The release of Diablo III in South Korea is currently “up in the air” according to the Korea times.
Developer Blizzard have for the first time committed to a worldwide, region-free release but may need to reconsider if the Korean games rating board continues to drag its heals.
A decision on the games rating was anticipated today, however a rating board spokesman suggested that there is still much to discuss.
“Committee members are conflicted about what to do with Diablo III,” he said, “because of (its American developer) Blizzard’s information on the game’s ‘auction house’ feature.”
The virtual auction house which will allow players to buy and sell in-game items with real money is certainly a sticking point, the feature has been likened to a form of a gambling making a ratings decision difficult. Blizzard have already attempted to alleviate the situation by proposing to remove the “cash-out” feature, stopping players from converting virtual currency into hard cash.
Diablo III is certainly a game that has been met with a lot of excitement and anticipation by the Korean public, Blizzards flagship RTS titles; StarCraft and StarCraft II are already national sports in the southern portion of Korea and Blizzard will be hoping to clear up any disputes in time for launch.
The official word from Blizzard is that “In principle” they are still committed to a global release, fuelling rumours that a Korean hold up could translate into a global delay.