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Korea to relax regulations on game industry to lead global market

Culture Minister Park Yang-woo (Yonhap)
Culture Minister Park Yang-woo (Yonhap)


Culture Minister Park Yang-woo on Thursday announced a plan to support the Korean gaming industry with the aim of leading the future global market.

“We will lead innovative growth of the game industry by actively revising the regulatory system,” Park said during a press briefing held in Seoul on Thursday.

“Large global conglomerates such as Google and Facebook are expanding in the global gaming market with new technologies. However, there is criticism that our regulations are not reflecting such changes and blocking Korean game business from growing.”

During the last 10 years, the Korean game industry has been growing 9.8 percent on average annually. It also became a high value-added industry with export amount reaching around $6.4 billion a year, which accounts for 8.8 percent of the country’s trade surplus.

The Culture Ministry expects that with its support 102,000 new jobs will be created during the next four years. It added that the government will also support to grow the industry to reach 19.9 trillion won in sales and 11.5 trillion won in export amount by 2024.

“We expect that the main growth engine (to reach this goal) will be small and medium-sized companies,” Culture Ministry’s Director General of Content Policy Bureau Kim Hyun-hwan added.

The government plans to expand the Global Game Hub Center, which currently supports game startups. The ministry also plans to provide consulting services and create a system for information about the foreign market to support small and medium-sized companies who are willing to expand their presence overseas.

During the briefing, the ministry also emphasized its plans to support the Korean esports industry.

“As a current leader of the esport industry, we will create an ecosystem to stretch out further,” Park said.

He explained that the ministry will designate some local PC rooms as an esport facility and turn it into a center for holding diverse amateur game events and fostering amateur e-sports teams.

To protect professional esports players, the ministry also will create and distribute a standard contract form. The government also plans to enforce an official player registration system this year.

Also, to lead the world’s esports market, the government in November will hold an e-sport competition event jointly with China and Japan.

Regarding some worries about holding the event during the pandemic, the government said it is not concerned about the issue.

“We can also consider holding the event while the players stay in their own country. This is possible for esport events,” Kim said.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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