The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has punished three game companies -- Netmarble Games, Nexon Korea, and NextFloor -- for providing consumers with false information about the in-game items they sold.
The FTC has recently imposed an aggregate fine of 25.5 million won (US$22,900) and a total surcharge of 984 million won (US$885,000), along with a correction order (including a public announcement order), on the three companies for false information, falsification, exaggeration, and deceptive luring of customers.
An FTC official said that the fines and surcharges slapped on the three companies were the highest level since the e-commerce law was enacted as the commission judged that their practice involved a high level of illegality. “We hope that the stern punishment serves as a warning for game developers. We’d like to see them make efforts to stop falsified, exaggerated and deceptive advertising practices," he said.
According to the FTC, Nexon was penalized for luring consumers in a deceptive way in two games – “Sudden Attack” and “Counter-Strike Online 2.” The surcharge imposed for the deceptive advertising in “Sudden Attack” alone amounted to 930 million won (US$837,000).
Netmarble Games was punished by the FTC for exaggerating the probabilities of acquiring the in-game items in three games -- "Magu Magu," "Marvel: Future Fight" and "Monster Tamer." The company was ordered to pay a fine of 15 million won (US$13,500) and a surcharge of 45 million won (US$40,000).
NextFloor was also punished for inflating the probability to obtain a five-star child through a child summon. While the actual probability stood at a mere 0.9%, the company inflated it to 1.44% in the public announcement board at its official online cafe. For this reason, the FTC imposed a penalty of 5 million won (US$4,500) on NextFloor.