In the first quarter of this year, game once again led Korean contents industry in terms of revenue and export income while some drives the game as one of addictive substance comparable to narcotic, alcohol, and gambling.
According to MCST(Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism) and KOCCA(Korean Creative Contents Agency)’s ’2014 Q1 Contents Industry Trend Report’, the game industry of Korea achieved revenue of $2.866B and export income of $840M, respectively increased by 23% and 10.6% on year-on-year basis. Especially its export income took more than 60% of whole contents industry’s export income.
The game industry recorded the best growth(23.0%) in terms of the revenue, followed by broadcasting image producer(19.0%), movie(15.1%), contents solution(11.1%), etc. while it took third place(10.6%) in terms of export income following contents solution(18.8%) and music(14.7%).
In terms of total revenue and total export income of Korean contents industry, each recorded $2.29B and $1.38B increased by 6.4% and 8.0% on year-on-year basis.
The report researched on 86 listed companies and 600 unlisted companies and referred to a macro-statistical data provided by National Statistical Office and the Bank of Korea. For more information about the report, you can find it at www.mcst.go.kr or www.kocca.kr. (if you can read Korean, tho. ;))
MCST(Ministry of culture, Sports and Tourism) conducts new anti-game addiction system called ‘Selection system of game available period’ from the 1st of July.
It is the system that restricts the youth from playing game during the time that a legal representative requests. It was previously called ‘Selective shutdown system’. Because of the world ‘shutdown’, they have changed name as ‘Selection system of game available period’.
Once the system is conducted, the youth under the age of 18 and his/her parents as a legal representative could set the game available period. If the time that parents want is collapsed with the period that a youth wants, the period selected by parents becomes priority.
The system will be applied to 101 online games such as League of Legends, Aion, Sudden Attack, Starcraft2 etc. In addition, 14 companies that revenue is over $27 million and the number of employees are over 300 are applied by the law as well such as Nexon, NHN etc.
‘Selection system of game available period’ and ‘Forced shutdown system’ has different time and age to restrict. ‘Forced shutdown system’ is the system that prevents the youth under 16 playing games from midnight to 6:00 AM.
‘Selection system of game available period’ restricted the youth under 18 only during a selected period. For example, the youth could play games from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, if his/her parents restrict playing games during that time, he could not play the games.
However, console games and completely free games are not applied by the law. <Diablo3> <Blade&soul> are not applied by this law because both are already allowed only to people who is over 18 and a parent could check whether their children playing games or not through the web site (http://www.gamecheck.org).
MCST(Ministry of culture, Sports and Tourism) takes administrative guidance action to Blizzard Korea for the Diablo3 server issue. MCST send the administrative guidance that recommend to apology to Diablo3 gamers and solve server issue as early as possible by increasing servers to Blizzard Korea.
Diablo3’s Asian server has been suffered from Log-in issue frequently since it is launched and Roll-back issue that data is not saved on the servers correctly during the last weekend.
This is the first time MCST taking actions on a game company. Administrative guidance is a measure for the issue that is not illegal but should not be happened. Therefore, it does not have legal forces.
This action from MCST is not related to the investigation from Fair Trade Commission. Fair Trade Commission sent a team to Blizzard Korea on the 29th of May to investigate their refund policy. Players who could not play Diablo3 because of the server issue filed 500~600 civil complaints per week to Fair Trade Commission and requested refund the game.
After IeSMOD(International e-Sports Meets of the Disabled) 2011 World Championship, participants from all over the world felt sympathy for the needs of the vision for e-Sports for the disabled and discussed about the establishment of International federation.
During the event, participating nations such as Korea, USA, China, Germany, Poland, Indonesia etc signed on the establishment of International e-Sports Federation for the disabled and becoming a member. The total of 12 countries joined to the federation.
The federation received the permission for establishment from MCST(Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) on the 28th of March, 2012 and finished its registration on 19th of April.
The federation will develop a business for promoting e-Sports for the disabled.