Sections

Find out how to kick start your games industry career

Get Your Free Ticket Today

Korean rating system leads to indie game bans

Freeware games must pay for certification or risk a take-down; Steam and Android also threatened

A number of freeware games have reportedly been banned in South Korea, following their creators' failure to pay for rating.

All games in the country must be age-rated by the government's Game Rating Board (GRB) in order to obtain a legal release. However, this entails a cost to the creator or publisher of between $20 and $700, dependent on file-size.

This has proven difficult for amateur developers creating not-for-profit titles distributed purely online. As detailed by a frustrated post on Reddit, increased GRB monitoring has apparently led to a number of free games being taken down.

The system is affecting for-profit firms too, with Valve's digital distribution service Steam reportedly facing a "complete block" because none of the games it hosts have paid to be GRB-certified.

Earlier this year, the GRB threatened to block Google's Android Market in its entirety unless the over 4000 unrated games on the service paid to be certified.

Find out how to kick start your games industry career

Get Your Free Ticket Today

More stories

Over 200 Chinese games firms reportedly vow to self-regulate in face of new restrictions

Statement from state-backed gaming association suggests firms will use facial recognition to identify minors

By James Batchelor

China trials website for public to report games violating new restrictions

Players encouraged to identify games that don't require real name registration or implement time and spending limits

By James Batchelor

Latest comments (2)

Saehoon Lee Lead technical artist, Kuno Interactive11 years ago
What is this ... like a VISA fee for a digitally distributed games? lol I hope not all goverment get interested with this kind of scheme. But then again, it is understandable that GRB wants to have age rated by their own standard. Every country has its own culture so I guess this is one of example. Just because game is free to play it doesn't mean it does not need to have age rated, and that kind of thing is never free.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Florian Schwarzer Producer, InnoGames11 years ago
What a commercial game publisher can easily pay, a self-publishing garage studio can not. Speaking as the resident of a country with rather stringent age verifications, where a distinction between both has been made for a long time in classical media, the same should be possible in the gaming sphere.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.