Warts And All, A Look At The South Korean Game Industry

Warts and All, a Look at the South Korean Game Industry

Have you ever wondered about what it's like in the Korean game industry? Like, the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly?

Recently, a poll of over one thousand (1,203 people to be exact) folks working in the Korean game industry was collected in "A Report on Game Industry Professional Working Condition."

The poll was done between July 31 and August 1 and acknowledges that it's not supposed to be the definitive word on the Korean game industry, but rather, it's a gauge of the current situation.

Out of those who replied, 76.6 per cent were male, while 23.4 per cent were female. A little over 75 per cent of them work at a corporation, meaning their game company is listed on the stock market, while 47 per cent work at companies with over a hundred or more staffers.

Here are some of the results as translated by tipster Sang:

• 9.2 per cent of the respondents work without any employment contract.

• 18 per cent were not informed of their pay, vacation and other benefits when/before signing their employment contract.

• 8.4 per cent of the respondents identified themselves as a regular employee (aka "permanent," not temp) but said they did not have any employment contract.

• 34.7 per cent of the respondents said they have experienced missing paycheck due to company going out of business and etc. Of that 34.7 per cent, 52.8 per cent said they were able to get their missing paycheck through legal settlement. That apparently means 16.4 per cent of the total survey respondents still have not received some of their unpaid paychecks.

• 40.3 per cent of the respondents said company pays/subsidizes their lunch, while 32 per cent said the same thing for dinner.

• 14.9 per cent said they get no benefits; 13.4 per cent said they get no benefits and work at a corporation; 22.7 per cent said they get no benefits and work at a privately owned company.

• 48.5 per cent said their weekly overtime is less than 5 hours.

• When asked they what time they went home yesterday, 48.9 per cent said they went home on time; 20.3 per cent said they went home after 9PM; 3.2 per cent said they did not go home at all.

• 80 respondents said they are currently looking for a new job. 72.5 per cent of the 80 said they have been looking for a new job less than 6 months. 17.5 per cent said it's been over a year since they looked for a new job

• Eight per cent said they've experienced a physical violence at work. Of the respondents Eleven per cent of the females said they had experienced physical violence.

• 10 per cent said they've experienced sexual harassment. Of those, two per cent identified themselves as a male, and 36.3 per cent identified themselves as a female. The rest, apparently, did not identify themselves.

• 25 per cent said they have been discriminated/humiliated due to age, education, physical size, or appearance (excluding gender). Of the respondents, 42.7 per cent were female.

• 11.3 per cent said they've experienced some sort of bullying from the company.

• 56.3 per cent said they've experienced a negative reaction when they told others that they work at a game company.

• 13.7 per cent said they are embarrassed about working at a game company due to their negative portrayal in the mass media such as news.

• 49 per cent said they are satisfied working in a game industry.

As with any poll, this is what it is: a poll. And it's easy to look at these kind of things in a half-empty kind of way. Still, it's a fascinating peek at the game industry in South Korea.

게임 산업 종사자 실태 보고 [SlideShare Thanks, Sang!]

Photo: SeanPavonePhoto | Shutterstock

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.


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