South Korea loves its online gaming, and many online games work by having free gameplay and microtransactions to fund its servers. The MCST of Korea presented an amendment to the current Game Industry Promotion Act that would basically ban the cash shop option from games.
As an MMO player, I can say that this is the stupidest move anyone can make and will greatly harm the industry. The law will only affect games that aren’t rated 18+ by the Game Rating Board. However, the extreme majority of Korea’s MMOs are rated 12+ or 15+.
The popularity of the free to play model with cash perks on an international level is testament to the overall success of such an idea, even if the premium items are purely cosmetic or can be easily gotten in-game. A large amount of online games also come from Asia and are translated for western audiences regularly.
The effects of this if passed would likely cripple many MMORPGs, and publishers may not even touch ones that can’t use a cash shop in order to protect their bottom line and keep themselves in the black. The final ruling of the proposed amendment is expected to come out early December.