Video gaming in Thailand
Vlad Micu of VGVisionary and WindowsPhoneFans.com has stated in 2012 that Thailand's video game industry is on the rise, mostly through the increase in various app stores and a growing interest from foreign investors in Thai game development talent. Noting that some Thai games are slowly getting a foothold in the international market, Micu stated that "more and more Thai game studios are being empowered to produce quality content for a global audience." In November 2015, Sony Corp began producing premium smartphones in Thailand, the company's first overseas mobile phone plant in two decades. Sony aims to produce 600,000 to 700,000 premium smartphones in the first year.
Thailand is home of AsiaSoft, one of the most successful gaming company in Southeast Asia. In the late 1990s, the company aimed to bring down prices of video games in Thailand while taking measures to ensure video games weren't "leaked" to other regions, in order to combat video game piracy. As the market changed and online gaming became a large market in Southeast Asia, AsiaSoft started published massive multiplayer online role-playing games in the country, such as Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft. In 2004, the company expanded to Singapore and by 2014, the company had six offices in different countries.
Sanuk Games started to develop video games for home consoles, handheld and mobile devices in 2003. Headquartered in Bangkok, the company has a publishing office in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.
In 2008, copies of the already controversial Grand Theft Auto IV were mass recalled in Thailand after an 18-year-old high school student stabbed a cab driver to death. The 18-year-old confessed to stealing the taxi and said he killed the 54-year-old driver after he fought back, later stating that "killing seemed easy in the game." Subsequently, the game was banned in Thailand.
After the 2014 Thai coup d'état, Thailand’s military junta the National Council for Peace and Order banned Bulgarian video game Tropico 5, in which players can act out the role of a dictator in an island state. According to Nonglak Sahawattanapong, sales manager of New Era Thailand, "some parts of stories within the game affect Thailand's situation," and though Sahawattanapong was "disappointed" by the decision, the company complied with the ban.
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