Nexon Fined Nearly $1 Million For Deceptive Loot Box Marketing In Korea

Jason Winter
Jason Winter April 9, 2018

There are a lot of different viewpoints out there on how loot boxes should be regulated. One of the least controversial, it seems, is the notion that companies should have to disclose the odds of obtaining items in their paid loot boxes. While such a regulation does not exist in Korea, that doesn't meant companies can't run afoul of the law for being a little sketchy about how they advertise their loot boxes.

Case in point: Nexon's recent "Celebrity Count" promotion for Sudden Attack. The game challenged players to obtain 16 items from loot boxes that, when put together, would confer significant benefits. The problem was that, while Nexon said the 16 items were obtainable via random chance -- technically true -- their rarity varied, a point that was not made obvious in marketing. In fact, some had about a 0.5% chance of dropping from a loot box.

That raised the ire of the Korean Fair Trade Commission, which hit Nexon, Netmarble Games, and NextFloor with a series of fines totaling over 1 billion Korean won -- about $935,000 -- and a promise not to employ such tactics in the future. The fine was the largest ever handed out under Korea's Electronic Commerce Act.

The loot boxes cost 900 KRW ($0.84) apiece, and the FTC pointed to an instance of one user spending 460,000 KRW ($430) to obtain all the game pieces. That works out to over 500 loot boxes purchased.

While I found this news on several sites, I mostly based this article on the write-up on Casino News Daily. Yes, that's right, a casino site is reporting on gaming loot boxes. Take that for what you will.

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (8)

NameGoesHere 3 years ago
Last I heard, Nexon made nearly 20+ billion USD from their games with Lootbox related micro-transaction (mainly Mobile)

1 million is like a drop in bucket to them, Nexon will continue their practice regardless.

emikochan 3 years ago
Holy crap, i wonder if that fine even countered the profits from that :O

Matt Mosher 3 years ago
Zombie gunship survival on android has far worse crate drop rates. People have spent thousands of dollars on those so one person spending 500 in a nexon game isnt that much. That comparison however doesn't make it ok either. Given the addictive nature of video games, game makers should be required to give people the odds at the very least.

lootboxessuck 3 years ago
Now the rest of the world needs to wise up. TO HELL WITH LOOT BOXES

kek 3 years ago
Lmao, the Archeage vibes are hitting up so hard right now.

Derick 3 years ago
The government should check on Mabinogi, Maplestory, Vindictus- ah what else.. tch, those games have plenty of 'loot box' gachapons just eating into whale's wallets.

Ric3T4ppe 3 years ago
Who else but f***ing Nexon?

View 1 reply

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