SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Female characters with revealing costumes and muscular men are what we commonly see in mobile game commercials.
Recently, however, female characters are increasingly being replaced with handsome, feminine male characters resembling those from romance cartoons as the game industry is expanding to attract female players.
NHN Entertainment Corp., a leading local online game operator, and mobile game maker Com2uS Corp. released “AFTER L!FE” and “Wannabe Challenge”, respectively, last month targeting female gamers, both which count among the top 150 best-selling games on Google Play.
Netmarble’s “BTS World” was also popular, ranking 138th in sales.
Normally, the gaming industry considers a mobile game to be ‘lucrative’ once it reaches the top 200.
Unlike in the past, recent releases are taking a more aggressive approach in attracting female customers.
The main female character is accompanied by a variety of ‘handsome’ characters. The games offer romance simulation features, enabling the characters to fall in love with each other.
“All staff working on Afterlife, including planning, art design, storyline, and business operation, are all female,” a source familiar with NHN said. “The majority of female players are in their teens and 20s.”
The recent trend is based on the increasing number of female gamers.
The Korea Creative Content Agency reported that mobile game usage among men and women was more or less similar at 59.6 percent and 59.1 percent, respectively.
In terms of monthly spending on games, male players tended to spend more (40,304 won, US$34.38) than females (20,649 won). The median value, however, was more or less equivalent at 11,000 won and 10,000 won for men and women, respectively.
“The popularity of smartphones has resulted in a wider range of mobile gamers in terms of age and gender, and the purchasing power of women in their 30s is grabbing the attention of the gaming industry,” said a source familiar with the industry.
“Instead of all developers hanging onto the thread of mobile massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), seeking out the niche market of new genres of games that come with more affordable cost of development and operation is beneficial for the gaming industry as a whole.”
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)