Korea’s Starcraft Game Enterprise Falling Behind China

Article from SBS:

Korea Has Best Gamers in the World, But Gaming Industry Falling Behind China

In the Starcraft Game Convention held in the U.S., Korean gamers took home the world championship. Koreans are the most skilled players in the world, but in Korea, the gaming industries are in danger.

Reporter Jung Young-taek has more.

The convention hall that housed the Starcraft II World Championship was filled with excitement.

The competition was fierce, and when it came to the finals, the players were all Korean.

Thousands of people cheered excitedly and witnessed the birth of a new champion.

[Im Seung-hyun, Starcraft 2 World Champion]

At the Blizzcon next year, I will definitely win again. I want to become known as the best Starcraft 2 player.

The Blizzcon exhibition, held during the convention, gathered together 25,000 people worldwide.

The game market, worth an annual 1.3 billion won, will continue to grow.

[Mike Mohaim, Blizzard CEO]

A number of people have access to devices capable of high-quality entertainment. I think gaming is becoming more popular and mainstream.

Online games are building up a strong reputation worldwide. In Korea, annual game exports amount to 2.6 trillion dollars, 11 times more than K-pop, and 130 times more than movies.

However, recently they have been overtaken by the leading Chinese companies, and growth has halted.

There are many young people that dream of being game developers, but there are still negative views towards games.

[Choi Seul-gi, Anyang Keunmyung Girl’s Information High School, Sophomore]

The game market is very narrow, so you don’t see a variety of games. Instead there are only uniform and boring games, so games with enjoyable content are few and far between.

The gaming industry is not just an object to be regulated, but an industry that also incorporates IT skills and cultural content. It’s time to use intelligence to grow the industry further.

Comments from Naver:


The Ministry of Women takes the lead to kill the industry. It never gets old to bash the ministry.


Of course, the Ministry of Women should be brought up for an article like this, keke.


And you know whose fault this is.


Ministry of Women, please enter the arena.


I was so surprised to hear that Korea is a strong country when it comes to worldwide gamers. But I hope that the gaming market develops to be as strong as our gamers’ skills.


Keke, they cut off our arms and legs, and now they ask why we can’t run.


They were eager to promote K-pop, but actually it doesn’t even compare to the gaming industry, which is being constrained as a “drug”. The true nature of our politicians can be seen from the Ministry of Women. They keep making trash laws.


The goose that lays the golden eggs was already killed. It’s too late… What’s the point of an article like this now? They used to publish articles that only shed negative light on gaming and tried to just regulate it, keke. How great. No wonder Nexon’s head office moved to Japan.


I applaud the reporter who wrote this article, it’s great to see a well-written piece. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and the government only try to regulate it, but our online games were actually taking in a lot of foreign money. Foolish parents tend to abuse their good sons. Our country is so idiotic.


Everyone who agrees that we should disband the Ministry of Women, raise your hand!


China: Thanks, Ministry of Women, keke.


If you play games, you are on the same level as a druggie, kekeke. Pathetic crazy government.

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  • commander

    The article appears to give an impression that the gaming industry is falling behind China’s due to governmental regulation.

    But it is natural for China with a population of 1.3 billion and a rapidly growing economy to have a bigger game market than the South Korean market.

    Korean game developers have long sought to expand its presence in China where authorities have heavier censorship than Korea has.

    But they hardly complain of regulations in China, just vociferously protesting against the Korean government driving them to extinction by stigmatizing online game industries as highly addictive and as a source of social troubles especially for youngsters.

    As in the smartphone industry, China will soon surge in game development using their rich cultural heritage to take the lead in the game industry.

    In gaining such a lead, Chinese local authorities will be heavily favored by the government over foreign game developers.

    This prediction shows what game companies in Korea should do instead of complaining of what they see as a grave hinderance to developing games: Honing competitive edges in game plots and visual image of their games in preparation for Chinese firms’ challenge down the road.

    • Chucky3176

      Didn’t even know Korea was such a big exporter of games. Tells you what I know about games in Korea, other then the fact that Koreans love starcraft.

      • Butsu

        They make a lot of MMOs, some of them even see western releases.

      • Yaminah Jamison

        WoW says it all lol.

      • Sid Driver

        Bless is a big one they are working on. They also made Maple Story which I actually had some friends back in Canada play. They develop a lot of games but due to them being in Korean, they don’t get much international exposure. Sudden attack was a big game for younger male players and you could even get popular idol skins to use on your character. Pretty smart marketing with that one.


        • Chucky3176

          Hey… you learn something new everyday! lol!

      • yahnati


        I just found out NCSoft is based in SK, which is the game dev co behind Lineage, City of Heroes, WildStar, Guild Wars, and Aion. I fall very squarely into the ‘casual’ side of gaming and even I have heard of all of those.

        And that wiki page doesn’t include ArcheAge, which just had a western release not long ago. My brother likes it a lot, or he wouldn’t be nagging me to pick it up, too.

    • BSDetector

      “China will soon surge in game development using their rich cultural heritage to take the lead in the game industry.”

      What blackroot have you been chewing?

      More than likely any surge in any development is a result of cyber-theft. China has a rich history of stealing from everyone else and pretending it was home grown. China’s greatest export to the world is filthy thieves.

      • Andrew

        Pretty sure almost all of this progress is coming from Tencent. Take them out of the picture, and growth in the Chinese gaming industry isn’t that impressive. Heck, take League of Legends out of the picture, and you already don’t have much.

        • TO Man

          League Of Legend isn’t owned nor developed by Tencent from China. It was developed by Riot Games of the United States – the same creators of the game Warcraft.

          • bs

            Warcraft was created by blizzard noob. get your facts right and stop making shit up

          • Andrew

            League of Legends was developed by Riot Games. And Tencent owns Riot Games. Also, Blizzard created WarCraft more than a decade before Riot was even founded.

      • seno

        all your zergs are belong to us!!!

      • linette lee

        The pot calling the kettle black. Who are you kidding? The filthy thieves calling other people thieves. lol.

        • Andrew

          Not sure why you’re calling an American, a thief. It’s usually been China stealing from the US, not the other way around.

          • Guest

            USA they are spies.

          • linette lee

            And USA they are spies. And BSDetector needs to be bitch slaps.

          • BSDetector

            We admit our government spies and we’re allowed to complain about it because we don’t live in the land of thieves, censorship, and cheap quality stuff.

            Anytime you think you can deliver on that bitch slap come to Korea and we’ll make it happen.

          • Angry American

            You live in America and leech off of the goodness and generosity of America, and yet you come here and spout off this kind of nonsense about Americans? So who’s the spy now? Pot calling the kettle black. Get the hell out of my country, Chinese.

          • Barack Obama

            You first, leave this country to the native americans you piece of shit

          • Zappa Frank

            except that if it was for native americans now the US would still be at the stone age.

          • Barack Obama

            yes and?

          • Zappa Frank

            and than we can say the United State of American are not founded by native. So to say give it back doesn’t make any sense. By the way, according to the same way of thinking Chinese should give Taiwan back to the natives…

          • Barack Obama

            zappa your’e an idiot. i guess by your logic the native americans have less right to live here than europeans that “founded” “united states of america”

          • Zappa Frank

            lucky enough you are a smart one that come to enlight us… so aborigines of Taiwan have less rights? because i don’t see much difference… simply you use a double standard. Indians have all the rights to live but that doesn’t change that the only idiot position is yours, claiming americans (and that does include blacks and Asians since doesn’t seem to me they ever helped in any way Indians) should leave the country is simply idiotic.

          • Barack Obama

            did i ever say anything about Taiwan you nincompoop? arguing with you always goes in circles. please just stfu. thanks. no more replies after this.

          • Zappa Frank

            Than please stop to write your nonsense. Enough of reading your stupidities about Americans that should give back the land to native

          • linette lee

            Shut up dumbass. I am paying for your welfare, medical coverage, and retirement pension. Stupid. LOL.

          • Zappa Frank

            you don’t pay for your freedom, you don’t pay for an environment free from pollution, you don’t pay for a job that doesn’t need any guanxi , you don’t pay for your human and civil rights….but if you think that is so horrible you can still go back in china, and don’t worry, soon enough even HK will be like the mainland

        • BSDetector

          Say China nice J-31, sure looks like a lot of that stolen F-35 data found it’s way into it though, how’d that happen?

          • Angry American

            This is even worse. They didn’t even bother to at least pretend they didn’t copy, they’re actually proud to show off that they were able to steal.


            highly doubtful they’ll be able to market this outside of few select third world countries including their home market.

      • Small twon

        What is the blackroot ? I gooled it but I couldn’t find answer.

        • BSDetector

          Beats me, sounds like something you’d chew to get high though. Why are you interested in blackroot? :)

          • Small twon

            I was curious and “blackroot” sounds like a badass name for 70s rock band.

          • BSDetector

            You are free to use it, send me tickets to your first show in Korea.

    • Name

      That’s true, Asian game developers such as Japan have long sought material from Chinese history, Literature such as Water Margin, Journey to the West and Three Kingdoms and cultural elements and these barely scratches the surface of potential source material developers can use. Its time China started looking to their own culture for inspiration

  • B

    Please, stop translating “kkkk” as “keke”. It’s fucking annoying.

    • A

      the romanization for ㅋㅋ has been “keke” since the early 90’s, fool

      • B

        Why not just a simple “haha”? It’s translation the same as romanization now? Star using your brain, it’s free.

        • Matt

          Nothing’s stopping Koreans from using ㅎㅎㅎ
          instead of ㅋㅋㅋ.

        • keke

          because that’s actually how they sound like. I didn’t believe it until I dated a Korean girl

        • C

          in this case, Romanization is far more appropriate as there are equivalent of ‘haha’ in korean which they prefer not to use and instead use kk. maybe u should bring it up with your brethren’s rather than blaming the translator

  • KCdude

    It’s ironic that the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (여성가족부) is the one that oppresses Korean women (more like massacring the collective spirit of Korean women). I can see that Korea will forever be a third world country and it is quite unfortunate.

  • post.human

    Are you Protoss, Terran, or Zerg?

  • Racist bozos are brainless

    “In Korea, annual game exports amount to 2.6 trillion dollars”- KB, don’t you mean 2.6 trillion won i.e. 2.4 billion U.S. dollars (per mid november 2014 usd/krw exchange rate) ? In 2013 total south korean exports amounted to 557 billion U.S. dollars, so there’s no way that figure’s correct.

  • plorf

    “In Korea, annual game exports amount to 2.6 trillion dollars”

    To the translator: you might want to check a few decimals there ;)

  • Andrew

    Coincidentally today, I saw this news in the papers today, where NCSOFT is getting into mobile gaming and 3D VirtualReality Gaming, as they’re working to bring contents to the Samsung GEAR-VR and Oculus.


    Here’s what the Samsung-Oculus Gear VR looks like.


    The virtual reality 3D game using your mobile device is an awesome ideal which I would love to see and experience.

  • faves_slayer

    I don’t understand what the Ministry of women has to do with korean gaming. Somebody cares to explain?

    • elizabeth

      Because of the opinion offered by Choi Seul-gi from Anyang Keunmyung Girl’s Information High School.

      Her comment is apparently seen as negative and indirectly insults the existing developers of the gaming industry with words like ‘uniform’ and ‘boring’, as well as alluding to the lack of ‘intelligent’ growth strategies.

    • Sillian
      • elizabeth

        It is interesting that the MOGEF is referred to as the Ministry of Women. The ‘youth’ and ‘family’ parts are left out. Unless the whole ministry is run by women, it is a little extreme to associate it with women’s rights activists.

        No wonder the women are crying foul.

        • Sillian

          여성가족부 would literally be translated as the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Family, but for some reason, they go with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. It was just 여성부 (Ministry of Women’s Affairs) before but they switched the names back and forth.

  • 금정산

    Never be satisfied. Must compete.

  • Jubers

    These kinds of panic and imminent danger and doom news should be taken with a grain of salt. They periodically pop up to warn the South Koreans not to be complacent – especially against the Chinese competition who are keen to compete in the same areas as South Korea. It’s been happening since 20 years ago, since China started to modernize – playing on the South Korean fears that everything that they worked hard for will all be taken away soon by forces that are bigger, meaner, and who have better advantages. Look under the headlines, and the number figures to know what’s going. Sure, the Chinese have the numbers because they are fucking huge populated nation who can depend on their domestic market. But that doesn’t mean Korean gaming companies are just sitting still and doing nothing, laying there doing nothing either. The Korean companies are ambitious to cash in on the $115 billion gaming industry world wide. They’re sitting on top as one of the early adaptors of some of the most sophisticated gaming graphics.


    Don’t get me wrong, the Chinese are formidable competitors, but like the smart phone industry, they still have a long long ways to go, to become the drivers of the gaming industry. Right now, the only advantage they have is their dependence on huge domestic market, as well as favoring their own domestic gaming companies.

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