Nexon fined almost $9 million for allegedly changing probability structure of certain items in MapleStory without informing players

A screenshot from MapleStory.
(Image credit: Nexon)

Nexon Korea Corp. is facing a fine of 11.6 billion won (around $8.8 million, or £6.9 million) after it allegedly misled its customers by altering the probability structure of ‘Cubes’ in MapleStory, The Korea Economic Daily reports. This stands as the largest-ever fine as a result of an alleged violation of the Act on Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce in South Korea.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) reportedly stated yesterday (January 3) that Nexon had not notified customers that it had altered the probability structure of Cubes - in-game items that can be used for a chance to raise the ‘potential’ (essentially, bonus stats) of equipment in the free-to-play online roleplaying game. 

Different Cubes boast different possible outcomes, which players can only discover when they actually use them. Although they can be earned for free through regular play (for example, by crafting them), players can also buy them with in-game currency, which can be purchased with real money. 

When Cubes were first added to MapleStory in May 2010, players apparently had an equal chance of drawing any possible options from them. However, this was allegedly altered in September of the same year, so some outcomes were drawn less often. Furthermore, it was alleged that between August 2011 and March 2021, some things became impossible to obtain from the random draw, but the KFTC said that players weren’t notified about this, either.

The director of the market surveillance department for the KFTC, Kim Jung-ki, stated that the decision to fine the publisher was based on the fact that the alleged “period of violation” was lengthy, as well as the fact that Cubes are a “core product” in MapleStory

If you’re on the lookout for more fantastic games to play, be sure to check out our lists of the best free games, as the best MMORPGs.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.