Thanks to Lukk for pointing us to news that will surely go over like a spoonful of pepper spray from Korea, as the ratings board again declined to come to a final decision on Diablo III, due to the gambling-like element that the RMAH adds to the product.
The Game Rating Board, government agency responsible for approving and classifying video games, sees no end in sight for a decision an entire legion of fans anxiously awaits.
Though a ruling on the third and latest in the series of global bestseller Diablo was rumored to be due today, the board spokesman said Tuesday there were no signs suggesting a definitive answer.
“Committee members are conflicted about what to do with Diablo 3,” he said, “because of (its American developer) Blizzard’s information on the game’s ‘auction house’ feature.”
The virtual auction allows users to buy and sell items won during the game, which for many, including the board, resembles gambling. The controversial cashing-out feature, which would convert play money into real currency, was excluded in the most recent resubmission on Dec. 22 but continues to confound the process.
Though Bashiok has said that the game could be released in different regions with different features, and that there’s no reason that Real Money Auction House delays in Korea would delay the product worldwide, many fans find this less than reassuring/believable. I guess we’ll find out at some point, if this Korean ratings board issue keeps dragging on and Blizzard refuses to remove the RM aspect of the AH in Korea, to speed things along.
Also, it’s interesting that they removed the “cashing out feature” in their latest proposal. How would the RMAH have worked without that? Would Korean players have just built up a Bobby Bucks™ balance forever, and only been able to spend it on Blizzard merch?
Update: Kotaku spotted this news here and posted an item with a delightfully-inflammatory headline. It’s interesting to see how more general gaming fans react to this news, and there are a lot of “who cares about the real money?” as well as, “this sucks I’m more eager for Torchlight 2 anyway.” type comments. How representative those are of gaming fans on the whole? No idea.
Update #2: From Jay Wilson’s Twitter feed this afternoon:
Asia is not what’s holding us back. You’ll see soon enough. —Angryrobotics
I’m fairly certain that Bashiok has said this exact same thing on at least one occasion, but that’s no reason to automatically mistrust it.