1. Prospects of the Korean game market
The Korean game market is projected to grow by 6.1% in 2015, reaching revenues of KRW 10.5788 trillion. Online games and mobile games will be the two main drivers, with the former to increase its share modestly and the latter to continue its huge growth momentum. In 2016 and 2017, as online games maintain a marginal growth rate while mobile games see slower growth, the game market is expected to maintain the average growth rat of 4.3% with the size of KRW 11 trillion.
In 2015, the online game market will grow by 2.6% over the previous year, creating sales of KRW 5.6847 trillion and thus cementing its position as the largest platform in the domestic market. With blockbusters to be launched between late 2015 and 2017, online games are expected to continue their growth, which, however, will not be strong enough to turn the tide around. In 2016 and 2017, they will grow as low as 2% annually, barely reaching the KRW 6 trillion mark.
The mobile game market will continue to maintain its strong growth momentum, as blockbusters are launched continuously and they still have to fully mature as a genre. In 2015, it will become a KRW 3.5916 trillion market by growing 23.3% over the previous year. From 2016 onward, however, the mobile market will likely exhibit sluggish growth with just 10+%.
In 2015, the video game market will grow moderately thanks to the next generation gaming consoles launched in 2014, but will start shrinking again in 2016. Video games ae not likely to make any meaningful turnaround in the foreseeable future as the effect of their new consoles has already started to wane and their attractiveness as a platform is also losing ground.
For the PC game market, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, the last expansion pack slated for November, 2015, will make a positive impact on the market. The pack will provide the fuel for the market to stay strong until 2016, after which the market will start to shrink due to lack of blockbuster packages and the stagnancy of Steam.
Failing to find any opportunity for turnaround, the arcade game market will continue to contract until 2017 when the size will become a mere KRW 40billion. It is facing slow domestic demand and lacks any major issues. Even the launch of Tekken 7 in the first half of 2015 only made marginal impact on the market. This suggests that the arcade market has reached a point of recession where intermittent launches of new version of existing blockbusters can hardly support any momentum for its rebound.
Game distribution channels including PC rooms and arcades will continue to contract without any special grow factors.
*source: KOCCA, 2015 whitepaper on Korean games