Go vs chess databases
In Chess one can purchase a games database with ~5 million games (e.g. ChessBase Mega Database 2011), whereas in Go
pro database contains around ~70 thousand pro games
What are the main factors that account for this orders of magnitude difference?
Several reasons exist , but the main one is that the latest openings is a vital tool for chess players, which leads to a culture where they expect to share their games with each other. Go pros don't seem at all interested in databases, on the whole, and even less interested in sharing their games. This may be influenced by the fact that, in Japan at least, sponsors, being most often newspapers, expect to have first publication rights, so it's difficult in Japan to produce any Pro games databases at all. They have the same situation in Korea, where Hankuk Kiwon keeps the right of publishing and creating archives of pro games. Many of these game records exist only on paper, not in SGF.
I believe we will not see any big Asian pro databases for sale in near future, but it's much easier to find games, played on Asian Go servers: KGS, Pandanet, Dashn, Cyberoro, Tygem. Most of these games are available in Bigo Assistant (created by Arkadij and Dmitrij Bogatskij). I am not sure that they have rights to sell these games, but I don't find any problem here (at least according to our Russian and Ukrainian copyrights laws)