It appears that the SK Ratings Board is still deliberating what to do about Diablo 3. The RMAH is still being held back, and the Blizzard SK team has posted an update about the issue. (It's interesting that they actually had to make an update in the first place.. I guess things are taking much longer than expected.)
One of our readers (lchigo) alerted me to this new post on the Korean Battle.net website. (By the way, receiving updates like these are very helpful.. I can't keep track of everything after all. Keep it up!)
Approvals for new video games are usually pretty short. According to the GRB website, from submission to approval usually takes less than 30 days. I've seen some games approved within 3-5 days for example, with the really long ones taking no more than 1 month. D3 was been waiting for approval for a really long time now (several months at least), and I don't think it's just the GRB holding the approvals back.. it appears that there are other government bodies holding up the GRB before they can make their decisions (e.g. law makers / gambling investigation teams.)
Here's a very rough translation (I did myself) of the Korean Battle.net announcement:
Diablo III Release Readiness UpdateIf you speak Korean and can do a much better translation, let me know. :)
Author: Blizzard Entertainment 05 December 2011 08:02 UTC 2
Hello Diablo III community,
Thanks for your enthusiasm and encouragement about Diablo III that was announced at this past Blizzcon, and thanks for your high quality feedback about the game. I want to take this opportunity to give you an update on the Diablo III release. The main issues we're having right now are in regards to Korea's potential real money auction house and associated ratings for the game.
We have recently announced plans to increase the number of Korean players in the Diablo III beta. A specific schedule has not been set yet as we are having a difficult time, but we will update you all as soon as possible once a date is committed. In addition, over the past beta builds of the Korean version of the game, we have received a lot of good feedback. These comments are gathered by the Diablo III team and they will be used to make sure this is an excellent game and meets all of our player's expectations, and we will have more information on the community site with more beta news forthcoming. In addition, you can apply for participation in the beta test on this page.
Diablo III - Korea Ratings Under Consideration
As we approach it's release, players can review the ratings to see if it is within their age group and if the game is suitable for them. We recently contacted the Korea Ratings Board to receive a Diablo III classification. We are aiming for a Mature Adult 18+ rating. The ratings for consideration were based on the latest version of the game and they have been provided a full version with all elements of the game included. We will provide more information and progress of their deliberations sometime at a later date.
The Auction House
As many of you know, Diablo III is introducing a powerful new auction system. Items are collected in the Diablo series, and characters grow through item buying which is an essential element of the game. However, there have been many issues and fraud related to buying items in the past. There are many risks of exposure using third-party merchant sites, and using them is a fairly complex process. But through our new auction house, money and in-game items is safe, fun, and can easily be bought and sold. For more information about the auction house, the information page can be found at: *doesn't matter*
There have been many questions about the currency auction house. An auction system like this is in some ways an unprecedented new effort, and there are different regulations and laws in other regions, which we are working on. After an internal investigation, we concluded that the auction house system is legitimate in Korea. However, we respect and are taking the classification system for each region very seriously. Blizzard has been working closely with the national regulation groups, and we are cooperating fully with the Korea rating committee. We are getting closer to release more information, and we will let you know the status soon.
For now, we want to make sure the community knows what's going on and so that you're not left wondering what's going on. Please continue to leave your comments and questions on the official forums, and we look forward to reading your comments.
Best wishes, Blizzard Korea.
There haven't been any other confirmations of the SK approval in Blizzard news, so it looks like nothing has been approved yet and it's still being worked on.
Taking this long though, it must be a pretty serious investigation. In other regions (like NA/EU), the investigations won't happen until AFTER the game is released.. only then, after they see the effects of the game, can they conclude if it's gambling or not. (If could be addressed by any level of the government too.. from gambling law makers to child protection services.)