Online Gaming in Decline?

South Korea has long been known for its success with online games. However, experts worry whether Korea has reached market saturation (VentureBeat).


...2nd largest online gaming market in the world.  

  • Korea remains the 2nd largest online gaming market in the world, just after China, according to Kocca.
  • Online games attained $2.46 billion in 2015, "representing a decrease of 9.6% year-over-year," as stated by IHS Markit's Games Market Monitor.


Rise of Mobile Games

The perceived decline in online games could be due to an influx in mobile game players.

  • IHS anticipates a compound annual growth rate for online games of 3.7%, to reach $3.39 billion by 2018.
  • Mobile games have long been considered an underestimated market in South Korea (Nomura research firm).
  • Korea saw rapid growth of 250% in 2013 due to high mobile adoption rates (TechInAsia).
  • Korea's mobile marketplace achieved $1 billion worth for the first time in 2013 (IHS).
  • Korea saw growth in years since, expanding to a $1.3 billion in 2015 and then, more or less flattening out (PocketGamer).


Nearly $3.4 billion mobile industry by 2018.



That isn't to say that Korea isn't a fruitful marketplace for games.

  • Korea's growing independent development community focuses on mobile game development due to the opportunity they see in mobile (TechInAsia).
  • Korea has adopted more foreign games, whereas in prior years, most games consumed by Koreans were homegrown.


 Korea's mobile game revenue is approximately 1/5 the size of China's.



LAI Global Game Services – DFC Intelligence – Video Game Market Infographics – Asia – Korea - Korean

Download LAI Global Game Services & DFC Intelligence's Korea infographic for use in professional and student presentations, papers, and articles.


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LAI strives to keep game developers and publishers updated on key markets for localization.  If you find any errors or have additional information to add, please let us know at info@laiggs.com

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Latest page update: 1Q2017.

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