LMB has laid down the gauntlet.  Last month, South Korea’s Maximum Leader president lamented that Korea does not have ingenious (or “indigenous”) products like the Wii or the PSP. 

A saddened LMB was reported to have said:

A lot of our elementary school children have Nintendo game machines. Why can’t our companies develop products like that?

Nevermind that Japanese companies like Nintendo have been at it since Space Invaders in 1980 or that the onerous costs of developing, marketing and manufacturing complex game consoles like the PS3 has literally been like an albatross around Sony’s neck.  However, thus saith LMB, so thus it shall be done

Earlier this week the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced a partnership with a local electronics makers to form GamePark Holdings to try and match the Japanese prowess in game consoles. 

 From the KT

However, Korean gaming experts are stratching their heads.  Korea already has some pretty good gaming software companies such as NCSoft, which are not getting any government support.  An unnamed mobile games developer added:

Talking about Nintendo is out of touch, when you consider that the local software market is virtually on life-support. Piracy and lack of quality personnel has killed the vibrancy of the Korean software market, and I wonder whether the government has ever been serious about fostering the country’s software industry. It’s telling that most of the computers at government agencies rely on pirated software.

Another exec also slammed Lee’s government:

You don’t have the right to be daydreaming about Nintendo, when Korean online game firms, which are actually doing well overseas, feel they could do better if the government wasn’t biting at their ankles.  (Emphasis Mine)

Korea’s rather forceful mix of government mandated development has worked for cars, ships and consumer electronics, but one can’t help but wonder if the drive to create a Korean Nintendo is just a big waste of time, money and energy that can best be used elsewhere.