North Korean Game Developer Defends Business to CNN

September 29, 2010 -

Last month we did a story regarding a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. distributing North-Korean developed mobile games, which were sourced through the Nosotek Joint Venture Company. A new CNN report offers a little bit more insight into doing business in a country run by “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-il.

Nosotek is headed by German business man Volker Eloesser and its specialty is utilizing North Korean talent in order to create software, games and animation for foreign clients. Eloesser started Nosotek about three years ago, as he searched for something more “interesting and challenging.” He stated that it was “fairly easy” to find English-speaking workers and claimed that labor costs in North Korea are about half of what similar labor would cost in China.

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China’s Shanda Buys Korean Developer, Links up with CNTV

September 9, 2010 -

Chinese online game operator and developer Shanda Games is apparently enjoying the fruits of operating in a near recession proof industry, as it has snatched up a Korean developer and entered into an alliance with China Network Television (CNTV).

Shanda announced its intention to gobble up Eyedentity Games for around $95 million U.S. Eyedentity was described as “a private developer of online games with over 100 game developers.” Its latest game, Dragon’s Nest, was released around the world and  billed as being “one of the most successful new online games in China this year.”

Shanda said that the deal would strengthen its international presence.

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Korea Game Rating Board Targeting Indie Developers

September 7, 2010 -

Korea’s Game Rating Board (GRB) is making life difficult for independent Korean game makers, strictly enforcing a law that virtually all games published in the country must be rated.

Posting to Reddit, a Korean game fan indicated that GRB recently swooped down upon a website for users of RPG Maker, a free tool that can be used to create role-playing games. While the games created and shared on the site were apparently not for sale, the GRB demanded that all the games shared on the site must be rated. The forum’s moderators, according to the Reddit user, deleted all the games on their website in light of paying the fees.

Fox Publishing North Korean-Developed Mobile Games

September 7, 2010 -

A unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has published a pair of North Korean-developed mobile games, causing some pundits to wonder about the legality of such dealings.

As detailed by Bloomberg, North Korea’s General Federation of Science and Technology developed the games: a 2007 bowling game named Big Lebowski Bowling and another based on the Men in Black movies. Both games were sourced through the Nosotek Joint Venture Company, which is billed as the “first western IT venture” in North Korea, and offers to provide invoices through “a Hong Kong or Chinese company.”

SC2 Sales Great, But Not as Good as Expected

August 5, 2010 -

StarCraft II sold over 1.5 million copies during the first 48 hours after release, according to reports from Activision Blizzard earlier this week. Yet despite these record-breaking numbers, analysts are noting that sales aren't quite living up to expectations.

According to investment group Lazard Capital's analyst Colin Sebastian, "[T]his number is light of some forecasts, [but] we view this as largely a U.S./Europe number, with the majority of users in Korea still not reflected in the count." Sebastian notes that distribution models in Korea are often different than in the West, where users typically purchase a game outright, at or near launch. As a result, U.S. and European sales tend to be "front-loaded" towards heavy sales at launch that trail off fairly quickly.

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Korean Regulation Hinders Smartphone Game Development

July 12, 2010 -

When many gamers think of the South Korean gaming scene, the first images that jump to mind are of highly competitive real-time strategy games like Starcraft, or action-oriented MMORPGs like Aion or Lineage II. 

WOW Players Get StarCraft II for Free - in South Korea

June 28, 2010 -

If you're a World of Warcraft subscriber you will get StarCraft II for free.. if you live in South Korea. Blizzard's promising RTS sequel is the greatest thing since sliced bread in the region, so the company has decided that WOW faithful deserve a reward. According to an IGN report Blizzard announced the news at a recent StarCraft II event in Seoul, South Korea to the delight of fans. The deal allegedly lasts as long as a player’s World of Warcraft account is active.

Lead producer Chris Sigaty said during the event that the move was "a way of giving something back to such a supportive and skilled community of players."

While this is a kind gesture on Blizzard's part, it is also a very clever way of further driving subscriptions for World of Warcraft. It would be fair to say that the StarCraft franchise enjoys ridiculous levels of popularity in the region, with shows dedicated to the game, multi-million dollar competitions televised on TV and Internet Cafes in the country driven by consumers who want to play.

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New Build of SCII Reportedly Granted 12+ Rating in Korea

May 21, 2010 -

A modified version of Blizzard’s StarCraft II has apparently made its way through Korea’s Games Rating Board (GRB) and earned a rating for gamers aged 12 and up.

This follows an earlier version of the game being branded with an adults only, or over 18, rating last month. 1UP, via a Team Liquid forum translation, indicates that Blizzard changed the color of in-game blood to black, removed vulgar language and exorcised smoking references in the game in order to achieve the lower age rating.

Blizzard may also consider releasing a separate version of StarCraft II that is aimed for adults only.

The game earned a “T” (Teen) rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

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StarCraft II Earns Adult-Rating in Korea

April 20, 2010 -

The forthcoming entry from the most popular game in Korea has received an adults-only rating from that country’s Games Rating Board (GRB).

Blizzard’s StarCraft II was designated for gamers 18 and over, and follows test, or release candidates, for the game previously earning ratings for the over 15 year old gaming crowd. The Korea Times speculated that the decision might have something to do with a push by the government to “improve gaming behavior and curb compulsive gaming and addictions,” versus the game’s actual content contributing to the rating.

In a statement, the GRB said, “Considering that the RC (release candidate) version of the game is closer to what will be sold on the shelves compared to the beta versions, we looked more carefully at the content.”

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Korea to Impose Gaming Black-Out Periods

April 12, 2010 -

In a bid to limit the screen time of its young gamers, Korea has unveiled some drastic initiatives.
 
Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will try to block certain online games after midnight, reports the Korea Herald. Midnight, however, appears to be a generic term, as gamers will be able to choose their specific six-hour long gaming black-out period: 12AM – 6AM, 1AM - 7AM or 2AM - 8 AM. Under the plan, online access to massively multiplayer games would automatically shut off at the appointed time.

A secondary aspect of the policy would have the Internet speeds of young gamers throttled down if users remain online for a “lengthy” period of time. The slowdown policy is said to be in current testing on four online games, with plans to spread the procedure to 19 games in total in the second half of 2010.

The Ministry will also target young gamers who use the registration numbers of their parents in order to circumnavigate such restrictions.

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TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
Goth_SkunkIt's something that has existed in Canada since 1946. You can read more on it here: http://ow.ly/PiHWR07/07/2015 - 2:27pm
Goth_SkunkSee, we have something similar in Canada, called a "Rand Employee." This is an employee who benefits from the collective bargaining efforts of a union, despite not wanting to be a part of it for whatever reason.07/07/2015 - 2:22pm
Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthe thing is unions earned their bad reputation in the US. the way unions oparate the better at your job you are, the likely you want to be in a union.07/07/2015 - 11:33am
InfophilePut that way, "right to work" seems to have BLEEP-all to do with gay rights. Thing is, union-negotiated contracts used to be one of the key ways to prevent employers from firing at will. Without union protection, nothing stops at-will firing.07/07/2015 - 11:06am
Infophilehas an incentive to pay dues if they're represented either way, so the union is starved for funds and dies, unless things are bad enough that people will pay dues anyway.07/07/2015 - 11:02am
InfophileFor those who don't know, "right to work" laws mean that it can't be a condition of an employment contract that you pay union dues. That is, the right to work without having to pay dues. Catch is, unions have to represent non-members as well, so no one...07/07/2015 - 11:01am
MechaCrashUnexpected? Seriously?07/07/2015 - 10:55am
Mattsworknamejob they wanted without the unions getting involved. The problem is, it has some unexpected side effects, like the ones Info mentioned07/07/2015 - 8:49am
MattsworknameThe problem being, right to work states exsist specificly as a counter to Unions, as the last 20 or so years have shown, the unions have been doing this countries economoy NO favors. The right to work states came into being to allow people to work any07/07/2015 - 8:49am
 

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