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Korean Online Gaming Market Stepping Backward Owing to Gov't Regulations
Help that Hinders
Korean Online Gaming Market Stepping Backward Owing to Gov't Regulations
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • May 8, 2015, 05:15
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Promotional artwork for Netmarble's Monstergame, a very popular app on Google Play's games section.
Promotional artwork for Netmarble's Monstergame, a very popular app on Google Play's games section.

 

The global online gaming market is expected to continue to grow 7 to 9 percent this year, following 2012. In contrast, the Korean online gaming industry posted negative growth of nearly 20 percent in 2013. Therefore, many people are saying that it is not easy to revive the industry.

[[{"fid":"11405","view_mode":"body_image_right","fields":{"format":"body_image_right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"height":324,"width":550,"class":"media-element file-body-image-right"},"link_text":null}]]According to the Korea Creative Content Agency on May 7, the size of the local online gaming market reached its peak in 2012, which was estimated at 6.7839 trillion won (US$6.2283 billion). However, the market was only worth 5.4523 trillion won (US$5.0058 billion) in 2013, a contraction of a 19.6 percent. Last year, the number shrank by 3.0 percent to reach 5.2887 trillion won (US$4.8565 billion). Although 4.4 percent growth is expected this year, the size of the market is projected to stand at around 5.51 trillion won (US$5.06 billion).

On the other hand, the global online gaming market was estimated at US$19.4 billion (20 trillion won) in 2012, US$21.3 billion (23 trillion won) in 2013, and US$23.2 billion (25 trillion won) in 2014, showing a year-on-year growth of 8 to 9 percent. This year, the market is expected to grow 7.7 percent to surpass US$25 billion (27 trillion won).

The weight of online games in the local gaming market has showed a drastic decline over the past few years. The proportion was more than 70 percent in 2011, but the number continued to drop, as shown by 69.6 percent in 2012, 56.1 percent in 2013, and 55.4 percent in 2014.

Some say that the bigger influence of mobile games is a major reason for the decreased weight of online games in the gaming market. However, others believe that the government's pressure and regulations play a role as well. The application of the so-called Game Shutdown System, which bans nighttime access to online game sites by those aged less than 16, is scheduled to last until 2017, and the system is applicable to online games.