The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced a five-year development plan for the gaming industry and included the plan to introduce the domestic representative designation system.
The government said that the gaming industry could grow into a core industry in the online economy and the fourth industrial revolution era, especially after COVID-19 crisis. As the industry is emerging as an important sector, the plans to protect of users’ right and domestic companies were highlighted.
As a part of the plan, foreign companies without a Korean entity will have to designate domestic agents responsible for addressing user complaints and correcting unfair practices. Foreign game companies have been allowed to launch their games without a business office or representative in Korea so far and that caused inconvenience for Korean users.
For instance, some Korean users paid for the items of foreign games that have been serviced without a domestic corporation and asked to refund due to some malfunctions. However, they didn’t get any responses from the service provider and the problems didn’t get fixed either. Furthermore, there were many requests to rectify inappropriate advertisements and contents of some foreign games but no response at all from the companies. The examples of unfair practices such as price increases and event changes without any notification were mentioned in a briefing.
To prevent further cases, the foreign game companies will be required by law to designate representatives residing in Korea to perform the duties to communicate their Korean users without any language barriers or other difficulties. Besides, the representative will have to submit the relevant articles or documents in case a report or complaints so that the cases of unfair services and non-response issues can be prevented.
The domestic representative designation system has been applied to foreign online service providers according to the Network Act since March 19th, 2019. The government told that they would refer the law and introduce to the gaming industry. The guideline on designating a domestic representative in Korea for foreign online service providers can be downloaded through the link below.
- Korea Internet Security Agency https://bit.ly/2WdM361
Additionally, the government announced other plans to ease some regulations and increase support for businesses to expect the industry’s growth. For example, the rating system will be streamlined to prevent duplicated classifications and more support for small and medium-sized game developers were promised.
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