South Korea is to ban virtual item trading next month as part of a crackdown against automated programs afflicting the online gaming sector.
As reported by The Korea Times, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that more than 60 per cent of item trades had been obtained through botting.
A spokesperson said that item collecting for commercial use “is a serious hindrance to creating a healthy game culture”
They also said that the law would be introduced to encourage students to spend less time on online games.
“The main purpose of the games is for entertainment and should be used for academic and other good purposes,” said the ministry’s Kim Kap-soo.
Those who violate the new law could face up to five years imprisonment and a fine of £28,000.
Under the new ruling, arcade games will also be unable to list in-game items as property or offer vouchers for item purchases.
The news of the ban will be a concern for the many developers who rely on virtual item sales as a central aspect of their revenues and gaming experience.