Consumer group urges Blizzard to clarify always-on DRM requirement

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Over two months after its launch, Diablo III remains the subject of much criticism among gamers and consumer rights groups around the globe, including a German organization that has threatened legal action against Blizzard. Concerned about what it believes to be misleading packaging, The Federation of Consumer Organizations urged Blizzard to update Diablo III's retail box to better reflect the nature of its always-on DRM.

The current text -- at least as we understand it from Google Translate -- essentially says the game requires an Internet connection, but it doesn't explicitly stress that the connection must be persistent. This could mislead consumers as certain games only need brief one-time access to the Internet for activation, but allow you to play offline during subsequent launches or at the very least only require you to phone home periodically.

As you know, Diablo III offers no such luxury: you must play online. The Federation of Consumer Organizations originally gave Blizzard until July 20 to change the wording on its box, but it seems the developer refused (either flat out ignored the demand or gave an undesirable reply -- again, the translation is rough). In any case, the group has issued a final deadline of July 27 and if it's not satisfied by that date, it's prepared to file suit.

This news follows a month after the conclusion of an investigation by Korea's Fair Trade Commission over complaints about Diablo III's connection issues. Blizzard initially refused to issue refunds over the network problems, but that violated Korean law, which guarantees refunds for defective products. The probe prompted Blizzard to introduce several compensation offerings, including a 14-day refund window for new customers.

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