Although South Korea’s mobile gaming industry is worth just one seventh of the Japanese mobile gaming market, it remains one of the most healthy gaming markets in the world. It’s on the rise, while Japan’s gaming companies and industries have been on the decline.
A white paper from the Korea Creative Content Agency gives us an in-depth peek into South Korea’s growing gaming industry. The most significant numbers include:
- The total South Korean game market is worth $9.16 billion
- Total revenue for the domestic mobile gaming market has reached $754 million
- The mobile gaming market grew by 33.8 percent in 2011
- Top two countries that are importing Korean games include China (38.2 percent) and Japan (27.4 percent)
- The average South Korean plays more than one hour of games per day
- Online dominates gaming platforms with more than 43.9 percent of the overall gaming market
- Role playing is the most played genre of game for South Koreans
For comparison, Japan’s gaming industry grew only 1.2 percent last fiscal year. The total Japanese market is worth $4.6 billion. Whereas South Korea’s gaming market grew by 10.8 percent. As it stands, Japan’s gaming market is facing a number of issues. Major companies like GREE, DeNA and even Sony and Nintendo are suffering from slowing growth.
As the numbers above indicate, online gaming seems to be the clear future for South Korea, especially mobile companies like Kakao which are at the forefront of pushing mobile gaming in South Korea. With last year’s $45 million in revenue, Kakao seems to be leading the charge in South Korea’s mobile gaming market as a messaging platform. And since Android is huge in Korea, the Google Play store has also become a big marketplace for mobiles games to seek for downloads and ARPU.