Home Business [법과 사건] Revised game industry law to calm controversy over’probability-type items’ elasticity

[법과 사건] Revised game industry law to calm controversy over’probability-type items’ elasticity

by news dir

On the 5th, Nexon announced that it will transparently disclose the probability of item appearance in all games. This is the head-on breakthrough’number of wins’ chosen to calm public opinion when suspicion that the probability of in-game items, etc. was manipulated during the update process of the company’s game’Maple Story’. However, since this’complete disclosure of probability of probabilistic items’ is premised on Nexon’s unilateral’autonomy’ disclosure, the question remains whether game users or the government can verify this when Nexon fully discloses the probability. Discussing the need for legalization rather than leaving only the industry autonomy to disclose the probability of’probability-type items’ starts from here.

-Why did’Probability Item’ become a hot potato?

The term’probability-type item’ refers to’the specific type, effect, and performance of games that game users purchase for a fee, directly or indirectly, are determined by accidental factors’. For example, taking Maple Story, which has been a problem this time, when a game user purchases a’random box,’ they can obtain capsule-type items and reinforcement-type items with only a fixed probability regardless of their will or preference with the game user. The problem is that such a’probability-type item’ should be premised on the fact that game users can obtain an item based on a predictable’determined probability’. With Maplestory’s success, it has become a major profit model in the Korean game industry. Regarding the probability of an item, the industry has never disclosed it to date because it is a business model (BM) or trade secret. Therefore, from the perspective of game users, it is impossible to predict how much more money they will have to spend in the future to obtain the specific item they want, and is it natural that the game company manipulated the odds in their favor to promote speculative nature? There was also a disbelief. And through this’Nexon Incident’, this suspicion was revealed to some extent.

A view of the headquarters of the game company'Nexon'.  Newsis
A view of the headquarters of the game company’Nexon’. Newsis

-What is the main gist of the revised game industry law that catches the probability manipulation of’probability-type items’?

Against this backdrop, the amendment of the Game Industry Promotion Act (hereinafter referred to as the Game Industry Act) was last December to strengthen the protection of game users through disclosure of probability of’probability-type items’ and to improve the unreasonable system to prevent the promotion of speculative use of games. Was initiated. First of all, the definition of’probability-type item’ was newly established (Article 2, No. 13), and in the case of probability-type items, it was obligatory to display the type and supply probability information for each type and other contents prescribed by Presidential Decree (No. 59). Article 1). If the game company does not fulfill these obligations or displays them as false, this may be a reason for ordering to suspend business within 6 months, cancel registration, or close business (Article 76, Paragraph 1, No. 6, 68). Article 1, No. 7). For game companies that have been using probability-type items as their main source of income, it will not be easy in the future to adjust the probability at random by disclosing the probability of probability-type items. As it is expected to be positioned as an element, it is burdened with a new environment.

-Probability disclosure of’probability-type items’, is it an obstacle or stepping stone for the development of the game industry?

The game industry is inevitably compared to gambling because of its speculative nature. In the case of Korea, which is currently penalizing gambling beyond the level of gambling (Article 246 of the Criminal Act), there is no clear definition of gambling, but the precedent is’determining the gain or loss of wealth by chance’ as gambling. (Supreme Court 2008. 10. 23, sentenced, 2006 also 736 ruling). In other words, if there is a’wealth’ that is the object of gambling, there is a’contingency’, which is a situation that the parties cannot foresee and influence, and if there is a’other party to gambling’, then it is gambling. In the case of a’probability type item’, it is difficult to say that it exactly meets the requirements of gambling, but if the party cannot influence it and even predict the probability of it, the item is paid, the game company that is the counterparty to purchase. In light of the existence of gambling, it has a speculative nature similar to that of gambling. In that sense, revealing the probability of a’probability-type item’ will be the minimum measure to reduce gambling, whether it is autonomous or forced. Of course, it is necessary to reconsider whether the probability should be used as a reason for suspension of business or cancellation of permission only because of not stated or falsely stated, and in terms of the principle of protection of trust, this is a significant change that may change the landscape of the industry. It seems necessary to have a grace period sufficient for change.

The fact that the domestic game industry currently only uses’probability-type items’ as its main products will help to create corporate profits in the short term, but if settled in the long term, it will rather hinder the search for new BMs other than’probability-type items’. There is a possibility, and the industry needs to use this revision as an opportunity for a new transformation. There is no eternal fashion in the world, especially because the tastes of game users who are sensitive to new products are ready to change at any time.


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