If you attended the recent games industry event ChinaJoy 2017 you may have noticed that there was no 'Korea Pavilion' in the B2B area.
There were still 34 Korean games companies in attendance at the event. However, instead of a 'Korea Pavilion', this year it was called a 'KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency) Pavilion'
You could not find a single booth with Korea in its name.
There was the 'Taiwan Delegation' and the 'Malaysia Games Pavilion', but no 'Korea Pavilion', the first time in the event's history.
Regional tensions impact games industry
According to an anonymous source, the removal of 'Korea' from the pavilion was one of three demands made by the ChinaJoy organising committee. The committee asked KOCCA to:
1. Remove Korea from the pavilion
2. Move the location of the pavilion from first to the second exhibition hall
3. Do not promote the pavilion actively in China
One reason that the labelling of Korea may have been removed at the event is the politically contentious THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile issue, a defensive measure supplied by the US, which China objects to.
Since July Last year, China has been taken measures against South Korea in protest of THAAD. One such move in February 2017 resulted in Korean games no longer receiving a license for release in China - a policy that still stands.
It's likely therefore that the new policies from Chinjoy reflect that of the government.
The KOCCA Pavilion was the largest booth in ChinaJoy's B2B area in 2017.
This insight comes to us from the team at This Is Game, the leading Korean games portal and media partner of PocketGamer.biz. You'll see some of our articles on their site occasionally and discover exclusive Korean market insights here from This Is Game writers.