Sony has announced that starting June 29, the PlayStation Network Store will be going offline in South Korea for an unspecified time.
A new “Shutdown Law” has been passed in the country to keep gamers aged 16 or less from playing video games at night. The measure is being taken by the South Korean lawmakers with the intended motivation of reducing the hours that the youngsters spend mashing buttons in front of their television sets and instead take out time to concentrate more on productive activities such as studying or reading a book.
The law will go in full-effect on July 1, therefore prompting Sony to shutdown the PlayStation Network Store in the region before that.
Sony made it clear that the online play will stay functional and only the online store will be down for maintenance to comply with the new “Shutdown Law.”
The company did not specify an exact date or month by which the PlayStation Network Store will be back online, but did leave a ray of hope for its Korean gamers by stating that the digital store will be up and running before the end of this year. This means that the wait can range from less than a month’s time to five months before the Korean PlayStation enthusiasts gain access to the downloadable content available on the store.
Rather than responding to the new law immediately, Sony is allowing the Korean gamers a week’s time to download or buy as many things from its digital store before closing the gates.
The “Shutdown Law” is not the first and most definitely not the last challenge that the online gaming firms such as Microsoft and Sony will have to face in South Korea. The month of June in particular saw the shot-callers showing an even greater friction towards online gaming. Just a week ago, news had been circulating around about a law that would make it illegal for gamers to buy and sell stuff within online games. The intention behind this law is the same as the “Shutdown Law”, i.e. to free up time for the youngsters to dedicate their time and energy to more important things.
PlayStation Network Store is an online marketplace for the owners of PlayStation Portable (PSP), PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, giving them the luxury of getting their hands on some of the most exciting content by downloading without having to exit the comfort of their living room.
With the South Korean lawmakers keeping the online gaming companies in their cross-hair, it will be interesting to see how the likes of Sony and Microsoft handle the pressure. It also remains to be seen how the gamers react to the new laws and whether such measures succeed in bringing the results desired by the lawmakers.