International Factfile 2015: South Korea

Long the home of online games, South Korea’s industry saw a shake-up in 2014.

According to the Korea Internet and Digital Entertainment Association, online gaming comprises three-fifths of South Korea’s exports revenue.

This is of little surprise when you consider that the country is home to major firms in the space, such as Nexon, NCSoft and DeNA.

However, South Korea’s passion for online and mobile games has often been problematic in the past, resulting in a 10pm curfew on online gameplay at internet cafes.

This was extended in February last year by the local government, which restricted monthly spending on online games to $300 (194) per person.

As reported by Tech In Asia, the move had a detrimental effect on online games firms across the region.

NHN saw revenues halve in particular game types, with CJNet similarly seeing annual revenue drop by almost a quarter (24 per cent). Korean publishers and developers of online games subsequently focused their efforts on nearby China, which allows players to spend freely.

Despite this, the action doesn’t appear to have affected the popularity of Korea’s favourite title League of Legends.

Riot Games’ MOBA alone comprises 40 per cent of the South Korea games market, flourishing on the back of the country’s long-running interest in competitive titles such as StarCraft.

This has encouraged a strong pro-gaming sector in South Korea, with the Federal Game Institute predicting that around 10 million South Korean gamers are interested in eSports.

Population: 50,617,045

Capital City: Seoul

Currency: Won

GDP (Per Capita): $28,338


Lotte, Sonokong, E-Mart, Homeplus


Nexon, Hanbitsoft,Daewon Game Company


DeNA, NCSoft, Nexon, Gala Lab, Axis Entertainment, Gamevil, Grvaity, Blueside


Riot Games, EA, NCSoft, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Sony, Microsoft, Konami, Gameloft, Nexon, Sega

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