South Korean Android fans will suddenly be able to embrace the Android Market for their gaming fix once again. Android team member Eric Chu has just confirmed that games are immediately available to users in South Korea, and that includes the paid Android games that can be purchased through direct carrier billing.
It may seem strange that Google would tout the inclusion of games in the Android Market three years into Android’s commercial availability. However, one must remember that Google was forced to remove all games from the Android Market last year following its inability to comply with rules set by the Game Rating Board. The GRB required a rating system and pre-approval for all games, which Google viewed as unfeasible, so the entire gaming category was stripped from the Market.
Since then, laws have changed in South Korea. The government abandoned the notion that it could reasonably expect to pre-screen every mobile game and then re-screen those same titles every time an update was published. Legislation was introduced last spring that exempts smartphones and tablets from the compulsory pre-screening process.
South Koreans woke up this morning to thousands more options in the Market than were available yesterday. Developers are urged to update their apps to localize for Korean descriptions and set prices in won (KRW). In addition to being a nation with one of the highest Android device activations, South Korea is the second-largest consumer of apps, according to Eric Chu. Could South Korea climb to the top spot now that there are so many more apps from which to choose?
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