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Author Topic: Warpportal Blocking European Region Access except for Russia and CIS Countries  (Read 4704 times)

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Offline yC

Just came across this news:

https://forums.warpportal.com/index.php?/topic/235548-important-notice-regarding-european-region-access/

Quote
Dear Players,

Due to the changes of our company's service policy for the European regions, we are saddened to bring you news that, all games and WarpPortal services to the European regions listed below will be terminated on May 25th, 2018.

The following European countries will be affected by the termination of service: All the European countries except for Russian Federation and the CIS countries.

All WarpPortal game access and account access will be blocked by regional IP.  Refunds will be gradually sent for purchases made from February 1st 2018 to April 30th 2018 to those affected by this service termination.

We have updated our User Agreement and Privacy Policy to reflect the new changes going forward.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Edit: It seems to be related to this General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will go into effect May 25th, 2018.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation

If they can get back to compliance term with the law they could provide service to those areas again.
« Last Edit: Apr 25, 2018, 03:08 AM by yC »

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Offline yennar

Yeah, those are some serious news.

I do not think they will comply with the GDPR. There are too many grey areas, which can bankrupt warpportal within a week.

Offline Bue

This regulation makes it very risky for online service providers to do business in the EU. The sanctions and overhead is insane.

You would be liable for the user's personal data (2.3, 2.9) and have to invest in a secure and compliant system with data and privacy controls (2.8, 2.10 - 2.13) and log each use of the data (2.14). (References are wiki sections in the GDPR article.)

RIP EU players without a VPN, but theres always private servers. :/
« Last Edit: Apr 25, 2018, 04:38 AM by Bue »

Offline Insomnia2000

How would a big pserver with EU players, like NovaRO, compare to iRO in compliance with the new law? I feel like there's two possible takeaways from this:
  • Compliance with the new law isn't really that difficult. Warp Portal would rather just block EU players than comply.
  • Compliance is somewhat difficult and bigger pservers, like NovaRO, are at an increased risk of lawsuits if they don't comply.
From my understanding, albeit minimal, companies just need to allow the user to actually delete/download/change/etc their own personal information if requested by the user and the company just needs to keep logs of what you the data is used for. That doesn't sound very difficult to comply with, but I'm sure there's more to it.


Offline Erissa

They would have to rely on Gravity to create fixes and workarounds for the laws so there's no chance that this is going to get fixed anytime soon (or at all).
How would a big pserver with EU players, like NovaRO, compare to iRO in compliance with the new law?
Since when have private servers complied with laws?

Offline yC

It isn't like this law passed overnight, there were 2 years of  transition period for companies to prepare.

Offline Erissa

It isn't like this law passed overnight, there were 2 years of  transition period for companies to prepare.
GravityTime™ requires 4 years for basic changes and bugfixes when it comes to iRO, something as big as this would be the equivalent of kRO allowing people to start the game trough firefox/chrome instead of being forced to use Internet Explorer.

Offline Insomnia2000

They would have to rely on Gravity to create fixes and workarounds for the laws so there's no chance that this is going to get fixed anytime soon (or at all).Since when have private servers complied with laws?
I think there's a difference between having to deal with legal action pertaining to an individual and legal action from Gravity. IIRC eAthena and other emulators are not considered illegal. The illegal part comes with modifying and distributing their client or from running Aegis. I also don't think that Gravity has much to gain most of the time in going after pservers. Exceptions being when they are directly competing, as seen with some EU pservers in the past in which legal action was taken.

However, I wouldn't put it past a very disgruntled EU player to attempt to bring down a pserver by taking legal action against the pserver for not complying with GDPR. Upset or banned players already do their utmost to defame or bring down a pserver through a variety of methods. Threatening legal action for not adhering seems like it could be a new method. I know if I was hosting a pserver, I'd be a little concerned at least.

It isn't like this law passed overnight, there were 2 years of  transition period for companies to prepare.

This is why I don't understand Warp Portal blocking EU IPs. I mean, not like they don't have their own official server in the EU, but two years seems like quite a bit of time for something that doesn't seem too difficult to comply with. I feel like a pserver could comply with the law pretty easily based on my understanding of it.

Offline Styx

There is some logic, they want to force EU players to the dying FRO. Which isn't representing EU at al but they just don't understand. FRO is in basic just a 90% commercial nationalistic French language based server. Interesting where it leads since iRO is mainly about bots or donations. Both never delivered very strong players, except an long list of cheaters and abusers.

Offline yennar

However, I wouldn't put it past a very disgruntled EU player to attempt to bring down a pserver by taking legal action against the pserver for not complying with GDPR. Upset or banned players already do their utmost to defame or bring down a pserver through a variety of methods. Threatening legal action for not adhering seems like it could be a new method. I know if I was hosting a pserver, I'd be a little concerned at least.

I think it's easy.
You can only get legal action if you have personal data in the first place. If you store any data on the account you can just delete the account if someone asks. Also, if someone gets banned - just delete the data. No data - no GDPR.

PS: Austria is already weakening the GDPR for it's companys. I don't know how this will be compatible with the EU, but if they go through with it, the GDPR in Austria will be almost meaningless.

Offline Erissa

https://forums.warpportal.com/index.php?/topic/235667-terms-of-service-update-faq-ro1/
Quote
All accounts registered from Europe will be disabled on May 25th.
Well, that's pretty much it for iRO.

Offline yC

Wow I thought most people will go the way of VPN and ignore the notice, now that is more serious that what was expected.

Offline Insomnia2000

I'm curious what happens to the population of iRO now. Seems like a pretty bold move to block EU registered accounts and future EU IP addresses.

What is the population of euRO these days? Maybe the goal was to move EU players from iRO->euRO to boost their population.

Offline Millefey

What is the population of euRO these days? Maybe the goal was to move EU players from iRO->euRO to boost their population.

This is an unlikely goal, as the refusal to comply with GDPR affects all games hosted by WarpPortal, not merely Ragnarok Online. Should a portion of these players continue playing and choose to move to euRO after being tragically shut out, it should mean good fortune for the European official. As far as the population count on euRO goes, at the moment of writing it hovers around low 600.

Offline Xarale

Wow, I'm speechless. 

I may not really play iRO anymore, but I'm saddened to see my very first RO characters gone simply because I live in the EU.  All because WarpPortal didn't wish to comply with GDPR. (something that they've had two years to do)

Another nail in the coffin for iRO I guess.  I imagine there'll be a nice new influx of players coming over to private servers though, if it's not already happening that is.

-X.

Offline DeePee

Another nail in the coffin for iRO I guess.  I imagine there'll be a nice new influx of players coming over to private servers though, if it's not already happening that is.

-X.

It is, we're starting to notice it already, haha.

Offline yC

Just took a look around the WP forum, to my surprise this EU ban is killing the RE:restart server that opened roughly one year ago.  It was said half the server population were banned because they are from the affected EU countries.  Sad for them, I guess these players wanted to play a classic official server a year ago when there weren't a more local official server available.  When WP said they are not going to bother with the GDPR most of us think they estimated the impact will be fairly small.  Still can't believe even if you settles for the official server, you could still be affected by things other than "server closed" or "owner ran away" that result in losing your account / hard work.

Offline yennar

even the website is blocked within Europe now?  /hmm

Offline Corgers

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Unfortunate that EU is closing down - would love to see RO continue to grow across all regions.


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Offline yC

As I was reading the Gravity earning report released today, I found an interesting piece of information that is worth to share:

Quote
The Company plans to re-launch Ragnarok Online in Russia and CIS countries in 2018. A CBT is currently being conducted in Russia and CIS countries, which will be completed by August 7, 2018.

Source: http://secfilings.nasdaq.com/filingFrameset.asp?FilingID=12877308&RcvdDate=7/27/2018&CoName=GRAVITY%20CO.%2C%20LTD.&FormType=6-K&View=html

Offline Nitrous

It's being distributed (published? is that the right word?) by 4game.
https://ru.4game.com/ro/install/

Offline literalwho

Surprised nobody posted this yet:
https://forums.warpportal.com/index.php?/topic/238762-taiwan-hong-kong-and-macau-block-response/
Quote from: Campitor
Hello Everyone,

My apologies for the delay in our response. We were investigating what was going on with the login issues.

This is what we found:

Recently we received word to block login access from regions serviced by the twRO partner and our IT team implemented this change. Due to this we are prohibited from accepting direct access from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. However, users may still login through connections originating from North America and other regions we directly service.

Sadly, this is not something we can choose not to do as this decision came from above. If you are affected by the block, recently made purchases, and have no intention of playing please let us know in a ticket so we can assist you further.

Lastly, I want to apologize for any frustration this has caused. We could have handled this much better with notifications and postings and will strive to improve in the future.

If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them all day.
TL;DR: Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau regionlocked to twRO.

Unfortunate that EU is closing down - would love to see RO continue to grow across all regions.
EU (euRO/fRO) is not closing down, no idea where you got that from.

Offline Xarale

Wow, Gravity is really going all out with the region locking this year.  I wonder if CIS countries will get region locked to their own server too?

-X.

Offline Corgers

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Apparently the RU release had a lot of initial interest, but cooled off almost immediately. At least it's proof that RO is still going strong!


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Offline Playtester

I wonder if euRO (and most MMORPGs, really) actually complies with the GDPR. As far as I know stuff like email address and password is saved as part of the Aegis database. Wouldn't it require to save that data encrypted and with a sufficiently secure encryptions then? So would require to adjust Aegis to support that. And if they did that for one country, could also roll it out for other countries.

Of course same goes for private servers if they actually care about being GDPR conform.

Plus of course updating all the websites to block access until you confirmed "Yes, I accept [company] temporarily storing my personal data that is required for the website to function" and saving that data in a secure way and delete it once it's not needed anymore.