Gaming in Korea is hot! Here is why.
One cannot talk about gaming without talking about Korea and one cannot survive a day without seeing, hearing or talking about it in Korea. Gaming is a big in Korea and it looks like it is going to get bigger and bigger. Evidently, the Korean gaming industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry in just two decades! How did gaming become so popular in Korea?
PC-bang: Opening a new era of gaming
First, let us take you back to the 90’s. The chance is that if you were in Korea in the 90s, you played StarCraft. And where did you play it? At a PC-bang! PC-bang is a Korean version of internet cafes for gamers. From teenagers and college students to white collars, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that most Koreans have played StarCraft at a PC-bang at least once in their lifetime. As demand for multiplayer games like StarCraft increased, the number of PC bang in Korea increased. As PC-bang took over the country, gaming in general got extremely popular. Eventually, this led to the era of E-sport.
E-Sport: Gaming goes mainstream
PC bang has given a birth to extremely talented StarCraft players who eventually won celebrity status. The match between these gamers were coined as “e-sport”, and in 2001, “e-sport” started getting support from governments and big corporates. TV channels dedicated themselves airing the StarCraft battle in real time. Gaming was no longer a sinful, time gobbling activity; it became a highly popular mainstream entertainment.
Generation Gamers: Everyone is a gamer
People who went to PC-bang in the 90’s didn’t just stop playing games when the new millennium came. They never got tired of gaming, because games continued to evolve with them. The popularity of individual games might have changed, but the game industry has secured a solid fan base always willing to try new games. Then, came the days of smartphones and mobile games.
Mobile Gaming: A whole new game
The arrival of smartphones and mobile games in 2007 was definitely a game changer, and it became successful in a very short period of time. The booming of mobile gaming in Korea can be attributed to:
1.The best infrastructure for wireless connectivity: Wherever you go, you are connected on the fastest Wi-Fi network. It means mobile game has become super accessible. You can get on and play anywhere and anytime.
2. The highest distribution rate of smartphones: 89% of Korean citizens use smartphones. And 75% of these smartphone users play mobile game on daily basis.
3. The collaboration with social media channels: Mobile gaming in a smartphone era is socially engaging. Linked to social media channels like Kakao Talk or Facebook, gamers invited their friends to play with or against.
4. Low entry barrier to the market: In comparison to the PC or console game, the development period is shorter, and development cost is relatively lower. Once registration on app stores like google play or App stores.
With an unlimited choice of mobile games The size of Korea’s mobile game business is estimated to have grown into approximately $24 billion in 2014.
Every tale of success is followed by question like What’s next? Which direction is the gaming industry(both PC and mobile) going now? If you want to find out, you don’t want to miss +822. We have invited specialists and experts of gaming industry like Andrew Ku, Jason Allenberg, and Dillon Seo as our speakers. These enlightening speakers will address the current state of gaming business and what the future holds.
See you at DDP at the end of October.