Korean online game market is booming - but breaking in might be tough
Despite the fact that the Korean online games market is now worth more than ever before, new data from analytics firm IHS shows that much of the games industry is still hunting elsewhere for growth.
The latest report from IHS shows that South Korea now houses the world's second largest market for online multiplayer PC games in particular, with the online PC games market now worth a record $2.83 billion in the region.
And while this growth is set to slow over the next several years, IHS believes that the market will be worth nearly $3.5 billion by 2018.
But it might not be so easy to break into the Korean online games space. According to the report, it is established franchises from the likes of NCsoft, Nexon and EA that are raking in the cash, not new games.
Indeed, Nexon has shown that
Korea online game sales are doing wonders for the company's financial results, while NCsoft's Lineage
, released way back in 1998, saw $281 million in consumer spending last year.
"New games released during the year failed to break the stranglehold of these biggest titles underlining the entrenched nature of the market, noted Chenyu Cui, Asian Games Market Analyst at IHS.
"With growth being driven from these established games it is perhaps no surprise that it was relatively suppressed at 8 percent. In contrast the mobile and tablet games market grew over 250 percent in 2013 and was worth over $1 billion for the first time."