Korea South, 30th Jan 2023 – Even with the gaming market growing annually since 2016, from 2019 to 2021, with the advent of the pandemic, the gaming market would set a new record of 191 billion dollars, an increase of 26% from the previous two years. In contrast, 2022 saw a global economic downturn, with a temporary decline and slump in the market. This global trend, however, did not impact South Korea, as the country has seen continuous and rapid growth in the gaming market since 2016.
According to global market research firm Newzoo’s Key Insights into South Korean Gamers (2022), South Korea is the 4th largest gaming market in the world, with a total revenue of 830 million dollars in 2021. Additionally, the research firm, Research and Markets, expects the Korean game market to record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) with a total value of 20.98 billion dollars by 2026.
As the South Korean gaming market continues to grow, game companies have set their sights on tapping into this market’s potential. While many game companies have attempted to enter this field, with traditional game companies such as Nexon, NCSoft, and Netmarble being dominating presences, breaking into this market has not been easy.
With this increasing interest in mind, let’s look at what factors have made certain international games successful in the South Korean market: how they have captured the hearts of gamers as well as the games that South Korean users are looking forward to in 2023.
Overseas Games That Left a Mark in Korea in 2022
- Genshin Impact (Publisher: HoYoverse)
Genshin Impact, an open-world adventure RPG game, set a record in Korea as the mobile game with the most play time in 2022. Recording 240 million dollars in revenue, Genshin Impact’s success can be attributed to its marketing strategy from the outset: hiring local staff for optimal service in South Korea thereby tailoring their game to Korean gamers.
- Elden Ring (Developer: FromSoftware)
Elden Ring, an open-world dark fantasy action RPG game, is ranked 3rd in this year’s game keyword searches, according to Google Korea. Their success comes from focusing on localization in South Korea to provide a fully immersive experience for Korean gamers. By focusing on a solid localization strategy for South Korea, Elden Ring was also selected as the most popular video game in the first half of 2022.
- A Plague Tale: Requiem (Developer: Asobo Studio)
Plague Tale: Requiem is a stealth action-adventure game. While the previous iteration of the game, Plague Tale: Innocence, received less than satisfactory reviews for its translation, Plague Tale: Requiem was lauded for its universal care in translation, and gained popularity in South Korea.
In addition to these, games such as Horizon Forbidden West, God of War: Ragnarök, Sifu, and Dying Light2: Stay Human, among others, also captured the hearts of South Korean gamers last year.
The Buzzworthy Games to Enter the Korean Gaming Market in 2023
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Developer: Nintendo)
The sequel to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, is scheduled for release in May. With the previous game receiving high acclaim for its contribution to the open-world genre, this game is expected by Korean gamers to be one of the top games of the year.
- Diablo 4 (Developer: Blizzard)
The long-awaited Diablo 4, highly anticipated by Blizzard fans in Korea, is scheduled for release in June. Diablo 4 is the first in the series to introduce an open-world system and is expected to revive the dark settings of Diablo 1 and 2, something Diablo 3 did not do, leading to its less-than-stellar reviews. By doing so, they hope the expectations of Korean gamers will be met.
- Wild Hearts (Developer: Omega Force)
Wild Hearts, developed jointly by EA and KOEI TECMO, is a hunting action game where the player hunts various monsters in an open world with designs inspired by Eastern culture. By creating a game that blends both hunting action and crafting, it has been generating a lot of buzz among gamers curious about the final product.
- Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (Developer: Ubisoft Massive Entertainment)
Based on the movie Avatar, the release of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora has been eagerly awaited among Korean gamers. Known for their concerted efforts when localizing the Korean, Ubisoft is often recognized as an ‘honorary’ Korean company by local gamers as a result. In developing this open-world action adventure, the company has been creating a lot of talk among Korean players, especially after the success of the movie Avatar 2./
Successful and highly anticipated games in Korea all rely on high-quality localization to break into the market. To ensure a smooth localization process when entering the Korean market, leading global game companies like Ubisoft, Blizzard, Square Enix, and Tencent have been working closely with Latis Global to make that happen.
And, by helping such companies break into the Asian market, Latis Global has been referred to as a hub for localization in Asia by European game developers.
About Latis Global
Latis Global is a company specializing in Korean game services, providing Localization, Game Sound, QA, and CS/CM, just to name a few. Working with major game companies such as Ubisoft, EA Swiss SARL, and Activision Blizzard, we provide high-quality game services such as LQA, Quality Assurance, Game CS/CM, Voice Recording, and Game Sound.
Organization: Latis Global Communications
Contact Person: Sumin Lee
Country: Korea South
Release Id: 3001232341
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Pure Economic journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.