The mobile gaming market in South Korea

Good news! Mobusi will be visiting South Korea, two times in three months. Our team will be attending Max summit in Seoul and GSTAR 2015 in Busan.

Korea is one of the most connected countries in the world. They have one of the best mobile-infrastructures. These allow the population to be online anywhere. With China and Japan it accounts for 40% of the global mobile market.

Korea is the second country by Smartphone Penetration. Over 80% of the people have a smartphone.

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1. Your mobile game in Korea

In this connected country it is normal to see buses with plenty of passengers fighting among big demons or conquering “sugar worlds”.

Koreans enjoy most of their free time playing mobile games. More than 90% of Korean smartphone users run Android, and those spend more time on their phones playing games than doing anything else, except using communication apps. Also Koreans spend more money than average in these games.

The mobile gaming market is huge in South Korea. In the first part of 2015, mobile games represented more than 90% of the app revenue in the Korean Google Play store. Games have a larger presence in the app market there than in any other country, including gaming powerhouse Japan.

The problem: South Korean gamers prefer local games. The most profitable games in South Korea are made by Korean developers. The main reason for this is that South Koreans have only a moderate English proficiency. The problem with many translated games is that they are not accurate in the translation of local expressions and situations.

2. Korean games outside Korea

Expanding to the west has been a hard battle for most South Korean developers. The Korean mobile games have evolved through integration with KakaoTalk or LINE, the country’s social dominant platforms. However, these companies need different marketing strategies to go abroad.

China which is the fastest-growing market with nearly a quarter of a billion mobile gamers, according to Financial Times, is an attractive market. But despite of the cultural similarities, it has also been hard, due to the fragmented android app market.

Some Korean companies have managed to cross borders and expand with an incredible success in the rest of the world. Com2uS is the company behind the hit game Summoners War who has been able to obtain more than 40 million mobile downloads.

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