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South Korea: Blizzard accused of antitrust breach over ‘Starcraft: Remastered’

 |  August 14, 2017

South Korea’s PC cafe owners have accused Blizzard Entertainment of breaching the local antitrust law by introducing a new fee system for “Starcraft: Remastered,” a high-definition remake of the firm’s smash-hit PC strategy game “Starcraft.”

The Internet PC Culture Association, which represents local internet PC cafes where people play online games, also known as “PC bangs,” said Monday that it had petitioned the Korea Fair Trade Commission to investigate Blizzard for unfairly charging them for the new game.

“Starcraft: Remastered” is an upgraded version of the former “Starcraft” game fitted with upgraded graphics and an improved soundtrack. The game was prelaunched at selected PC bangs in Korea on July 30, weeks ahead of its official worldwide release slated for Aug. 15.

The Korean PC bang association has taken issue with Blizzard’s new policy to charge PC cafes between 203 and 233 won (US20 cents) per hour for offering the new Starcraft game to visiting players.

In the case of the original “Starcraft,” Korean PC bangs purchased the game package one-off and were not required to pay any additional fees.

Blizzard has decided to collect time-based fees for the new version of “Starcraft,” on the grounds that it offers an array of in-game perks and benefits to those who choose to play the game at local PC bangs, according to the company.

The Internet PC Culture Association claims that “Starcraft: Remastered” is no different from the game’s original version, except that its graphics are upgraded, and that it is unjustified for Blizzard to start charging new fees for a game that is essentially the same.

Full Content: PC Games

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