South Korea lifts Apple iOS game ban as iPhone 4S launch approaches

South Korea lifts Apple iOS game ban as iPhone 4S launch approaches

Apple fans in Korea have even more reason to be cheerful — other than the imminent arrival of the iPhone 4S — after the government lifted a ban preventing Apple including games in the country’s App Store this morning.

Korean Apple can users now get their hands on games which had been blocked for almost two years due to concerns from the country’s Game Ratings Board about the content of games. To get around the block, many users opened US or other international iTunes accounts but now they are able use the regular, Korea-based store.

사용자 삽입 이미지 사용자 삽입 이미지

More significantly, the block was an obstacle for Korean game developers many of whom claimed that the government was holding back the industry in a nation of gamers.

Currently there is not a huge selection of games made in Korean for the domestic market apart from a few in the ‘entertainment’ section of the App Store, but that will soon change. Now that the block has been lifted, competition is expected to heat up between mobile developers, some of who have already prepared products for the store when rumours of a lifting of the ban emerged recently.

The news comes at a significant time for Apple in South Korea as the iPhone 4S is due to be released in the country on November 11.

Additional reporting by Jon Russell

Read next: Nokia, other companies see smartphone sales boost during holidays in India