Amusement Arcade Industry Faces Hurdles
Amusement Arcade Industry Faces Hurdles
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  • 승인 2006.03.01 12:01
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Game Industry / KAIA It is a well-known fact that the game industry in Korea already creates employment for over 200,000 people, operates 30,000 shops and attracts over 30 million game users with a market exceeding 5 trillion won (approx. $5.2 billion). In this regard, game business circles' are striving ceaselessly for the sake of game power accomplishment as one of the three game powers in the world.
Associated laws and comprehensive activities to accomplish this are briskly under way, being aware of the importance of the game already, but nevertheless there are some serious problems in the whole game industry. Against this background the Korea Amusement Industry Association (KAIA), following its inaugural general meeting on Jan. 18, 2006 in Seoul, is to enhance social awareness about the amusement industry as well as to create a firm industry base. It aims to unfold game industry-associated law, system improvement as well as policy alternatives, to identify and to carry out middle and long-term strategy tasks for the sake of amusement industry promotion, and particularly to support arcade game industry activation. KAIA president Chung Young-Soo, who also served as president of the Korea Game Development & Promotion Institute (KGDI), mentioned that the year 2006 is likely to be a very important one, since all sorts of preparations related to the enforcement of the Game Industry Promotion Law in the interests of the second stage advance of the industry must be completed. To this end, he maintained, not only arcade business circles, but also the entire game industry business circles should devote their energies to industry development so that truly perfect laws and an effective system can be established. Time to make global inroads And using this opportunity, Chung emphasized in a special interview with The Korea IT Times that now is the time to make inroads into the world in earnest while reconsolidating the domestic game industry and consolidating markets. In particular, he pointed out that he believes many people are aware of the fact that the arcade game field holds boundless potential market. The president explained that he believed, "We have to challenge huge markets all over the world in earnest", adding that it accounts for more than half of the entire game market both nominally and virtually and its scale also keeps growing more and more. In this context, Chung stresses that it was against this background and significance that his Association came into being. In the meanwhile, the arcade industry has been alienated from the government as well as related institutions, plus lack of social awareness and sympathy. Such interest shortage was the cause which caused several ill effects, despite the boundless possibilities of the arcade industry. However, Chung has committed himself to striving for the promotion of the arcade game industry by concentrating all sorts of efforts on the epoch-making development for the business circles themselves. In a nutshell, Chung indicates that the arcade game market is fragile and its social awareness also is not consolidated enough, but arcades account for 45% of the global market. He further explained that the arcade market is presumed to be worth roughly 17 trillion won (approx. $17 billion) at home and arcade development for adults forges globally a market of $30 billion. In the light of such development possibility, the president says that he proposed to accomplish exports of $2 billion in the part of arcade by 2010 in its inaugural general meeting by means of industry complex formation for competitiveness improvement at home and abroad, activation of complex game offering business for the purpose of domestic market enlargement, boosting quality with the standardization of parts and technology and so forth. Hardware technology insufficiency Concerning the activation plan of the arcade game industry, the game-veteran president proposes that to develop the arcade industry, the younger generation game activation support, hardware's standardization propulsion, taxation as well as turnover transparency and so forth should be promoted. As for the domestic arcade game market, the younger generation arcade game market's stagnation can be named first of all due to the emergence of competing games such as online game or consol game, the absence of killer content, excessive regulatory control. Particularly, in the case of the younger generation game, its stagnation became worse with the recent emergence of a premium game. In contrast the premium arcade market has grown rapidly with the permission of a gift certificate as an impetus in 2003. As to the problems of the arcade game market, the president pointed out that the money earned in the arcade game market is not being reinvested into arcade game development, adding that owing to excessive focus on one side to control as well as evade, the entrepreneur spirit has disappeared and social awareness is bad. In this connection, he maintained that our selection is important as to whether associated institutions will approach the arcade game as industry or merely see it as a control object, in the light of the fact that Taiwan has accomplished $2.8 billion with premium game-oriented exports in 2003 whereas the amount of game exports was no more than $250 million in 2004 for Korea. For the sake of accomplishing one of the three game powers globally, it is necessary to forge a sufficient and close cooperation system with the authorities concerned of the government and the preparation of pan-business circles integration measures in the interests of game industry's epoch-making development, he concluded.

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