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South Korean Game Makers Take Smooth Root in Global Market
Flourishing Abroad
South Korean Game Makers Take Smooth Root in Global Market
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • July 13, 2015, 06:45
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A screenshot from the popular mobile game
A screenshot from the popular mobile game "Everybody's Marble," by Netmarble.


South Korean game developers are achieving success in the overseas market. The games are seeing long-term results and meaningful performance in terms of cumulative sales. Domestic game makers have entered the overseas market to avoid the limits of the domestic market and the government’s excessive regulations, and it's working. They are expanding sales and securing long-term popularity in the overseas market, and expectations are growing that it could be the signal for Korean game makers to succeed in making a soft landing in the global game market.

According to industry sources on July 12, Netmarble Games’ mobile game “Everybody's Marble” posted 400 billion won (US$353.95 million) in global cumulative sales as of the first quarter of this year, ranked in 10th place in terms of global, combined mobile game sales of the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. The success was largely due to its high popularity in the markets of China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Korea.

According to a survey conducted by mobile analytics company App Annie and market research institution IDC, it was the only Korean mobile game which made the top ten in terms of sales.

Even though two years have passed since “Everybody's Marble” was launched in June 2013, it is still recording a high number of downloads and sales at home and abroad.

Also, it’s been a year since Com2uS’ role-playing game (RPG) “Summoners War,” which Google mentioned as a successful case, hit the market, but it is still in the high ranks of sales in the app markets of 80 countries across the world.

Industry watchers say that domestic mobile games are passing the limits of short-cycle mobile games and becoming popular long-running games that bring long-term sales. Since the genres of the games are not one-sided, it is possible to implement a diversification strategy.

All successful companies in the global market have one thing in common - they have learned about the local market and culture by establishing overseas branches.

Com2uS has set up its branches in China and Japan in 2003 and the U.S. in 2005, accumulating the necessary expertise to tap into the global mobile gaming market. This move puts the company in the position to carry out several custom marketing campaigns to promote “Summoners War” in the U.S. and Japan, industry sources said.

Recently, there is a growing number of companies that look up to these more successful leading companies. Korean mobile publisher Gamevil has opened an office in Berlin, Germany, called Gamevil Europe, in order to expand into Europe. Establishing new branches in Singapore and Taiwan as well last year, the company will provide local customer service and support for languages of up to seven European countries including Germany, France, and Russia, starting aggressive marketing.

In Europe, Gamevil’s mobile RPG “Monster Warlord” is enjoying continuing popularity, and “Kritika: The White Knights” and “The Dragon Blaze” are also winning positive responses.