Blizzard has taken the drastic step of offering South Korean Diablo 3 players a full refund following the server woe that plagued the game's launch.
The decision comes after gamer complaints forced the South Korean government to launch an investigation into Blizzard's Seoul office.
Blizzard had resisted providing compensation, but South Korean consumer protection law guarantees a refund if there is a problem with a product that is not caused by the customer.
Blizzard will accept returns from players less than level 20 within 14 days of purchase from now on. It appears players above level 40 will not be offered a refund.
The company declined to comment when contacted by Eurogamer on the possibility of a similar offer being made in the UK.
But Blizzard did issue Eurogamer the following statement on the status of the Diablo 3 game service:
"As you may be aware, the Diablo III real-money auction house launched in the Americas game region earlier this week and in Europe on Friday, and players are successfully buying and selling the spoils of war with their fellow heroes of Sanctuary. With the arrival of this major new feature - and the recent one-month anniversary of the game's release - we wanted to provide you with a quick update on the state of Diablo III and catch you up on some of our upcoming plans for the game.
"Recently, we gave players a preview of what's in store in the upcoming patch 1.0.3, which includes some key changes to item drop rates and the challenge of the Inferno difficulty level, along with Blacksmith and Jeweler changes designed to make them more appealing to players in the late game. We recently applied additional hotfixes to address some key gameplay issues, including changes related to player survivability in co-op games, and released patch 1.0.2c to address some bugs and other minor technical issues.
"Prior to the real-money auction house release, we issued our first wave of suspensions and bans to players found to be cheating or using hacks, bots, or other game modifications. Read more on our stance on cheating in Diablo III here.
"We also wanted to provide an update on the status of the Diablo III service for European players. As we announced previously, Diablo III represented the biggest PC-game launch in history and became the fastest-selling PC game of all time. However, as discussed in our earlier post-launch update, despite our very aggressive projections in terms of server infrastructure, Diablo III players initially experienced some difficulty logging in to the game due to the sheer number of people accessing our servers at the moment the game launched and at peak times.
"In the weeks following the game's May 15 launch, we added hardware infrastructure to improve capacity, and during that time the game's European servers were accessible and stable for the great majority of the time. Since June 2, players in Europe have been able to consistently access and play the game in their home region, though we occasionally perform routine maintenance from time to time. We are continuing to work around the clock to provide the best possible service and deliver a great gameplay experience for Diablo III players around the globe."
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