The country’s export of computer and mobile games accounted for 57 percent of South Korea’s overseas shipment of cultural goods, which came to $4.6 billion in 2012, the report by the state-run Korea Finance Corporation showed.
The figure was also 11 times the $235 million brought in from exports of music-related content over the cited period.
The boom of Korean entertainment products, referred to as “hallyu,” or Korean Wave, has been one of the key cultural trends especially in Asian countries over the past years, led mostly by South Korean idol groups, movies and soap operas.
By sector, South Korea’s shipment of online games totaled $2.4 billion, or 91.4 percent of the game export volume in 2012, followed by $169 million in mobile products.
Such contents for portable devices marked a fivefold growth from a year earlier, apparently from wide distribution of smartphones and long-term evolution network at home and abroad.
“The game industry can be linked with a number of other industries like movies, animation, characters and design,” said Kim Hee-tae, a researcher at the institution. “It can create huge added value.”
The global market for games was estimated at $111.7 billion in 2012, equal to 10 percent of South Korea’s gross domestic product of $1.19 trillion in 2013.
By country, the United States took up 18.6 percent of the global market in 2012, trailed by Japan and China with 18.5 percent and 12.2 percent. Britain, South Korea, France and Germany held comparable figures of 8 percent, 6.3 percent, 5.7 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. (Yonhap)