In response to some political and military dispute that are currently taking place between South Korea and China, the latter has banned new mobile games from being launched in the former.
Well, that is a new one — using games to apply pressure. Apparently, the move comes in response to South Korea’s deployment of US missile defense systems. It’s actually not clear why China has taken offense, since the Thermal High Altitude Area Defense system has been deployed with the intent of taking down any ballistic missiles that could be launched by the North Korea.
And the threat is certainly there. North Korea has been flexing its nuclear muscles of late and we already know that its leader isn’t one to keep his intentions under the lid. However, China has called the system a “clear, present and substantive threat to China’s security interests.”
No we don’t know how the dragon arrived at that conclusion and what kind of logic it used to find a defensive system offensive, so to speak. It is almost like: You should leave yourself open to attack, or we won’t like it. Meanwhile, China has taken a most unusual step to express its displeasure and has frozen licenses for South Korean developers. What that means, is that games made in South Korea can no longer be published in China.
The move will have a definite impact on South Korea’s gaming industry. For example, you have companies like Netmarble, which was preparing to launch its Lineage2: Revolution mobile game in the Chinese market.
The game did really well in Korea, generating almost $176 million in its first month on mobile. It stood to reason that it will do even better in China, considering the larger demographic. However, it doesn’t seem like that will happen anytime soon now.
Other companies will also be affected, including Tokyo-based Nexon. Nexon recently made a couple of important games in South Korea and it will now be unable to launch them in China. Meanwhile, let’s see how long it takes before crazed game developers dismantle the missile systems. At least that is what China appears to be hoping for.