Tag: shutdown

Wemade boycotts GStar 2013

Namkoong Whon, CEO of Wemade Entertainment, declared a boycott against GStar 2013 through his Facebook. He also proposed not to participate in GStar 2013 to people in the industry because National Assembly members from Busan participated in proposing a constitutional amendment that includes several bills tighten regulations on games such as Shutdown system.

According to the new regulations, Shutdown system is expanded not to allow adolescents who are under 19 to play games from 10:00PM to 7:00AM. In addition, each game company needs to pay 1% of their total revenue as an extra tax for building funds to cure game addicts.

Gstar could become a biggest game show in Korea because it is a kind of mutual project of Korean government and game companies. Busan has been selected as the host city of GStar from 2013 to 2016. According to a research, GStar has created more than US$95 million Economic Values for Busan last year. Wemade Entertainment was the official sponsor of GStar 2012.

The one of reasons makes Korean game industry people angry is that the government collect 0.35% of the total revenue from Casino and horse racing companies as an extra tax while they demand Game industry for 1%.

‘Selection system of game available period’ is applied.

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).


Shutdown System Working Now in Korea

Shutdown System started to take effect from 20th of November without any significant troubles.

Game companies in Korea applied Shutdown System into their games 2~3 days earlier to prevent any sudden confusion among customers. Young Korean gamers under 16 can not play all online games from 12:00AM to 6:00AM.

However, most of people have doubts about the effectiveness of the system. First, there are still 5% of them playing online games until dawn according to the statistics because they are using not their own account, instead using parents’ account that created by their social security numbers.

Second, the system does not provide a clear guideline. For instance, young people still could play League of Legend(LOL) on NA server instead of Korean server. Classic Battle.net from Blizzard is another exception because it is free and does not have age verification feature within it.

On the other hands, XBox Live and PSN are under the system because Xbox Live is not free while PSN is collecting personal information.

PSN decided not allowing registration under 16, which PSN gives up customer under 16 because PSN thinks they are minority. Xbox360 has internal parental system indeed and does not collect personal information but Ministry of Gender Equality & Familysimply does not accept the concept of parental system and want Xbox Live to collect personal information to apply Shutdown System. Xbox Live has a grace period for 2 months.

The worst thing could happen after 2 months when the grace period ends. Xbox Live might need to block Korean service or block everyone include adults not to play Xbox Live during late night.

We already heard that some foreign companies rescind ongoing projects in Korea or reconsider from the scratch.

The ministry wants game companies in Korea to apply account certification system into their games to prevent fault using of stolen social security numbers. Companies need to collect additional personal information such as social security numbers, phone numbers and credit card information to apply it. It is exact opposite of the personal information protection law.

MoonHwaYunDae(http://www.culturalaction.org/)(MHYD) sends the public inquiry to the ministry related to Shutdown System and requests answers. However, The ministry denied giving any more answers.