All data are based on the daily closing price as of May 23, 2024

Nexon Korea Fined $8.9 Million for Deceptive Practices in MapleStory and Bubble Fighter

South Korea's Nexon penalized for altering in-game item probabilities in MapleStory, marking the highest fine for consumer protection violations
South Korea
n 225570.KQ Games 75 Entertainment 100 Consumer 250
Share this on

Nexon Korea Corp., a leading South Korean online game developer, has been fined a substantial 11.6 billion won ($8.9 million) by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) for allegedly deceiving customers in its popular games MapleStory and Bubble Fighter. The KFTC’s action against Nexon, which is the largest shareholder in Nexon Games Co., is centered around the company’s manipulation of the probabilities of obtaining certain in-game items, known as Cubes.

Cubes, which are paid items in these games, allow players to reset or enhance the potential of their characters’ equipment. Originally introduced in May 2010 with equal probabilities for each option, Nexon later altered this structure. From September 2010, the company decreased the likelihood of players obtaining more popular options and, starting August 2011, went as far as setting the probability of winning certain highly preferred Cubes to zero – all without informing the players.

This undisclosed change in the probability structure of Cube items led to a significant revenue generation for Nexon, with a reported 550 billion won in sales from September 2010 to March 2021. The KFTC’s decision to impose this fine – the largest ever for a violation of the Act on Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce in South Korea – stems from the duration of the violation, the importance of Cubes in the game, and Nexon’s history of similar offenses.

Previously, in 2018, Nexon faced a 939 million won fine for misleading practices related to lottery-type items in another game, Sudden Attack. In response to the latest KFTC ruling, Nexon expressed respect for the decision but is considering contesting it or taking legal action. This case highlights the increasing scrutiny on in-game monetization practices and the need for transparency in online gaming.

Share this on
Jakota Newsletter

Stay ahead in the JAKOTA stock markets with our roundup of vital insights

Icon scroll to top