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Busan hosts G-STAR for twelfth year

▲ Busan will host G-STAR till at least 2028, which will make this picture a decade old. (Moon Jinwoo, 2018)

The city of film, tourism, maritime and games? For many visitors it isn't films or beaches, they come here for the games. Since 2009, Busan has played host to Korea's largest gaming convention, establishing it as the backbone of the city's gaming community. 

 "G-STAR" or Game, Show and Trade, All-Round. It's one of the leading game festivals in the world, competing against the likes of Gamescom in Germany, E3 in the US and the Tokyo Game Show in Japan. In 2005, with only 156 companies from 13 different countries, at KIN-TEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do (pr-ovince), G-STAR grew and moved to Busan in 2009.

 2019 was a record year for the city and the expo, as they welcomed 691 companies from 36 countries. Additionally, a record-breaking 244,356 visitors and 2,436 B2B participants attended G-STAR that year. As a result, the Korean Association of Game Industry has determined that because of Busan's potential in the gaming community, it's the perfect venue, for years to come.

■ G-STAR in Busan A Win-Win

From G-STAR's Busan beginnings in 2009, the gaming industry has improved significantly. The number of local game companies has increased by five percent, and sales increased by 10 percent.

 Last year, the Busan e-Sports Stadium opened in Samjung Tower near Seomyeon Station. The main stadium consists of 330 seats and two sub stadiums with 128 seats, making it perfect for main events and various preliminary matches.

 City Hall hopes to increase the local game-related industry steadily. Therefore, a Game Contents Complex Town (GCCT) in the Centum will be built, with a projected cost of 100 billion won by 2025. The state-of-the-art innovative industrial complex will house an e-sports stadium and a game exhibition and experience center. The complex, made to integrate domestic and foreign game-related companies, plans to provide specialized support in all processes from location, game production, promotion, and follow-up support to relocated companies.

 Utilizing G-STAR and the GCCT as the launchpad to grow in size and quality, Busan aspires to be "The City of Games."