By Yoon Sung-wonBusan will continue to host the G-Star game show for two more years, the nation’s leading game industry lobby said Wednesday.

This means the southern port city has succeeded in solidifying its status as the destination for one of the world’s largest game shows, wiping out suspicions that it might lose the right to Seongnam in Gyeonggi Province.

Seongnam, which hosts the headquarters of major IT service and game companies, has emerged as a possible venue for G-Star

“We have decided to continue to hold the G-Star in Busan, extending the term for the next two years,” Korea Internet and Digital Entertainment Association (K-iDEA) Chairman Kang Shin-chul said during a press conference in Seoul, Wednesday.

The K-iDEA said it had tentatively agreed with the city to hold the event there for four years from 2013 and conducted a mid-term evaluation of the city as the venue for the game trade fair

Busan has contributed successfully to organizing the game show in 2013 and 2014, hosting more than 202,000 visitors and posting more than $198. 14 million in trade. But Busan Mayor Seo Byung-soo has been criticized because of his support of a bill that would regulate game companies through extra taxation.

The Busan Metropolitan Government pledged to expand investment in this year’s G-Star to 2 billion won, up from last year’s 15 billion won.

Kang said the association would work to attract more mobile game companies and foreign game firms to the event.

“We are aware of the criticism that the game show lacks mobile game exhibitions,” he said. “It is also true that mobile game firms feel that it is difficult to achieve tangible results by participating in the event.

“Foreign companies tend to join in the business-to-business section of the event. We will establish plans to encourage more of these firms to participate in the G-Star”

The municipal administration of Seongnam said it would bid again to host the international game show in 2017, promoting its well-established game industry infrastructure.

The city hosts 870 IT companies, including 150 major game firms such as Nexon, NCSOFT, NHN Entertainment, Smilegate and Neowiz in the Pangyo region. The game companies in this region generate 53 percent of the nation’s gross game industry sales.

The K-iDEA will evaluate bidding venues for the G-Star 2017 from scratch. This also is expected to be an aantage Seongnam, considering that the evaluation for the 2015 and 2016 events has been done as a mid-term check for Busan.

Kang, the former CEO of local game development company Neople, took office as the seventh chairman of the game lobby Wednesday, following on from Gyeonggi Province Governor Nam Kyung-pil.

In his inauguration speech, Kang pledged to encourage game firms to follow self-regulation measures agreed to at the association and prove that such measures are more effective than government-led ones.

SOURCE: The Korea Times