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Posts with tag diablo-iii-rmt

Blizzard's battle in South Korea over the real money auction house

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps.

Diablo III is one of Blizzard's most ambitious (if not the single most ambitious) launch of a game in the history of video gaming. Blizzard intends on a worldwide mega-event to launch Diablo III simultaneously in every country, with a massive localization undertaking. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into this product. Countless man-hours have been spent toiling behind computer screens and long nights and painful testing. This is the forge where artifacts are made.

And as the mighty hype machine churns and the release date comes closer and closer until the game is announced, the best-laid plans of men and Blizzard begin to feel the sting of friction. Chaos exists amongst the order. Back in September, we learned that South Korea had denied a rating to Diablo III because of concerns over the real money auction house, a new, hotly debated feature coming to the game. More specifically, the South Korean raters felt that the ability to "cash out" on real-money auctions skirted too close to the gambling line.

This was bad. This was really bad. How could a core feature of one of the most hotly debated and fought-over moves in microtransactions to this day be the cause of release hardships? People frantically checked their backlogs of notes. It didn't make sense. South Korea wasn't an issue, they assured themselves. There was no way.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: The relationship between Blizzard and PayPal

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

On Wednesday, Blizzard announced that PayPal would be its payment service partner for the new Battle.net wallet and Diablo 3 real money transaction Auction House coming with the release of the next Diablo game. Was anyone really surprised at this announcement? I sure wasn't, but that's because I already knew PayPal would be the payment service partner for the Diablo 3 real money Auction House from the moment the Diablo 3 real money Auction House was announced. I'm not trying to be smug here, because you knew it, too. You just didn't know that you knew.

The relationship between Blizzard and PayPal is an easy one to decipher because of the nature of the business Blizzard is getting into with the Diablo 3 RMT Auction House. Auctions for real money are firmly in PayPal's wheelhouse because, shocker of shockers, PayPal is owned by eBay. When you think about the feasibility of the RMT Auction House and all of the legal ramifications that go along with it, you point to the eBay model of online auction facilitation for what works and provides the path of least resistance.

This article is not a critique of PayPal as a service. There are plenty of places on the web to find that type of article. Instead, The Lawbringer will look at the actual services that Blizzard provides with PayPal, why PayPal was the obvious choice for real money transactions, and how PayPal's integration into Battle.net is not the potentially apocalyptic scenario that a few have presumed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

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