SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean game makers Nexon and Netmarble posted record-breaking annual sales figure of over 2 trillion won last year, confirming the steady growth of the country’s video game industry.
According to sources close to the stock market on Sunday, the sales figures of the two leading South Korean game companies for the fourth quarter of last year are estimated at between 500 and 600 billion won.
Given the two companies’ sales figures of around 1.85 trillion and 1.89 trillion won for the first three quarters last year, the total annual sales are projected to be in the mid-2 trillion won range, which would be a new record.
While industry experts speculate that Netmarble could knock Nexon out of the top spot, NCsoft, which surpassed one trillion in annual sales for the first time, could see its numbers rise to 2 trillion won depending on its performance during the last quarter of last year.
The growth of the South Korean gaming industry in size comes on the back of the growing mobile game market, which saw many companies release a wide range of games.
At the forefront of Netmarble and NCsoft’s success is the Lineage series, such as ‘Lineage 2: Revolution’ and ‘Lineage M’, a successful intellectual property that has brought both companies billions in sales, both at home and abroad.
Nexon also enjoyed steady growth last year with a number of hit mobile games such as ‘AxE’ and ‘Overhit’.
“The fact that two companies have posted annual sales of over two trillion won vouches for the growth of the game industry. With a number of new mobile games set for a global release this year, similar success is expected to continue,” one game industry official said.
It is worth nothing, however, that the sales performance of the last quarter of 2017 didn’t live up to expectations.
International daily sales of Lineage 2: Revolution are declining, down to between 2 billion and 3 billion won, while another game, Tera M, struggles to attract as much attention despite aggressive marketing campaigns.
“As the popularity of the Lineage series dies down, despite high marketing expenses, the performance of the South Korean game industry during the last quarter was below expectations are.
“However, with a new release cycle this year and the prospect of branching out into the Chinese market, expectations are still running high,” said Kim Dong-hee, a researcher at MERITZ Securities.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)