North Korean Game Developer Defends Business

Two phrases that you don’t expect to see together: “North Korea” and “Game Developer”. Indeed the world’s most secretive regime develops mobile games and they are distributed by a division of  Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (Fox News) Huh??. This Gamepolitics article explores this further.

The games are sourced through Nosotek Joint Venture Company, which is headed by German businessman Volker Eloesser. His firm specializes in utilizing North Korean talent to create software, animation, and games for foreign clients. His reasons for recruiting North Korean’s are twofold. First it’s fairly easy to find English-speaking workers. But second and most importantly: they’re dirt cheap! Labor costs in North Korea are about half of what it would cost in China. Of course!

Eloesser has taken some of the North Korean employees to Germany for training but that has become more difficult as of late due to the increasing frequency of denied visas. The North Korean government has raised concerns that those employees would “learn to make nuclear bombs”, presumably to be used against them.

When asked by CNN how he felt about working for an oppressive regime, Eloesser answered: “What we are doing is not against the sanctions.”

CNN checked and it’s true: IT sourcing of cartoon animation and software games are not against U.N. sanctions.

And what are the games in question? Games based on the Men in Black movies and a bowling game based on the Big Lebowski, both of which are over a decade old. Well, that’s North Korea for ya!

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