“Limited Korean order” is loose, South Korean games are expected to get a version number, breaking the ice in the Chinese market?


On February 22, CCTV and Korea Broadcasting Corporation (KBS) signed a video cooperation agreement. The following is the content of CCTV news report:

This year is the year of cultural exchange between China and South Korea. In order to implement the consensus of the heads of state of China and South Korea, China Central Radio and Television and Korea Broadcasting Corporation (KBS) today (February 22) signed a cooperation agreement in the form of video. The two sides decided to establish a cooperation mechanism based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit and friendly consultation to carry out comprehensive cooperation in program content, media technology, and industrial operation, promote cultural exchanges between the two countries, enhance friendship and mutual trust, and advance China-South Korea strategic partnerships The relationship has reached a new level.

Since the “THAAD” incident in 2017, China-South Korea relations have taken a turn for the worse. Although the official did not explicitly issue the so-called “restricted Korean order”, everyone who understands it understands it. Since then, cultural exchanges with the South Korean side have gradually become less or even disappear.

The latest issue that has affected the Korean game industry is the issue of version number review. Seeing that Chinese games dominate the Korean market, but their own games can’t even reach the door of China, all walks of life in South Korea are a little bit uncomfortable. The government has discussed this matter on many occasions and hopes to get a response from the Chinese side.

In June 19, Yin Sang-hyun, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Unification Committee of the South Korean National Assembly, asked to see Qiu Guohong, the then Chinese ambassador to South Korea, hoping to resolve the issue of the Korean game’s version number. However, the South Korean side did not receive a clear answer at the time. Ambassador Qiu Guohong only said that a better period will come.

In October of the same year, during the National Supervision by the Korean National Assembly Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee, Congressman Cho Jingtai asked Park Liangyu, the chief of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism about the fact that Korean games could not be issued in China. During the period, Zhao Jingtai even asked whether he wanted to sue the World Trade Organization (WTO) on this issue.

Of course, this is pure nonsense. The Chinese government has repeatedly stated to the South Korean side that it has not explicitly prohibited South Korean games from being reviewed.

In June last year, South Korean Congressman Yoon Sang once again reiterated to the Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming the issue of the Korean version of the review. The reply given by Ambassador Xing Haiming was “Although it will be a little difficult, we will continue to work hard.” Later, the Korean media interpreted it as “a positive answer to resolve issues related to version numbers.”

The real breakthrough event occurred in December last year. Among the new batch of imported version numbers issued by the Edition Bureau, the South Korean game “Summons of the Demon: Battle in the Sky” passed the trial.

The South Korean media immediately reported the matter separately, and then South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson Choi Young-sun said at a regular press conference that this is the first time that Han Yu has obtained a version number in China since the “THAAD” incident between South Korea and China in March 2017. To promote cooperation and exchanges in the cultural field between South Korea and China to return to the right track at an early date. In the future, they will maintain close communication with relevant departments and civil organizations, and continue to call on China to actively assist.

The South Korean side attaches such importance to the issue of version number, which is totally understandable.

According to SensorTower’s Q4 Korean mobile game market report in 2020, the current Korean mobile game market revenue reached 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. A total of 40 Chinese mobile games were shortlisted in the Top 100 Korean mobile game best-selling list, attracting nearly 300 million U.S. dollars, accounting for 24.6% of Top100’s total revenue. , 20% of overall revenue. It is not difficult to see that Chinese mobile games have a considerable market share in South Korea.

In addition to wanting to “take a breath”, South Korea is so anxious, mainly because the Chinese market is really “too fragrant.”

According to the “2020 China Game Industry Report” released by the Game Working Committee of the China Music and Digital Association (GPC), the actual sales revenue of the Chinese game market in 2020 is 278.687 billion yuan (approximately US$43 billion).

In addition, South Korea’s “2020 Korean Game White Paper” pointed out that in 2019, the export scale of South Korea’s game industry reached 6.65778 billion U.S. dollars, and China is its most important overseas market, accounting for about 40.6% of the export volume. Considering that South Korea’s game industry recorded a trade surplus of nearly 6.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, accounting for about 16% of South Korea’s trade surplus, one can imagine the role played by the game industry in exports.

For South Korea, the Chinese market is a strategic location that cannot be lost.

Now that China and South Korea have signed a cooperation agreement, it means that a market of nearly 300 billion yuan will be further opened to South Korean game manufacturers, which is self-evident.

For domestic manufacturers, challenges and opportunities coexist. The influx of Korean games may have an impact on domestic games, but relatively, manufacturers will have more choices when it comes to introducing agents. The following table sorts out some of the more noteworthy products, which may be the focus of the next competition:

(The highest ranking only counts the best-selling list of iOS games in South Korea)

Finally, it needs to be clear that all this is just a possibility. Judging from the overall issuance trend of imported version numbers, not only South Korea, but also other countries’ over-examination situation is not optimistic. Practitioners should make more reasonable planning and deployment based on the overall situation.


Source: Something about mobile games
Address: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/KhIVM3LgC9RQOO6Sjz3WKg

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