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No Diablo III Korean Approval Yet

The Korea Times has word that the prospects for releasing Diablo III in South Korea are still up in the air, as the ratings board there struggles with the implications of the real-money auction house in Blizzard's upcoming action/RPG sequel (thanks IncGamers). Word is this may throw a monkey wrench into the game's planned simultaneous global release:

Though a ruling on the third and latest in the series of global bestseller Diablo was rumored to be due today, the board spokesman said Tuesday there were no signs suggesting a definitive answer.

“Committee members are conflicted about what to do with Diablo 3,” he said, “because of (its American developer) Blizzard’s information on the game’s ‘auction house’ feature.”

The virtual auction allows users to buy and sell items won during the game, which for many, including the board, resembles gambling. The controversial cashing-out feature, which would convert play money into real currency, was excluded in the most recent resubmission on Dec. 22 but continues to confound the process.

The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, but the spokesman cautioned fans against optimism, saying instead that reviews take place every Wednesday and Friday.

“As it is described in the (re)submission, committee members are still reluctant.”

Blizzard has dug a grave for itself by publicly committing to a simultaneous global, region-free launch for the first time in company history. Because every country will receive identical software, the Korean board’s decision is keeping the global game giant in chains.

“In principle, we are always committed to a global release,” said spokeswoman for Blizzard.

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