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Blizzard To Appeal  StarCraft II  Korea Rating

Blizzard To Appeal StarCraft II Korea Rating

April 23, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

April 23, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
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Blizzard will do whatever it can to eliminate the 18-plus classification upcoming StarCraft II has received from Korea's ratings board, submitting an edited build to and appealing the decision.

The Korea board found it unsuitable for consumers under the age of 18 due to what it called the game's "level of violence, foul language and depiction of drug use". North America's ESRB gave the PC and Mac title a Teen rating for its "blood and gore, language, suggestive themes, use of alcohol and tobacco, and violence." Blizzard hopes to attain a 12-and-up rating for the game in the region.

Blizzard's Bob Colayco told consumer site Shacknews that it has already given the board a new build intended to "address the Game Ratings Board's concerns." According to the report, a factor in the rating might be a conflict between Blizzard and KeSPA, the organization that oversees StarCraft: Brood War eSports in South Korea.

Competitive play of StarCraft is an enormously popular sport in the region, and KeSPA and Blizzard have had tension in the past -- Blizzard seeks more ownership of and involvement in the competition around its game, while KeSPA wants to retain sole control over the sport. The release of StarCraft II may be viewed as a threat to KeSPA's dominance over StarCraft gaming.

Another factor that may pose a challenge to the game is rising concern over teens' online play in South Korea. Just over a week ago, South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced new policies designed to limit the amount of time younger gamers spend with MMOs.

The new measures include a nighttime shutdown" that restricts underaged users from playing MMOs after midnight, and a slowdown system that reduces connection speeds after a period of time.


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