According to the Korea Times, South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) announced plans to ban the trade and sale of commercial in-game items in order to keep teens from wasting time. This ban will be across the board and will affect everything from free-to-play MMO titles to mobile games. Basically any game where you can buy virtual items will no longer be able to operate effectively in the region.
This is bad news for more than just Apps and MMO titles; games like Team Fortress 2 and Diablo III will be affected by the law as well as any other major Western games. We do not know if this would affect something like Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Origin, Steam, or any other digital distribution networks that allow you to buy DLC but we think that it probably will. So why has the government gone to this extreme? Because they believe that chasing after these virtual baubles is just too much of a distraction for young people who would be better off spending their time studying.
"The main purpose of the games is for entertainment and should be used for academic and other good purposes," said Kim Kap-soo, head of the ministry's content policy division.
Violators could face up to a 50 million won fine (about $43,000, or £27,600) and a 5-year prison sentence. More details on this ban will be revealed next month.