As was reported recently, the “gambling” aspect of Diablo 3 having randomly-dropped loot and being able to sell it for real-world cash caused a stir in South Korea and was possibly running foul of laws and regulations in the country. However, Paul Sams, the Chief Operating Officer of Blizzard held a press conference for the Korean Media was asked about the issue multiple times, and he gave an answer.
“Legally, we decided that there’s no issue. Therefore we plan to apply for rating including the full auction house. Of course this may change in the future, but we always want gamers around the world to play the same version of our games.”
Blizzard plans to acquire a rating for the game from the Korean Game Rating Board while keeping the auction house intact. There is really no excuse for not knowing the auction house takes real money, as it says quite plainly on the Diablo 3 website that real money as well as in-game gold can be used to make purchases at the auction house. In all languages in fact.
It’s a bit of a stretch to consider this a form of gambling since in reality you don’t lose anything except time. If you think your time playing a game is actually worth anything in terms of cash value, I assure you that most of the time, you are mistaken. Of course, if the Auction House remains afoul of the ratings board, and it has to be removed, then the whole reason it was put in will be a completely defeated purpose. If you are not aware of why it was put in, it was put in to combat the rampant (and illegal) selling of items found in-game and harvested in massive amounts by farmers from China.