Even South Korea is getting mighty tired of lockboxes… or at least, tired of scuzzy business practices associated with them. Netmarble had been fined back in March for deceptive lockbox practices, but the company had lodged an appeal in July asking for the fine to be waived. That appeal has been thrown out by the Seoul High Court, meaning that the developer is going to need to pay its fines and deal with the fact that you can’t just lie to customers forever.
The specific game under discussion is a baseball game called Magu Magu, which claimed that drop rates for specific high-quality equipment had been raised 10 times when the actual percentages were half that at most. An investigation by the South Korean Fair Trade Commission determined that this was deliberately false in order to engage and attract customers, hence the fine for the company. It likely won’t stop the use of lockboxes, of course, but it’s yet another in the line of dings taken by the less ethical uses of same.