D3 Resubmitted in SK for Approval

Posted by Daeity On Sunday, December 25, 2011

It appears that Blizzard might be sick and tired of waiting, especially since players are getting really frustrated and many are now aware of what's really holding back the release.

According to sources here and here, instead of submitting documents describing the RMAH process, they're just going to cut out the real money "cashing-out" part of the Korean version instead. They want to add it later as a patch, if they can obtain approval.

(At first I thought these were just opinion pieces, but they have quotes from Blizzard and a GRB official confirming these new developments.)

Blizzard was contacted on Dec 16 and asked to provide more information about the RMAH. The original hearing for the Korean GRB was slated for Dec 21, but it was cancelled and postponed to a later date. Blizzard was given 7 days to file their additional information.

As I've noted many times in the past, they have to be really careful about what they submit so this doesn't come as a surprise at all. They've been dancing around the issue, and trying to show that "random loot" is the only gambling related activity in the game. However, the RMAH operates just like a slot machine and there is real monetary risk involved. Given only 7 days to prepare information, it was a wise decision to take more time to prepare their best documentation.. they might even rethink the RMAH process for SK specifically.

It appears that Blizzard submitted their amended request and it was received by the GRB on either Dec 21 or most likely Dec 22 (it was reported in the Korean news on Dec 23). However, they're still leaving in the RMAH but for "Battle Coins" (B.Net Bucks) only, so there won't be a way to cash out with real money. It's kind of sneaky, since it's still worth real money.. but it does demonstrate just how important it is to get Korea on board with the RMAH. They could have just cut it out altogether so that it can finally be released for all other geographies.

This is still a re-submission for approval though, and the GRB needs to review their new approach to the RMAH. The new RMAH process still actually involves random chance and possibility of losing money.. unless the Korean RMAH does not charge for Listing Fees. They're expecting to have a final decision made by the first week of January.

Coincidentally, on the day of or right after that resubmission for approval, Bashiok tweeted:

"#Diablo15 year anniversary is in 9 days! (We have a little something fun planned for the week after.) How are you going to celebrate?"
They still haven't received the GRB confirmation though, but it's expected "the week after" Diablo's anniversary.. which is the first week of January. He says "a little something fun planned", meaning that it's not supposed to be anything important like a release date but it's left open for interpretation. Strange that they're not announcing anything on the anniversary date, but rather sometime during the week AFTER. :)

If you weren't aware, Bashiok also confirmed that the GRB rating was indeed a facet responsible for their planned D3 global launch. He wrote the following, and then immediately deleted it, even though there was no reason to delete it except for the GRB comment:
#226 - 2011/12/21 05:37:00 AM

I don't know what translation you're reading but no where has it been stated the release of the game on a whole is delayed because of a GRB rating. Might it delay the game in Korea? I suppose no one knows, but we still have some time since the game is not finished. We're playing internal builds, the entire game, we'd know if it was. I'd know.
I hate it when they try to hide this stuff. I understand why though; players would be really angry if Blizzard did admit to Korea being the reason for long delays.