Online games developers affected by the implemented 10 p.m. curfew on online gameplay at internet shops in South Korea. (Photo by Rob Fahey / Flickr)

Online games became popular in South Korea after locals turned fascinated on massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs).

Tech In Asia forecasted on Dec. 9, 2014 that the online game sector recorded a revenue of $2.5 billion annually after online games became a hit in the country.

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However, the growing addiction of young South Koreans on online gameplay compelled the government to come up with an effort to curb the issue.

MCV reported that the 10 p.m. curfew on online games at internet shops in the country has severely affected the revenues of online games developers, with some of them are focusing in China where people are allowed to play online games freely.

Online games firms like NHN and CJNet were greatly affected after the law was implemented in South Korea. NHN reportedly lose half of its annual revenue while CJNet’s revenue fell by 24 percent.

The initial law that was passed prohibits South Koreans from playing online games at internet cafés from 12 midnight until 6 in the morning. However, the South Korean government has decided to start the curfew at 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. last year.

Reports have revealed that the law also limits a person’s monthly spending on online games to $300.

Meanwhile, research shows that 72.1 percent of surveyed South Koreans agree that “online games are as addictive as drugs, alcohol and gambling.”

Saenuri Party chairman Hwang Woo Yea said “470,000 internet game addicts need to get medical treatment,” as noted by The Fix on Dec. 11, 2013.

“We need to create a clean Korea free from the four addictions,” Hwang said.

On the other hand, an attorney said that “there is a huge prejudice that gaming is harmful.”

“Games are as harmful as alcohol, drugs and gambling, that’s the prejudice,” said Lee Byung Chan.

The government law has maddened the internet industry including online game developers and online gamers, yet, the law has gained the support of the religious sector, parents and doctors.

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