South Korea's Games Rating Board (GRB) updated its classification for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
to "18 and up", likely a surprise for developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment, which hoped to receive a "12 and up" rating.
The GRB, a division of the South Korean government's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, previously gave the real-time strategy game a "15 and up" rating last year. Blizzard re-submitted a release candidate for review earlier this month, hoping for a rating closer to the ESRB's Teen/"13 and up" classification for North America.
"Considering that the RC version of the game is closer to what will be sold on the shelves compared to the beta versions, we looked more carefully at the content," said a GRB official, according to a report from The Korea Times
. "However, this rating is not final, as Blizzard will get the chance to object to it."
The board attributed its increased rating to the game's "level of violence, foul language and depiction of drug use". In its classification for StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty
, North America's ESRB gave the PC/Mac title a Teen rating for its "blood and gore, language, suggestive themes, use of alcohol and tobacco, and violence."
Blizzard has the option of filing an objection within the next 30 days, and can also choose to edit the offending parts of its game to receive a classification that would allow it to sell Starcraft II
to younger gamers. A spokeswoman for Blizzard Korea says the company hasn't yet decided on whether it will challenge the GRB's decision.
This news comes just a week after South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced new policies
designed to limit the amount of time younger gamers spend with MMOs. The new measures include a nighttime shutdown" that restricts underaged users from playing MMOs after midnight, and a slowdown system that reduces connection speeds after a period of time.