Diablo3 users to get refunds from Blizzardf
By Park Si-soo
Blizzard Korea will give refunds to users who had problems with its latest game Diablo 3 as early as next week, said Kim Dong-soo, chairman the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), Thursday.
If the U.S.-based online firm does, it would be yielding to mounting pressure applied by the FTC. The news also came at a time when some users and cyber cafe owners were pledging a class-action lawsuit against Blizzard Korea to have it address their concerns.
“Blizzard Korea will announce a set of relief measures for Diablo 3 purchasers next week,” Kim told reporters at a hotel in downtown Seoul, Thursday. “Our investigation will continue regardless of the measures and we will conclude how to deal with the case in July.”
He said the FTC is handling this quicker than other cases involving foreign-invested firms since its conclusion will directly affect an estimated 900,000 Diablo 3 purchasers here.
“We are proceeding with the case quickly thanks to smooth cooperation of Blizzard,” the fair trade regulator head said.
Diablo 3 went on sale on May 15. Nearly 6.3 million copies were sold worldwide in the first week of its release, while Blizzard Korea refused to disclose its sales in Korea, citing internal regulations.
Blizzard Korea refused to confirm the expectation raised by the FTC chief. “We are in talks with the FTC,” a Blizzard Korea spokesman told The Korea Times. “Nothing has been decided yet.”
FTC spokesman Kim Hyung-bae reaffirmed its chief’s forecast, saying, “You will see the expectation realized next week.”
The FTC’s ongoing probe into the game maker aims at confirming whether Blizzard has sold the game based on an unfair contract so that purchasers cannot receive refunds even if they discover problems. FTC officials said they are studying whether the firm should be held liable for ill-preparation for higher-than-expected traffic to servers, a key culprit behind frequent disconnections.
The Blizzard Korea spokesman refused to comment on the issue. He said the firm will react to those considering filing a class-action lawsuit with “reasonable methods.” He said there were no users who had actually filed a suit against the company.
Early this week, the Internet PC Culture Association (IPCA) opened an online community called “Diablo 3 damage lawsuit group,” asking users and PC room owners to join the organization in filing a lawsuit against Blizzard Korea.
“We have something like 700 to 800 members in our cafe. We have received numerous complaints since early June from PC room owners and users,” said Kim Chan-kuen, IPCA head.
The most recent incident that caused an outburst from users was a prolonged server checkup that started last Sunday and ended Monday. Blizzard Korea initially posted on its website that the Asia server would go through a two hour server checkup that eventually lasted over a day.