Korea is an example of what happens when you give consumers access to games online. The rest of the world is just starting to catch up to Korea.
San Diego, CA
According to new research from DFC Intelligence, South Korea is the most advanced market in the world for online games. With the fastest broadband speeds and over 80% household broadband penetration, Korea continues to pioneer the business model for online games. DFC forecasts that the market for Korean games will grow at a CAGR of 9.7% from $2.7 billion in 2011 to nearly $5 billion by 2016. Most all of this revenue will come from consumers paying for online usage and buying virtual content.
"It is often thought that most games in Korea are played at Internet cafes, or PC Bangs," said DFC analyst Insun Yoon. "While that is an important part of the market, most Korean publishers generate over 85% of revenue from consumers playing in the home." Korea has the highest per capita spending on PC games in the world and according to Yoon similar growth is likely to occur in other markets as broadband to the home increases.
According to the report much of Korea's market success can be attributed to a near optimal infrastructure including a national ID for authentication, diverse payment methods, low cost high speed broadband that has almost universal penetration, dedicated professional game player leagues, and cable channels dedicated to online games. Nevertheless the Korean market is not without its challenges. "There is a problem with market saturation and it now takes really innovative products to standout from the pack, says Ms. Yoon. In addition, games have received somewhat of a negative stigma. For example, in late 2011 the Korean government instituted a Shutdown Law that banned children from playing games after midnight.
Despite the challenges Korea is seen as a model for how game markets around the globe are likely to emerge as the global technology infrastructure starts to catch-up with the infrastructure in Korea. "Korea is an example of what happens when you give consumers access to games online," says David Cole president of DFC Intelligence. "The rest of the world is just starting to catch-up to Korea."
The report entitled The Korea Game Market is available from DFC Intelligence. DFC Intelligence is a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment and the emerging video game, online game, interactive entertainment and portable game markets. Since 1995 DFC has published in-depth strategic market reports and subscription-based research services. DFC research is used by more than 300 leading companies in over 30 countries worldwide. To sign-up for a free sample of DFC research go to the following form.