You can now spend two years in jail for account boosting in South Korea

Account boosting in competitive multiplayer games is now a criminal offence punishable by 2 years in prison or a fine

Overwatch Hanzo

June 25, 2019 Big fines and jail time are in store for account boosters in South Korea.

If you boost or share your game accounts in South Korea, you could go to jail or face some substantial fines under a new law. An amendment to the Law on Game Business Development to do just that has been floating around South Korea’s legislature for some time, but the law has finally gone into effect this week.

Potential punishments include fines up to 20 million won (around $17,300 USD) and two years in jail, as Daniel Ahmad notes on Twitter. The law primarily concerns account boosting – the act of paying someone to play on your account and boost your ranking – but certain types of duoing and coaching are included, as well. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re going to jail for getting advice or playing with your friends.

Infractions are “prosecuted depending on whether the game company authorized it, whether there was payment, and the frequency of the act,” as one Redditor’s translation puts it. Additionally, advertising boosting services is also a violation of the law.

Efforts against account boosting have become particularly concerted over the past few years, and Overwatch has been a recurring example. Dallas Fuel’s Minseok ‘OGE’ Son was banned for account boosting just days after he was drafted into the team, and he’s far from the only professional player to have been punished for the offence.

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Even without direct government influence, community management in South Korea tends to be a bit more aggressive, like when 18,000 banned Overwatch players had their names posted online in an anti-toxicity effort. (At least they made it through without jail time.)