updated 07:50 pm EDT, Thu July 14, 2011
Korea drops game rules in boost to iPhone, more
A new change to South Korea's rules on gaming could lead to an explosion in mobile gaming that might also tip the balance in favor of iPhones. A rule that had required government review of games for sex and violence had been dropped as of July 6 and should let Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market freely carry games with their own review systems. The two platform makers have had to withhold games but are likely to add the game category in Korea as soon as possible.
Usage habits elsewhere in the world could lead to spikes in adoption for smartphones as a whole but may play most into Apple's hands. With games the dominant form of mobile app in the countries where regulation isn't an issue, iPhones are used twice as often for gaming. iOS has also usually had a much wider range of gaming and has seen top tier game developers turning down Android due to piracy and fragmented device requirements.
Google's main advantage in the country has been support from LG and Samsung, which dominate the mobile landscape in the area. Smartphones have been growing quickly in the region but, by necessity, have downplayed any entertainment outside of music and movies.
Gaming is considered a major hobby in Korea and plays a large part in technology in the country. The country follows games like the StarCraft series to the extent of making them competitive sports and broadcasting live games on TV. [via Bloomberg]