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Google to stop selling games in S. Korean Android market

All Headlines 18:25 April 03, 2010

By Lee Youkyung

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- Google Inc. will soon stop offering games for its Android operating system in South Korea, in response to an order from local authorities to stop distribution of unregulated content, the company's Seoul office said Saturday.

The decision to shut down the game category from the South Korean Android market was made "to abide by local law," Google Korea spokeswoman Park Sun-kyung said by phone. All video, computer and Web-based games sold in South Korea are required to be reviewed and rated by the state-run Games Ratings Board.

Earlier in March, the rating board ordered Google to stop offering unregulated games. But Google found it "impossible" to have all games sold on Android rated by the local regulator, as the marketplace is operated around the world on the same platform, according to a notice sent to Seoul officials.

Completing the shutdown will take about one month, the Mountain View, California-based company said.

The measure will prevent owners of Android-based smartphones in South Korea from accessing some 4,400 games. Handset makers like LG Electronics Inc., Motorola Inc., Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB and Samsung Electronics Co. already sell or plan to start selling Android phones this year.

Apple Inc., which runs its App Store for iPhone users, also shut down its game category to South Korean users, refusing to have its games reviewed by the board. South Korean game software makers list their game products in the App Store's entertainment category for this reason.

Many South Korean iPhone users also own a secondary account set outside Korea to download the thousands of games available abroad.

ylee@yna.co.kr
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