Nexon hit with $8.9m fine for misleading MapleStory players

Nexon hit with $8.9m fine for misleading MapleStory players

Korean games giant Nexon has been fined ₩11.6 billion ($8.9 million) by the country's Fair Trade Commission following allegations of misleading players of the MMO MapleStory.

As reported by The Korea Economic Daily, the company allegedly changed the probability of winning in-game items. In some cases, apparently, the odds of receiving certain items was reduced to zero. This is the largest fine ever imposed by the Korea Fair Trade Commission.

Players in MapleStory win in-game items via Cubes – loot boxes – which Nexon introduced back in May 2010. Each Cube costs ₩2,000 ($1.53).

Initially, the odds of winning items were even across the board, but four months later this was changed so that more popular goods were less likely to appear.

Between August 2011 and March 2021, Nexon reportedly changed the system so that the super popular items would never ever appear.

“We imposed the largest fine because the Cube is a core product of the game (Maple Story), the period of the violation is long and this is the second violation (by Nexon) following Sudden Attack," the director of the Korea Fair Trade Commission's market surveillance department, Kim Jung-ki, said.

This isn't the first time that Nexon has been found guilty of toying with drop rates for loot boxes. Back in 2018, the company was fined ₩944.5 million ($888,000) for doing so in free-to-play shooter Sudden Attack.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.