By Jonathan Charles | Jun 28, 2012 11:16 AM EDT
Blizzard Entertainment, the developers of dungeon crawler video game Diablo 3, is offering refunds to players after an investigation into whether the company was ill-prepared for the demand during launch. Diablo 3 has been the subject of numerous issues, from server errors to disputes between nations.
In a post on its Korean blog, Blizzard said players below level 40 can apply for a refund from June 25 to July 3, and players below level 20 can apply for a refund within 14 days of purchase.
Gamers had been demanding refunds because of 3003 errors, for example, that didn't allow players to log in. Diablo 3 released 12 years after its predecessor, Diablo 2, and demand was incredibly high.
The game is a dungeon crawler, with movement controlled by clicking the mouse on a location. Gameplay is heavily based around collecting loot - weapons and items dropped when enemies are killed, or objects in the world that are interacted with - and playing through the games' difficulties as the player's level grows.
Blizzard also recently launched the Real Money Auction House, which allows players to sell weapons for real money or Battle.net credit to spend on other games. One fan reportedly even quit the game to make a job out of selling items on the Auction House, which probably isn't a good idea because Blizzard frequently patches the game and therefore items are subject to change in terms of value.
The South Korea Fair Trade Commission also raided Blizzard's Seoul office June 2012, for potential evidence for Blizzards lack of preparation.
Korean gamers were also complaining: Chinese players, who can't buy the game, were using Korean copies and Korean servers to gain access. Therefore servers overloaded, because too many players were online, and crashed. Korean players threw abuse at Chinese players in-game as a result.
It's not just in Asia, however: players in the U.S. have complained. One user posted a review on Amazon claiming the game had been down more times that it had allowed him or her to log-in.
Blizzard initially said there won't be compensation for players; during the investigation it was revealed Korean law means consumers are entitled to refunds on a product as long as the consumer didn't cause the problem. In this case, it was Blizzard. The company initially refused refund requests.
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