South Korea’s Games Rating Board Collides with StarCraft II

StarCraft has been a phenomena in South Korea for over a decade, even greatly responsible for the internet growth in the country, jewel of the internet cafe and eSport competitions which are aired on TV.

The game is ready to ship in the second half of 2010, but now faces a unexpected roadblock in South Korea.

StarCraft II has been rated Adults-Only (18 age or older) by the South Korea’s Games Rating Board, a unit of the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism — according to Korea Times.

The decision is not final and Blizzard Entertainment may file an objection to dispute the decision within the next 30 days.

“We have nothing to say at this point. We are discussing our official position on the matter as well as what would be the right reaction,” said a Blizzard Korea representative.

In this case, if the objection failed here is what might happen, and this is by no means official, but conjecture on my end:

  • Blizzard might tone down the content for the South Korean version of the game to amend the Games Rating Board’s allegation, and to get a 12+ rating — the way World of Warcraft’s content was for China’s GAPP (i.e. skeletons, graves, etc.). In this Korean case: Stim Packs and other content.

Could this delay the global release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty?

The answer is no. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade launched nigh simultaneously worldwide, except in China. Blizzard China modified the expansion to comply with GAPP regulations, and got approval from said organization.

Blizzard Korea will object the decision, and determine the best course of action to either persuade the rating board to reconsider, or modify the game around their new regulations.

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for (formerly

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  • waddlez

    yea South Korea isn’t going to be the “zomg everyone in SK are leet gaming machines”

    Other than this, the SK government is also trying to prevent people from playing online games for longer than a certain period of time (I think the bbc said 4 hours)

    I really don’t understand the censoring and trying to force people to do things in gaming (Germany’s anti-gore stance [see TF2 rubber duckies], anti-morphine stance of Australia [see fallout3], anti-stacraft/gaming in SK[see this], anti-human anatomy in China[since when are skeletons too risque?]) when the countries involved have pasts that are filled with what they are trying to get rid of (when gaming didn’t exist, gaming def isn’t to blame).

    It is all a bit pathetic… But I guess this is the new burning books!