What were the most popular topics in Korean gaming industry in 2013? Here’s TOP 10 news.
1. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile…
With the hit mobile games like <Anipang for KAKAO> in 2012, mobile game category has made the entire environment of Korean game industry changed. We would call 2013 as the year of mobile games.
<Chachacha>, <Magumagu 2013>, <Modoo Marble>, <Taming Monsters> from Netmarble, <Windrunner> from Wemade, <Cookie Run> from Devsisters are the most favorable mobile games in Korea. KAKAO Talk has become truly the best mobile game platform in Korea.
In terms of the market size, the mobile gaming industry grew up to $115.6 million last year, which has increased by 51.4% from what of 2012.
2. Gamevil Acquired Com2uS
It shocked everyone in the industry when we heard two of top Korean mobile game companies became one in October. Gamevil took over Com2uS by acquiring 21.37% of Com2uS’s shares for $466.7 million. It would be remained as the most big deal in Korean game industry for a while.
The two companies are the best in marketing experience, the global user pool as well as the brand awareness throughout the global mobile game market. They both have mobile game platforms called Gamevil Circle and Com2uS Hub respectively, which hold lots of users beside KAKAO Talk. In addition, both have 10 years of developing mobile game experience.
We are curious what they, as one, could reach fruition in 2014.
Even though the mobile games made unexpected hit, some companies had to restructure themselves. Neowiz Games, Ntreev, Mgame, Dragonfly, Hanbitsoft, Liveplex and GREE Korea are among them.
4. Continuing of League of Legends fever
The whole Korean gaming market seems to still be in the grip of the League of Legends(a.k.a LOL) fever. The game has been #1 at PC Bang ranking for 75 weeks consecutively and has been loved by lots of gamers whenever a regional or a world championship LOL e-sports events take place.
As Korea is a host-country for 2014 LOL world Championship, the LOL would continue its popularity and become the most popular e-sports game in Korea as well.
5. Politicians represent the Game Industry
After a representative of Minju-dang, the opposition party, has become the chairman of KeSPA(Korean e-sports Association) in January, a Congressman from Saenuri-dang, the ruling party, has been inaugurated as the chairman of K-IDEA(Korea Internet digital entertainment association) in February.
It is still highly controversial over having such high powered politician sit as the representatives of the industry. We have no idea what would be brought until the time would tell us.
6. POPPIC happening
First of all, POPPIC is a publisher who publishes a series of books containing various illustrations created by amateur artists. The problem is that they have not paid the artists properly and fully. The worst is that they did not only pay artists, but also did not treat them correctly. Instead they abused the pure passion of the amateur. The artists should be treated correctly even though they are not pro yet.
7. G-Star crisis
Before G-Star 2013 was held, there were quite a stir. A publisher like Wemade declared to boycott G-Star this year in order to protest against the latest consideration of government – 1% additional taxation on the gaming industry.
NCsoft, Neowiz Games, Webzen and Com2uS have also decided to boycott the event after deep considerations. Lots people worried whether the event could even be held as normal.
Fortunately, G-Star 2013 achieved a quite success with the largest B2B section ever.
8. GTA V hits Korea
2013 would be the happiest year for console gamers because lots of big name titles were released such as <GTA V>, <Last of Us>, <Bioshock Infinite>, <Tomb Raider Reboot> and <Monster Hunter 4>.
For the most, <GTA V> was suffered from a short supply because too many gamers wanted to play it during the thanksgiving holidays. The game has been sold over 100 million copies in Asia only. Since Korea is not the best place for console gaming, the hit of GTA V is unusual phenomenon.
9. Next Generation Consoles out
When talking about 2013, we cannot omit the release of the next generation consoles – PS4 and Xbox One. PS4 was released first in Korea on the 17th of December. Since Xbox One will be released in 2014 in Korea, the console war in Korea is ahead in 2014.
10. Gaming Becomes One of the Major Four Addictions
Out of many gaming issues in 2013, movement to legislating the games as one of the four major addictions was the biggest and the most critical. Since the bill was proposed in April, it became an huge issue throughout the country. The bill suggests that the games are an addictive material along with alcohol, gambling and drugs.
It has been tabled for now. However, the argument would be continued since some congressmen still insist the bill to be established.