Mobile Game Industry Becoming Big Market with Big Players

Competition in the Korean mobile game industry is becoming fierce during the second half of this year.

Initially, small and medium-sized game developers dominated the Korean mobile game market due to relatively low entry barriers. It did not cost much or take long to develop a good game. As the market grows, however, the short life cycle, which has been considered as the greatest limit of mobile games, has been improved, and big game developers are entering the mobile game market accordingly. Furthermore, foreign game developers recently started joining the competition in the Korean mobile game industry, creating an environment of fierce competition for all players.

According to the industry on July 22, the current top sales games in Google Play are Taming the Monsters, Seven Knights, and Everybody’s Marble by CJ E&M Netmarble; FIFA Online 3 and Legion of Heroes by Nexon; and Blade of 4:33 and Anipang 2 by SundayToz. Only last year, the mobile game market was led by small and medium-sized developers, but now big game developers who have primarily provided online game services are easy to find.

Especially during the second half of this year, a lot of mid-core mobile games will be released by big game developers.

First of all, WeMade Entertainment released Dragon Hunter early this month. Dragon Hunter is a casual role playing game (RPG) in which users can form their own strong parties out of over 210 unique hunters and explore more than 170 varieties of maps, which is being spotlighted for the second half of this year. Ark Sphere, a mobile massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) outside of the Kakao game platform, attracts many eyes as well. Ark Sphere, launched through Camp Mobile’s mobile game platform Band Game, has been constantly and increasingly popular since its release last March.

Nexon will also enter the mobile game market during the second half of this year. The company already announced that it will release 13 mobile games during the second half of this year at a press conference on July 8. The most promising game is Gwanggaeto, The Great Conqueror. It is a strategy simulation game which provides real time player vs. player (PVP) action. It took one and a half years to develop this game.

Also, Netmarble launched Every Nice Shot, a mobile casual golf game, and Quizzle, a mobile puzzle game. Every Nice Shot enables users to hit a strong shot by the simple control of power and accuracy. Beginners can also enjoy the game, as kind explanations for putting are provided. Quizzle is a new type of puzzle game in which each stage is formed with a quiz and a puzzle combined together. Users can learn and obtain knowledge at the same time by solving more than 40,000 problems in various fields including history, science, sports, and entertainment.

Foreign mobile game developers are aggressively attacking the Korean market as well. Candy Crush Saga by King and Clash of Clans by Supercell ranked 12th and fifth in sales. King’s other game Farm Hero Saga also recorded thirteenth place. An industry insider said, “As performances of foreign developers are outstanding, Korean game developers are getting nervous.”