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NCsoft fined for E3 noise

Fine the lot of them, I say.

NCsoft has been fined USD 5000 by organisers of the Electronic Entertainment Expo for allegedly breaching stringent rules on noise levels for publishers attending the annual event.

NCsoft's booth at E3 2006 consisted of a large stage area where live music sets were repeatedly played to promote the company's forthcoming MMO title, Tabula Rasa. The crowd were encouraged to applaud as loudly as possible, although NCsoft maintains that there were louder noise levels from rival publisher's stands and that the situation was monitored by its staff during the event.

US website GameSpot reports that the publisher had three staff members monitoring the situation with decibel recorders, an NCsoft representative stating: "We've been doing our best to comply [with regulations]."

The publisher will be complying with the decision regarding the fine, but the company's VP of strategic development, Fred Schmidt, has suggested that NCsoft may choose an alternative venue to present its games next year, snubbing the most recognisable and highly attended trade event for the industry.

Addressing the assembled crowd during the event, Schmidt stated: "We're not sure we're on the same plane with this organisation... We have been harassed for three days straight, and I'm not sure we're coming back here, but we are going to have a party next year - real near here - and we hope you all will come."

This year's E3 event was attended by come 60,000 industry professionals, with major announcements from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft paving the way for first and third party publishers to present their latest game releases and vie for attention amongst the crowds. Organisers instigated a number of regulations regarding stage size, noise levels and the use of "booth babes", and are apparently determined to enforce those regulations in the light of any perceived infraction.