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Publishing Games in Korea

07-10-2011, 10:38 PM
#1
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 168
Publishing Games in Korea

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone had any information on publishing games in the Korean app store.

To my understanding, the Korean app store does not have a games category due to the legal restrictions set forth by their government.

Does anyone know how games are published there? Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Ezmobo Games!
Check out our dev blog for sneak peaks at our upcoming titles.
07-10-2011, 11:03 PM
#2
Hi~

Korean paid app store is very small.

If you ranked top 100 in overall the download count is only around 20.

07-11-2011, 01:21 AM
#3
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 168
really? i thought the korea iphone market was pretty lively.

when i was there in march it seemed like everyone on the street or in cafes, restaurants were using iPhones.

Ezmobo Games!
Check out our dev blog for sneak peaks at our upcoming titles.
07-11-2011, 05:52 AM
#4
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,770
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiveohthree View Post
really? i thought the korea iphone market was pretty lively.

when i was there in march it seemed like everyone on the street or in cafes, restaurants were using iPhones.
Perhaps most people just play free games or pirate them - in a small country like Singapore where lots of students have iOS Devices - most of my classmates pirate apps or just get the free ones.

There's another thing they do - they share iTunes accounts so the same app could be shared by lots of people. There's no authorization required on iOS Devices.
07-11-2011, 07:16 AM
#5
Certain app stores don't have games categories due to government restrictions.

We have sold some games for other platforms via Korean telecoms companies, and the games had to be approved by a government body before they could be offered for sale.
07-12-2011, 03:52 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Seoul
Posts: 195
Some games available on the Korean App store are categorized as Entertainment to get around the restriction. I'm not sure how closely monitored it is.
07-12-2011, 04:45 AM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rich1million View Post
Some games available on the Korean App store are categorized as Entertainment to get around the restriction. I'm not sure how closely monitored it is.
The problem with that is that you'd have to make a separate app listing for your game just for Korea and submit it as Entertainment. You can't just use the secondary Category in iTunes Connect as it doesn't work. We had a similar complaint from a customer in South Africa who wanted to buy Astraware Sudoku, but couldn't as there's no Games category there. We tried adding Entertainment as the Secondary Category, but it doesn't show up. I'm not really sure why it's in there.
07-14-2011, 03:34 PM
#8
One of our publishers does publish in korea for us. i can inform you, just pm me if you interested
07-15-2011, 09:43 PM
#9
I might be able to add some insight.

1. There is this big govt. agency called "Game Rating Board ( http://www.grb.or.kr/ )" that regulates every single game launched in its jurisdiction. It works much like US FDA in a sense that your game ought to be *APPROVED* and *CATEGORIZED* by GRB first before launch. The whole process is not voluntary like that of ESRB. No rate no sale. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the registration fee. For mobile games, it's 60 some US bucks.

2. There are four categories where your product could fit in; For everyone, +12, +15, and matured only. Be aware that, though, what you're aiming for getting might be different from what the agency might give you in the end. Back in 2010, Blizzard submitted SC2 and GRB didn't like the blood, burnt corpse, and few other details that SC2 were rated to M. Ofc, Blizzard went on and removed all the said details to get +15.

3. When Apple firstly tried to sell iPhone in Korean market, they saw how horrible the regulation was tangled up and simply removed Game category. That's why games are now being registered to Entertainment category. Technically speaking, there is no legal restriction as to how/what/to whom you can sell iOS/Android game in Korea, as long as you bow and kiss to GRB.

I don't know what motivates you to go through all that, but, personally, I don't give a second thought to Korean market at all.

Last edited by stkim1; 07-16-2011 at 01:09 AM.
07-18-2011, 05:32 AM
#10
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 168
Thanks for the great replies from everyone.

The detailed description of the games rating board in Korea was especially helpful. Obviously it's not worth the hassle if actual sales are low as some point out, but it's obviously better to understand why fire is bad and that you shouldn't touch it before writing it off completely.

Now that I have a better understanding, it feels like the hassle vs. rewards here is not really worth it.

Ezmobo Games!
Check out our dev blog for sneak peaks at our upcoming titles.