South Korea considers legal action against boosting

Jessica S. December 7, 2018

South Korea’s government will soon decide on proposed consequences for account boosting in video games.

Should they be approved, punishments could include up to two years in jail and a fine of up to 20 million won

In June of last year, South Korea’s National Assembly introduced an amendment to the Game Industry Promotion Act to include sanctions against third party vendors that profit from the supplying or providing of cheats and hacks in video games.

This year, if approved, the new implementation would incur either a fine or jail time to those found guilty of boosting accounts for profit. Boosting happens when a highly skilled player plays the game on an account they don’t own in order to raise the ranking on that account.

These services are sold to players who want higher level accounts, and the accounts themselves are often sold to the highest bidder. There has been no clarification on any consequences for the hiring party.

If the amendment passes, it will also be illegal to advertise for boosting on websites. Game companies welcomed the change, as many have already taken action on their own to combat boosting. One of the harshest punishments came down on Overwatch pro Kim “SADO” Su-Min of the Philadelphia Fusion, who received a 30-day ban for boosting other accounts before the inaugural Overwatch League season started.

Riot Games posted their own explanation of what the consequences are for boosting in League of Legends, and why boosting was considered a punishable offense.

“MMR boosting may sound like a victimless crime, but it can have numerous negative effects on the game and other players,” the article stated.

The amendment will have to go through the Culture, Sports, and Tourism Committee and the Legislation and Judiciary Committee before it reaches the National Assembly on December 30th, but after a judicial review that was held recently, the amendment is expected to pass.