×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

North Korea Sees Rise in Popularity for Foreign Video Games

The Korea Times reports that video games are picking up steam in North Korea, according to
those who have since left the country.

These individuals attest that titles ranging from “Grand Theft Auto V” to “FIFA Online” have been increasingly popular among younger North Koreans, especially in more underground circles. One 14-year-old told Seoul’s Daily NK that he had played “almost all” of South Korea’s “most famous” games while in the country, and that all of his friends had played “foreign” games as well.

Tech-savvy North Koreans hide their secret caches of games from the authorities using some pretty simplistic methods as well. For instance, they’ll simply change filenames to utilize extensions like .jpg, .doc, or other benign filetypes to avoid suspicion. The authorities, according to a North Korean defector, are more interested in keeping folks from watching movies and television shows sourced from South Korea, and thus aren’t on the lookout for games.

Since the games are typically shared via USB drives and shared around with those looking to get their hands on them, it’s simple to keep things like these hidden, though the question of how the games are getting into the country is still something shrouded in mystery.

Likely because of the rising interest in gaming for those in the country, North Korea has begun work on its own titles, such as the first-person shooter “Hunting Yankee,” according to the U.K.’s Sunday Express.

The shooter finds players tasked with eliminating American troops, though there are additional titles available as well for mobile phones. The North Korean Advanced Technology Research Institute has reportedly released titles like “Guardian,” “Goguryeo Battlefield,” and “Confrontation War” as well.

It’s a dangerous nation to be caught playing or utilizing materials that aren’t expressly approved for use, to be sure, but it appears that the medium is catching on in a way that could see a market flourishing in the future.

More Gaming

  • Netmarble Operating Profit Nearly Halved in

    Netmarble Operating Profit Nearly Halved in 2018

    Korea’s foremost mobile game publisher Netmarble experienced a 43.5% decrease in operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 59% drop year-over-year, the company announced in its financial report. While Netmarble’s releases “Lineage 2 Revolution,” “Marvel Future Fight,” “Marvel Contest of Champions,” and “Cookie Jam” have steadily performed in North American and Japanese markets [...]

  • The Razer Game Store Is Closing

    Razer Game Store Closing Feb. 28, Less Than Year After Launch

    The Razer Game Store will close on February 28 at 1am PST, the company announced in a blog post. This comes less than a year after its launch last April. The shutdown is part of “the company’s realignment plans,” according to Razer. “It has been a privilege for us to recommend and deliver great digital [...]

  • GTA Online

    America's Biggest Labor Federation Asks Game Developers to Unionize

    A leading figure from America’s biggest labor organization penned an open letter to game developers encouraging unionization across the games industry. AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler took to Kotaku with a post that asks workers in the games industry to fight for adequate pay, sensible work hours, and against toxic work conditions. “We’ve heard the painful [...]

  • Take on the Demogorgon in 'Stranger

    Take on the Demogorgon in 'Stranger Things' Dungeons and Dragons Set

    Hasbro will release a “Stranger Things” inspired Dungeons & Dragons starter set this spring, according to a press release. The starter kit has everything players need to start playing Dungeons & Dragons: A “Stranger Things” adventure book, a rulebook, five character sheets, six dice, a Demogorgon figure, and an additional, paintable Demogorgon figure. The starter kit will [...]

  • Tencent Wants to Bring 'Apex Legends'

    Tencent Wants to Bring 'Apex Legends' to China (Report)

    Tencent Holdings is in talks with Electronic Arts to distribute the publishers’ “Apex Legends” in China as of Friday, according to a “person with direct knowledge of the matter” the South China Morning Post reported. Tencent, video game industry giant, already distributes top battle royale games “Fortnite” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” in China. While Tencent is [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • 'Minecraft' Mobile Just Had Its Best

    'Minecraft' Mobile Just Had Its Best Year Yet

    Last year was the most profitable year to date for the mobile versions of “Minecraft,” according to a report from Sensor Tower. “Minecraft” on the App Store and on the Google Play store pulled in $110 million through both purchase price of the app as well as in-app purchases. This is a 7% growth from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content