Korea vs. Blizzard: Government raids Seoul office to determine if studio broke the law with botched Diablo III release

korea vs blizzard government raids seoul office to determine is studio broke the law with botched diablo iii release federal

Do not come between the Korean public and their Blizzard video games. It would not go well for you. Ever seen any of the footage of the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Seoul back in 2007 when they first showed off StarCraft II? It was bananas. People were weeping. It would be like if, in August 2020, the NFL announced a sequel to football and Joe Montana was somehow 30-years-old again and ready to play in this new and exciting version of the sport. Every World of Warcraft update is practically a national holiday. Diablo III’s release was so big that it’s created an international incident with Chinese players logging onto Korean servers to get a taste of the game and virtual war breaking out between the nations’ players.

International conflict isn’t the only snafu coloring Diablo III’s release in the country though. The Korea Times (via Shack News) reported on Tuesday that the Korean government has started a full investigation of Blizzard Entertainment in the aftermath of customer complaints about service and refusal of refunds following the game’s troubled release. Officials raided Blizzard’s offices in Seoul to gather documents and other evidence that the company had broken the law.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Blizzard is suspected of breaking its contracts with Korean consumers and the country’s laws related to electronic commerce. Part of the issue is that many users in Korea are still experiencing the problems that plagued U.S. players when Diablo III came out on May 15: They’re unable to log in to play the game at all. Diablo III requires players to be connected to the Internet at all times through Blizzard’s Battle.net network, but the overwhelming number of players—6.3 million by early sales counts—caused Blizzard’s infrastructure to repeatedly collapse.

Many customers demanded refunds based on the problems but Blizzard has refused to return money claiming that sales contract terms, which players must agree to in order to play, cover these exact issues. FTC officials have said that while Blizzard is correct, it may have sold the game using “unfair” contracts and that the company is liable for its “ill-preparation” for the game’s commercial reception. A refund may well be in the future for a number of Korean Diablo players depending on the FTC’s decisions.

Blizzard is in a tough spot. As much of a hassle as its Internet connection requirements are for paying customers, the cheating, piracy, and black market commerce surrounding its games need to be curbed somehow. 


Once the dust settles, 'Fallout 76' will be a nuclear wasteland worth exploring

The launch of Fallout 76 has been nothing short of apocalyptic, but that doesn’t mean the game is dead on arrival. Bethesda has a path forward, paved by The Elder Scrolls Online, another game that suffered a rocky start.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.

Razer’s classic DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse drops to $40 on Amazon

If you're looking to pick up a new gaming mouse for the holidays, Amazon has you covered with this great deal on the classic Razer DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse with customizable buttons, RGB lighting, and a 16,000 DPI optical sensor.

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.

These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Skateboarding legend says ‘Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam’ will appeal to his fans

Tony Hawk's Skate Jam is now available for free on iOS and Android devices, and Digital Trends had the chance to talk to the legendary skater about its development and how it captures the magic of his best games.

Cops called to handle ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ noise end up playing the game

A group of friends were playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch when cops arrived to respond to noise complaints from neighbors. In an unexpected twist, the officers ended up playing the game, too.

The third DLC for ‘Spider-Man’ swings onto PlayStation 4 next week

The third part of Spider-Man's episodic DLC, Silver Lining, releases on December 21. The episode focuses on Silver Sable and Hammerhead, and it includes three new suits for Peter Parker.

Have a spooky dance party at an abandoned mansion with Fortnite's new challenges

The Fortnite season 7, week 2 challenges have arrived in Battle Royale. From searching for chests to dancing off at an abandoned mansion, here's how to do them and the rewards you get for completing them.

Spawn creator suggests the antihero could appear in ‘Mortal Kombat 11’

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane hinted that the comic book antihero could join the cast of Mortal Kombat 11 during a Reddit AMA. Spawn previously appeared in SoulCalibur II on the original Xbox.

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.