The "Game Payment Limit" regulation, which bans adults from paying more than 500,000 won a month in PC games, is expected to be abolished within the first half of this year.
Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Park Yang-woo held a meeting with officials from the gaming industry and related associations in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, on May 9 and said the government plans to abolish the game payment limit within the first half of this year at the latest.
If the policy is actually implemented, the amount of adult payment for PC games, which is currently priced at 500,000 won per month, is expected to be raised.
The Game Payment Limit regulation for online PC games was introduced to 300,000 won per month in 2003 and was raised once to 500,000 won in 2009.
The Game Payment Limit is being used as the company's "self-regulated" by form, but the game management committee did not assign the rating unless the company limits its monthly payment limit to 500,000 won. The game industry and related associations have called for the abolition of the limit on online games, saying that it limits the sales of game companies and ultimately hinders the development of the game industry.
"The government recognizes that games are defined as industries that play an important role in exports and contribute greatly to the national economy," Minister Park said. "putting a payment limit on adults who can make their own decisions is an excessive regulation and the ministry will accept the industry's concerns that it is unreasonable."
Minister Park also expressed his criticism of the World Health Organization's "Gaming Disorder" disease code registration, which is likely to be passed at this month's general meeting.
"The registration of the game's disease code was based on estimates without objective data," Park said. "The ministry has already informed WHO that registration of the code is not right, and even if the decision is made, it will respond carefully with other ministries and organizations."
Park also stressed that the game industry takes up a significant portion of the domestic content industry, and that he intends to actively nurture it as it also contributes to creating jobs for young people.
According to the Korea Creative Content Agency, exports of Korean content amounted to $7.5 billion last year, with games accounting for 56 percent of the total at $4.23 billion. In addition, game exports have been called the "blue-chip industry" that leads the domestic content industry while maintaining an average annual growth rate of 9.5 percent over the past five years.