted by the players on a global scale but this new twist of events that might have legal consequences that could place Blizzard into vicious circle.
Other countries might follow the example of Korea and things could evolve at a world wide scale.
News also hit:
Blizzard apparently refused dissatisfied Korean gamers refunds based on sales contract agreements, and the FTC is looking into whether or not those contracts are unfairly keeping gamers from getting their money back after they discover problems with the game.
Korea is a massive market for Blizzard, so this could be a big deal if the FTC uncovers wrongdoing on Blizzard’s behalf. It’s an interesting move, and could have implications for the way companies are forced to handle consumer complaints in the future. Full here
The FTC considers these terms to be disadvantageous to players.
“We have received many complaints from Diablo 3 users,” FTC spokesman Kim Hyung-bae says.
Another angle the FTC is investigating is whether Blizzard should be held liable for its “ill-preparation” in regards to player traffic, The Korea Times says. Full here
The Korea Times said the Fair Trade Commission suspect the company of having “violated the country’s laws on electronic commerce and commercial contracts.” The FTC added it raided Blizzard’s Seoul office Monday, May 28, and secured “related documents and other evidence” to determine if Blizzard broke Korean law. Full here
That’s when the FTC got involved. Hundreds of gamers lodged formal complaints with the body, who responded launching an investigation.
The FTC will sort through their seized documents to see if Blizzard have broken any South Korean commercial laws. Full here