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Blizzard Offices Raided, As Korean Government Probes Diablo 3 Connection Problems

Posted by: , 13:26 AEST, Mon June 4, 2012

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Blizzard is under investigation in South Korea over the company's alleged refusal to refund customers angry at DRM related server problems for the hit game, Diablo 3
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The Korea Times has reported that the South Korean offices of Blizzard was raided last week over consumer complaints concerning the company's high profile Diablo 3 game.

Diablo 3 is the first single player game from Blizzard that uses the controversial "always-on" DRM system, where a constant Internet connection is required even for single player gaming.

This new DRM, added with the highly anticipated nature of the game, lead to a botched launch, where Blizzard's servers were unable to cope with the heavy load. Gamers were presented with the frustrating Error 37 message, signalling that the server was too busy to handle the current connection.

Blizzard responded by doubling the number of available servers, but even weeks after the launch, some gamers are still experiencing connection problems.

These problems led many South Koreans, a traditionally strong market for Blizzard due to the country's love for its other major franchise, StarCraft, to seek a refund for the game. But when Blizzard allegedly refused to refund affected customers, many complained to the country's Fair Trade Commission (FTC).

With hundreds of complaints filed already, the FTC last week raided Blizzard's offices and seized documents and other evidence related to the refusal of the company to refund customers. 

The FTC investigation will focus on whether Blizzard forced an unfair contract with buyers, a contract which prevents refunds, and may run counter to existing South Korean law that allows for refunds for any issue not caused by the customer. The FTC will examine whether the server problems will count as a product fault in determining the fairness of Blizzard's actions.


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