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South Korea Makes Commercial “Boosting” Services Illegal in Video Games

Commercial “boosting” services which are used to increase the level of a user’s account in-game are now prohibited in South Korea and actors who provide such services can be punished, The Korea Herald reported Sunday.

These services are used to increase the rank of individual gamers in return for a fee, affecting the ecosystem of the game, making it difficult for players who do not purchase boosting services and thus less fair.

Korea’s National Assembly passed a revision to the Game Industry Promotion Act, making the paid services to boost illegal when not authorized by the developer or publisher of the game. The act of boosting is considered  an “act of disruption to a game’s normal operations,” according to The Korea Herald. This act is punishable by either a two-year jail sentence or a fine of up to 20 million won, nearly $18,000.

Representative Lee Dong-sup of the Bareunmirae Party, which is the minor opposition, centrist political group of South Korea, proposed the bill.

“Many popular games have been suffering from professional businesses specializing in boosting without a concrete way to resolve this issue,” said Rep. Lee. “The newly passed revisions will provide immense support to efforts to forge a healthy esports ecosystem in Korea.”

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