Blizzard Under Investigation by Korean FTC over Refunds


Blizzard had a tough time at launch with Diablo 3, I think we can safely say it was not one of the more successful launches of a videogame in recent years.

According to the Korean Times, Blizzard are now under investigation by the Korean Fair Trade Commission for refusing to give Korean gamers who are not happy with the connectivity issues refunds. The FTC are investigating whether Blizzard has broken the Korean law on electronic commerce and commercial contracts

Apparently the FTC  “raided the firm’s Seoul office Monday and secured related documents and other evidence with which it will determine whether Blizzard broke the law”. Due to what the KT are citing as “poor service”, hundreds of users have filed complaints prompting action to be taken by the FTC.

Kim Hyung-bae a spokesman for the FTC added “We have received many complaints from Diablo 3 users” and confirmed an investigation is now underway by the FTC.

Blizzard are being investigated by the FTC for what they say could be “unfair contract” conditions which means refunds would not be available to consumers and that Blizzard should have been better prepared for the mass influx of users to the game on launch.

Blizzard have had to deal with a  lot of complaints since launch, not just in Korea, but in the US and Europe. We’ve seen a lot of complaints from users unhappy with the state of the launch. However, I think it’s safe to say that most of us expected the launch to be rocky and things have improved greatly in the past couple of weeks.

Reports I’ve heard from European and American customers asking for refunds have said they had no trouble with the process.

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  1. scumbags. not talking about blizz, this time.

    • why ?
      because people want a refund for a laggy game where the GAH is offline 30% of the time and Blizz refuses to give give one ?
      why does that make people scumbags

      people knew the game was online only, but there’s no excuse for  the problems with the GAH

    • I agree with james here.

      They forced online only on us, and this is week what now and we still have 8 hour down times, rolling restarts, GAH essentially doesn’t work.

      I LOVE this game, but its not unreasonable to want to be able to play, or want your money back.

      Its very likely there are people that want their money back due to this, and if blizzard broke the law in korea(related to that issue), maybe it will teach them a lesson they haven’t learned in the last 4 or so massive launches. 

      Blizzard isn’t new to this massive launch game.  They screw it up every time.  It also seems they have white knights running to defend them each time as well. 

      • They didn’t force anything. You are free not to buy the game. I’ve been playing a week for fine now, no downtime, no restarts and AH worked well 95% of the time.

        And ofcourse they can place 5000 servers and make everything go perfect. But then in a week time then can thow away 2500 of them. 

        • What a silly assertion.

          People have a level of expectation when buying something. They expected the game to work (which is a rather fair expectation). It didn’t. They wanted a refund. Blizzard refused. It doesn’t matter whether they are free not to buy the game or not – they couldn’t find out that the game didn’t work unless they bought it first, thus requiring a refund afterwards.

        • Also in addition to Frantics comments, if you have had no downtime, restarts and the AH worked fine for you, you are one of two things

          1.  The minority
          2.  Not telling the truth

          The game has been riddled with these things, infact, as I type this, I am not able to play because of downtime…

           

    • Wow, scumbags? You’re a mindless little fanboy, and probably young too. Grow up.
       

      • why yes, “curik”. scumbags; i don’t know from what communist shithole of a country you hail from, but I’ve never heard of offices being ransacked by an administrative organ as if they were holding a goddamned drug den in there because some entitled whiners want their money back. 

        As for the rest of your comment, I am only dignifying it with a healthy up-middle-finger. 😉  

  2. Am I the only one who thought the launch was on-par with or better than any other massive online game in recent years?

    • this is a 4 player action rpg, if the servers run like a mmorpg there is something wrong

    • You may have thought that.. but you are wrong.

      SWTOR and RIFT are both recent games that have had near flawless launches.  Next to no downtime compared to D3, and they are MMOs, not ARPG.

      People complained about SWTOR letting in pre orders in the order in which pre-ordered, but it seemed to do marvelously for them.  Maybe D3 should have done the same.

      There are other examples, but those are the two biggest recent launches that come to mind. 

      EDIT: Both of those games launched in the millions of customers magnitude.

      • But unlike either of those games, people actually PLAY Diablo 3. IIRC SWTOR never even broke 2 million subs.  RIFT has had a consistent 1 million subscribers.

        So… Diablo 3 blew both of those MMO’s (combined) out of the water in week one.

        If RIFT was magnitude 1, SWTOR magnitude 2, then Diablo 3 would be magnitude 6.3. (if we’re relating this to relative server usage) Needless to say, these games are worlds apart when it comes to simple server load.

  3. have people anywhere else actually demanded a refund because they connectivity was shit?

  4. Sweet sweet justice! Fuck blizzard – I got my refund cause the game is not worth 59.99$ Its a pile of dog shit put together last minute.
     

  5. I work graveyard.  and my days off happen to land when they are doing their 8 hour maintenance.

    Don’t I remember blizzard saying that D3 wasn’t going to have those because it wasn’t an MMO, and didn’t require that kind of attention?

    Just sayin’ I suppose.

    I adore Diablo 3, but i really wish I could play it on my day off… 

  6. Meanchris- But not 6.3 million copies. Nowhere near. 

    At any rate, segamancer, I didn’t call the game an mmorpg; but it certainly is a massive-mulitplayer online arpg. No different than Left 4 Dead is an mmofps. The \mmo\ tag is being applied to more and more games, regardless of the actual genre of the game, due to multiplayer connectivity.

    • So the term is being misused often enough that it is now correct?

      I do agree that it was a huge launch – but it was still handled poorly.  The decision to launch everybody on the realm at the same time clearly backfired.  SWTOR was successful in part because they had a rolling start. That was an mmo, too, and somehow seemed more tested and polished at launch.   

    • Past the several million mark it doesn’t really matter.  2 million isn’t going to bog down a server more than 1 million.  or 6 million.. because no single server is able to handle(concurrently) traffic like that.  So they have to buy many servers to handle that load, they didn’t.

      They had the means to be able to predict the influx of players and react accordingly.  They chose not too.  Pay attention to that last sentence.  They CHOSE not to.

      They have access to pre-order numbers, they had access to digital download numbers, and they knew how many physical copies they sold. 

      There is absolutely NO excuse for their handling of the launch.  It was ridiculous.  

      If they didn’t want to buy the number of servers needed to handle a midnight launch…. they could have done several things.  They could have not launched a midnight, they could have staggered start times better or heck, they could have bought the servers needed.  The game numbers are only going to sell more as time goes on. They could have done many things that they chose not too.

      Regarding segas comments,  The point about it not being an MMO, is that its not a persistent world.  MMORPGS with persistent worlds require much more maintenance than do other games that do not have to deal with the same features.  Diablo 3 falls into less featured category.   Blizzard has also said that they shouldn’t have the downtime in Diablo 3, as they have now been imposing on us. 

      • Two points in correction.
         
        First, it does not matter what level of persistence game worlds offer. Diablo does lots of thing on server side, and it is reasonale they have loads similar to MMOs.

        But second, I agree that they could have (and I propose capital punishment for “COULD OF”) provided more servers. Nowadays, every hoster provides virtual servers, be it Azure or whatever other virtualization technology. It was no problem to buy out all physical processing power of a hoster or few for several days – they probably did not even need to buy physical machines.

      • People need to know that only a ridiculous amount of servers could handle millions of login requests at the same time. They have enough capacity to hold everybody.

  7. So what happens if Blizzard is found…eh…Guilty I guess?
    All this could have been avoided if they had only put in an offline mod. Things are going to get worse, believe me. They said DRM was for protection, instead people are getting hacked, half of the people are unable to play even though they paid, and now they are asking for refunds…. it’s a sad day to be blizzard. 2months…. thats all, an offline crack is already in development, and from what I hear, it is going to be sooner than 2 months, so anyone who thinks it won’t be “Emulated” or crap like that, grow up. Hackers can do anything to a software.

  8. My god…..it’s only been TWO F’in WEEKS since release and people are already yelling for refunds??

    But…..as mentioned by others, all of these “connectivity” issues could have been alleviated by including an offline mode. When are these companies going to learn that if you make something that needs to be ONLINE all the time, you better make sure your up-time is at 99.999%.

     

  9. Welcome to a risk averse society, although I wasn’t so aware it had become a global phenomenon.  Be it a bad reaction you had to a drug, becuase it conflicted with one of your other 6 medications you are taking.  Or maybe you got suckered into the hype of facebook and bought some $43 stock that is worth only $29 a week later.  Maybe you are dressed up in a mascot uniform dancing like a bafoon and twist your ankle by stepping on a 4 year old’s face.

    Develope some patience, grow some balls, and lets all put some lawyers out of work, because I’m sick of scrolling to the bottom of not 1, not 2, but THREE legal releases that are about 50 pages long just so I can repeatedly click on some zombies and get virtual goodies.

    😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈

  10.      I have to disagree with these desire for refunds. People have already bought, played, and most likely enjoyed the game.       
    Another reason why the idea of refunding so many people would be bad is because they never took the initiative and decided to wait for all these problems to be resolved. The game is SERVER based, and it’s not the first of these types. Mass Effect 3 for example had many issues with servers and at times still does, but it’s still to be expected. So why does everyone want this refund, just because they have downtime here and there. First day or so, it was not working, they fixed it. Then now about a week and a few days after launch, they are having another problem; is that so hard to deal with? Sure, people can claim they paid their whooping 60 dollars for their game, but they took the risk, and the game is still not perfect, they need to grow up and deal with it. Give Bliz some time to deal with the issues, and stop crying over a few hours of down time, go on Reddit, Facebook, do something, maybe even play ANOTHER game when it’s down :O! The world won’t end because of it, so these people in “Korea” who are demanding their refunds need to grow the hell up, read the terms and agreements, and understand the world won’t end! Who would have thought?!

  11. I guess koreans have a different standard when it comes to their gaming? I mean, I’ve seen a LOT of complaints coming from all over the place but i’ve never read about an agency go so far as to raid the offices (orifices? lol) of blizzard.

  12. Y’know, there might come a point where Blizzard just decide that the PC gaming marketplace just isn’t f******g worth it.

  13. I have stopped playing the game, HAHA

  14. Everyone is entitled to a refund under the consumer act 1974 (UK at least) let them have it. I enjoy the game my self and havent laughed so much at all the error 73 jokes in teamspeak in a long time if anything that was worth my 45 quid.

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