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Korea’s game rating board halts microtransactions in all Facebook games

Candy Crush Saga was among the first wave of Facebook games to be affected.

Korea’s Game Rating and Administration Committee, the GRAC, has disabled in-app purchases for all Facebook games played in the country. The games will remain forcibly free until developers pay for them to be rated.

All Facebook game payments were blocked in Korea on August 26, pending ratings from the GRAC. The blanket decision is likely part of a crackdown on social casino games – which had previously dodged Korea’s anti-gambling laws.

The country’s Game Industry Promotion Act states that games must be rated by a panel of nine experts, made up of professors, attorneys and industry watchdogs.

Developers will have to pay to submit new games to the GRAC, and will receive a rating within 15 days. But the rule also appears to apply to existing, unrated games too – hence the blanket ban.

It’s tempting to look at this as a liberation of Facebook gamers from the unscrupulousness of social game developers. But that’ll be small comfort to players left unable to unlock levels, features or the necessary resources to progress in their favourite games.

Do any of you lot play games on Facebook? The last I tried was Ghost Recon Commander, and it didn’t end spectacularly well.

Thanks, Pocket Gamerand LatisGames.