The Korea Herald


Korean market grows for online, mobile games

By Sohn Ji-young

Published : June 20, 2018 - 16:13

    • Link copied

South Korea was the world’s third-largest market for online video games and the fourth-largest for mobile games last year, according to data provided by market research firm Euromonitor International on Wednesday.

Korea’s online video game market was valued at $1.69 billion in 2017, marking an on-year growth of 23.2 percent. The country’s mobile game market was valued at $2.34 billion in the same year, up 36 percent from the previous year.

China ($11.9 billion) and the US ($2.24 billion) were the top two-biggest markets in the world for online video games in 2017. The three-largest markets for mobile games last year were China ($17.3 billion), Japan ($8.56 billion) and the US ($7.28 billion).

(123RF) (123RF)

Looking ahead, Euromonitor expects Korea’s video gaming market -- including console games and devices, online video games as well as mobile games -- to continue expanding over the next five years, growing tenfold in size from 2017 to 2022.

The firm predicts Korea’s overall game market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent from 2017 to reach $11.58 billion in 2022. And spearheading this growth will be mobile games with high profitability prospects.

“Mobile games are set to record strong constant retail value growth over the forecast period. The already-high possession rate of smartphones in 2017 is expected to increase still further over the period, thus supporting growth of mobile games,” said James Kang, a home and tech analyst at Euromonitor International.

“Online games have a spending limit of 500,000 won ($452) per month for users, whereas mobile games have no budget limitation. In addition, unlimited gaming spend and the increasing number of game players will likely support the growth of mobile games over the forecast period,” Kang added.

Globally, the world’s video gaming market as a whole was valued at $121 billion in 2017, marking 15 percent growth on-year, according to the market research firm.

Euromonitor predicts the worldwide gaming market will grow to $163.2 billion by 2022, with the biggest contribution coming from mobile games.

By category, the global mobile game market will reach $78.6 billion in 2022, which is roughly three times larger than the online game market expected to be valued at $26.5 billion that year, the firm said.

The figures were published by London-based market research firm Euromonitor International in a new report examining the growth of the toys and game industry worldwide in 2017, released this month.

By Sohn Ji-young (