According to the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, roughly sixty percent of game items for sale were acquired via bots. In online games, these programs allow players to hunt and collect items without controlling them directly. And soon, these programs will be outlawed.
The Korea Times reports that the country has decided to ban the commercial trade of game items. The law, which will go into affect later this year, will also prohibit players from using bots. The Korean government believes that these programs are responsible for online gaming's negative reputation.
Those players who violate the law can face up to five years in prison and a 50 million won (US$43,000).
"The main purpose of the games is for entertainment and should be used for academic and other good purposes," said Kim Kap-soo, head of the ministry's content policy division. The government also feels that the virtual item trade has caused problems in Korea and that a solution is therefore necessary.
More details about the new law are expected next month.
Korea prohibits trade of online game items [The Korea Times]