“The process of obtaining materials to make the highest grade item’mythical weapon’ in the mobile game’Lineage 2M’ is very complicated. Based on the method disclosed in the game guidebook, you can roughly estimate the cost of acquiring a mythical weapon. Combining ‘120 rare recipes’, ‘9 heroes’ recipes’, and ‘3 legendary recipes’ cost 17.78 million won, and purchase’+11 Legendary Weapons’ and ’10 Craftsman Weapon Enhancement Orders’. It is estimated that it will cost over 550,000 won to produce. However, this price excludes the probability of failure to draw, which is essential in each process, so it can be speculated that it takes about 150 million won to 200 million won to manufacture one mythical weapon.” -The power of the people Ha Tae-gyeong, Clinic’s Office, summarizes data on’Investigation Results on Probability-type Item Probability Manipulation Suspicions’
Discussions on the regulation of’probability-type items’ sold in online and mobile games are on the rise.
Although the item type, effect, and performance are determined by the’probability’, the item type, effect, and performance are more difficult than winning the lottery, and it is pointed out that it is’the lotto without first place’, and the legislative and sanctions move in earnest. It is a situation.
According to the National Assembly’s bill information system on the 11th, the National Assembly Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee proposed all amendments to the Game Industry Promotion Act (Game Industry Act) in February, which included mandatory marking of probability of probability-type items, and entered the review process.
It is reported that the Fair Trade Commission has begun reviewing the investigation request for the’probability-type item probability manipulation suspicion’ requested by Congressman Ha Tae-kyung, the power of the people.
It is also unavoidable to point out that the government has been slow to deal with the regulation of probability-type items. It is pointed out that the controversy over the speculative nature of probability-type items already started decades ago, but only believed in the industry’s self-regulation and was putting up hands.
◆Probability-type item controversy that continues for decades
It was around the end of 2007 that controversy began over probability-type items in Korea. NCsoft sold the in-game armor’T-Shirt’ for 2,000 won each in the online game’Lineage’, but purchasing this item does not necessarily increase the stats, but rather increases the stats through probability. T-shirt items can be purchased up to 150,000 won per person, but in the worst case, it was argued that even if they spent 150,000 won, they could not raise their stats. As this item became controversial, Lineage marked the game screen with a’meaning planet’.
In 2011 and 2012, as amendments to the Game Promotion Act, which prohibits buying and selling game money and items for games that can be used by teenagers, were discussed, restrictions on probability-type items were also put on the cutting board, but it became a must.
In 2015, Saenuri Party Rep. Jeong Woo-taek proposed the Game Industry Act that requires information on the type, composition ratio, and acquisition probability of tangible and intangible outcomes, such as game money, to be included in the game product content information, followed by other lawmakers’ legislation. The industry has come up with self-regulatory measures based on the initiative of Congressman Chung’s bill, but gamers’ complaints of damage continue.
Representatively, in 2018, the Fair Trade Commission imposed a fine of over 900 million won on Nexon Korea Co., Ltd. and others. Nexon Korea said that purchasing 900 won items in the 2016 first-person shooter’Sudden Attack’ and collecting all 16 different pieces to complete the puzzle provides a benefit. Turned out to be set. Even if one gamer spent 460,000 won to buy an item, there were cases where the puzzle could not be completed. The Fair Trade Commission imposed a penalty of 939 million won along with a corrective order against Nexon Korea for inducing consumers through false, exaggerated, and deceptive methods.
It means that the game industry’s self-regulation is not being properly implemented.
◆86% voluntary regulation compliance rate?… Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism “It is impossible to do with self-regulation”
In the’February 2020 Self-Regulatory Monitoring Result Report’ released last month, the Korea Game Policy Autonomy Organization reported that 139 out of 161 game products subject to self-regulation complied with the’Code of Self-Regulation for Creating a Healthy Game Culture’, resulting in a compliance rate of 86.3%. Revealed.
However, questions continue to be raised as to whether regulations are being properly implemented. In addition, Democratic Party Rep. Dong-soo Dong said that when comparing the probabilities disclosed by game companies and the probabilities applied in the actual game at last year’s national audit, there are cases that were manipulated against gamers and strongly suspicious, but due to the limitations of self-regulation, the game company It has been pointed out that there is no way to force a fact-related investigation and compensation measures against Korea.
In 2019, the FTC announced an administrative notice of amendment to the’Notice on Provision of Information on Products in E-Commerce, etc.’, which displays probability information on probability-type products, but the revised work was stopped, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism made the legislation of the National Assembly only last year. Through this, all revisions of the Game Industry Act are being promoted.
An official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism explained in the call that “they have left it to private self-regulation until now, but now they are in a situation that cannot be handled by self-regulation.”
An official from the Fair Trade Commission also said, “According to the Fair Trade Act, it is possible to take measures to induce consumers through deceptive methods such as falsehood and exaggeration, but there is controversy over the uniform disclosure of probability.” “It is true that there was a legislative gap contrary to the industry.” .
◆ Probability disclosure is also about trade secrets and voices that hinder the development of the game industry.
Probability disclosure of probabilistic items, centered on the industry, raises concerns about disclosure of trade secrets and reverse discrimination from overseas games. The Korea Game Industry Association submitted an opinion to the National Assembly in February stating that the amendment to the Game Industry Act is more regulatory than game promotion. Problems were the fact that it is obligated to submit information that may correspond to trade secrets, and the facts such as direct data submission or statement to the game business operator are investigated.
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Professor Ji-Hye Shin, a professor at the Graduate School of Law at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, said in a call, “The success or failure of the game depends on how to adjust and balance small factors such as reinforcement of items in the game industry, and probability-type items are the same. “There is a concern about the side,” he said. “Although random manipulation of the probability can be a problem, a careful approach is needed as the disclosure of the probability can affect the overall game industry.”
◆ Only the 21st National Assembly proposed 4 probabilistic item regulation bills
Four regulations on probabilistic items were proposed only in the 21st National Assembly.
In fact, the’Game Industry Promotion Act’ (Game Industry Act) initiated by Representative Lee Sang-heon of the Democratic Party, which is close to the government’s bill, requires that game makers or game distributors distribute games or provide them for use. The key is the content information, the probability of supply by type and type of probability-type item, and other matters prescribed by Presidential Decree.
Democratic Party lawmaker Dongsoo Dong-soo has proposed a bill to ban’Complete Gacha’. Complete gacha means collecting several items to complete another item, and it is a double/triple structure in which items obtained through probability are combined to play a probability game again.
People’s Power Rep. Ha Tae-gyeong proposed a bill to set up the Game User Rights Protection Committee in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and game companies also set up a Game User Committee to protect the rights and interests of users.
Regulations on probability-type items are underway in overseas as well.
According to the Korea Creative Content Agency and the Democratic Party’s House of Representatives, in May 2018, China is enacting a law that mandates the disclosure of all probabilities of probabilistic items for the first time in the world. From April 2019, the new edition (service permit) regulation was revised so that the probability of drawing is not expressed as a percentage, but as a’number of trials required’.
In the UK, there is a discussion on classifying probability-type items as a kind of pseudo-gambling and putting them in the category of gambling law.
The Netherlands and Belgium decided to ban stochastic items in video games as gambling.
Sejong = Reporter Park Young-jun [email protected]
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