South Korea’s Games Companies Tumble Amid Tougher Regulations

The number of Korea’s gaming companies more than halved in 2014 from five years earlier due to a series of intensified governmental regulations, including a ban on minors’ access to online games late at night, according to a report at Korean Herald. According to the data compiled by the Korea Economic Research Institute, game-related firms numbered 14,000 in 2014, compared with 30,000 in 2009, with their combined workforce shedding 5.6 percent to 87,281.

“Korea is the world’s No. 4 player in the gaming industry. Despite its high profitability, and the fact that it takes up more than half of the country’s contents exports, the industry is facing a crisis,” the institute said on Tuesday. “Excessive regulations are weighing down on growth.”

Industry watchers said the plunge is attributable to the government’s “mandatory shut-down” policy, which limits the youth’s access to games. Under the policy, gaming service operators are obliged to ban the access of those aged below 16 from midnight to 6:00 a.m. The policy was first implemented in 2011 by the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also operates its own shut-down policy, which allows parents to request the operators to control the access time of their children aged below 18.

(Source: Korean Herald)