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 Diablo III  fever and Nexon lawsuits, this week in Korean news
Diablo III fever and Nexon lawsuits, this week in Korean news
May 25, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

May 25, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
More: Social/Online, Business/Marketing

[Gamasutra rounds up the week's biggest reports on South Korea's booming online games market from This Is Game, the leading English-language site about the country's game industry.]

In our latest round-up of news from South Korea's online games space, we look at Diablo III's popularity in the country, and a new lawsuit against Nexon.

How long will Diablo III fever last in Korea?

Diablo III's sales have been off to a great start, as the PC game managed to move over 6.3 million copies around the world in a week -- Blizzard Entertainment claims it is the top-played game in South Korea's "PC Bang" cyber cafes, too.

That success has surprised many in South Korea, as evidenced by a survey of 230 local game developers and professionals. 90 percent of participants said the game's popularity exceeded their expectations.

The survey also found that 30 percent of respondents expect Diablo III's popularity to last through June, while 17 percent expect its popularity to extend into 2013.

Participants said Riot Games' League of Legends and NCsoft's Aion have taken the biggest hit in their audiences due to Diablo III's popularity.

Cyber cafe owners plan to sue Nexon over excessive fees

A group of cyber cafe owners known as Korea's "Internet Cultural Content Corporation" intend to sue MapleStory maker Nexon, and have file a complaint over unfair corporate practives with the country's Fair Trade Commission.

Among their grievances, the group allege that Nexon's games continue to charge fees to cyber cafes even when those games are not being played (users can play free-to-play titles for free at home, but cyber cafes must pay fees).

Nexon Korea says that problem has been resolved, and claims that it's immediately compensated cyber cafes who've experienced the issue, paying them back three times the original fee.

[This story was written with permission using material from ThisIsGame Global, the leading English-language site about the South Korean game industry.]

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Terry Matthes
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"users can play free-to-play titles for free at home, but cyber cafes must pay fees"

This makes sense to me. Why wouldn't you charge a business that uses your product to get customers in it's doors? I see no reason for a lawsuit here.

Quan Ngo
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Should Wikipedia and Gamasutra charge these cafes too?
End-users pay for game publishers already (through subscriptions and/or micro-transactions)

Terry Matthes
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In the end if your game or service is indirectly making someone else money than what is wrong with charging for it? If my game is making your cafe money I would like my fair share please.

Max Loy
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In this case, though, the games in question are already making money off of the customers of the cybercafe - asking for additional money from the cybercafe owners seems like a bit of a raw deal.

Jeremie Sinic
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The game was at around 38% share of all games played in PC bangs 2-3 days ago. That's pretty amazing.