Developers look to Europe to escape sluggish industry

South Korean gamers play Final Fantasy XIV at the G-Star game conference in Busan last month.

SEOUL - Virtual reality headsets, jet ski simulators and gun battles with robots were all part of this year's G-Star gaming conference in Busan, South Korea.

About 200,000 gamers immersed themselves in the latest offerings from 2,567 exhibitors at the annual industry forum in late November.

But it's not all fun and games -- G-Star also means serious business. The forum is one of the world's largest networking events and has helped a growing number of local game designers get jobs in countries with thriving gaming industries.

Germany Trade & Invest, a government investment agency, is trying to attract Korean designers with funding opportunities if they set up their businesses there. The agency says Germany is keen to draw talented developers from around the world to create quality content, especially on mobile platforms. It has already lured Korean game makers Gamevil and OnNet to set up a German subsidiary.

Hong Ju-young, manager of MI Co., a Gwangju-based game studio, is considering moving to either Germany or China.

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