The Korean government is announcing that it plans to launch a fund worth 200 million dollars designed to back the videogames industry in the country. The 350 billion won investment is designed to make sure that Korea maintains its status as one of the growing powers in information technology.
The announcement was made by Yu In-chon, who is the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Korea. He said that, at the moment, his country exports game related assets that are worth 3.39 billion dollars in one year and that it has already beaten its target to reach 1 billion by two years. The rhythm must be kept if the country is to reach its stated aim of becoming the third videogame market in the world, behind the United States and Japan. The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism says that there are 59 other projects he aims to implement to make sure that the target becomes reality.
Korea is already one of the most interesting countries for videogamers. After all, this is the country where playing Starcraft competitively has pretty much become a national sport and where cybercafes were at one time ubiquitous. The South East Asian market, which includes China, is also seeing more and more major game launches, even if piracy is still a big problem.
One type of games very successful in the area, the free to play MMO, which is funded through advertising or microtransactions, is slowly becoming interesting to Western players and developers based in Korea. They might become big players if they manage to deliver new and interesting experiences.
Big publishers might also become interested in opening up development studios in Korea, considering the very good IT infrastructure that the country has and the high level of computer literacy.