SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Korea Bizwire) – The 2016 white paper on the videogame industry from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency revealed that Korea’s videogame industry continues to grow, exceeding the 10-trillion-won mark for the first time in 2015 at 10.72 trillion won ($9.5 billion). The number, according to the report, was a 7.5 percent increase from 2014.
Online games accounted for a large majority of industry revenue at 5.28 trillion won (49.2 percent), followed by mobile (3.48 trillion, 32.5 percent), and PC bang (1.66 trillion, 15.5 percent). PC bangs are commonplace gaming centers in Korea where individuals can play computer videogames for an hourly fee.
The mobile game market saw noticeable growth of 19.6 percent in 2015, indicating the future growth potential of smartphone-based videogames. The trend, however, led to a 4.7 percent decline of the online videogame market, the report added.
The market for PC bangs also expanded dramatically, by 35.2 percent, while arcades saw 13 percent growth.
In terms of arcades, the report noted that smaller arcade businesses diminished whereas bigger franchises thrived, and projected the arcade market to continue growth into the future with the introduction of new videogames incorporating the latest technologies such as VR and AR.
Exports of videogames grew by 8.1 percent in 2015 to $3.2 billion, while imports increased by 7.2 percent to $177.5 million.
China was the biggest importer of South Korean videogames, taking up 32.9 percent of all exports, followed by Japan (21.5 percent), North America (17.2 percent), Southeast Asia (11.2 percent), and Europe (10.8 percent).
The number of individuals working in the videogame industry stood at 80,388 last year. There were 885 videogame developers (companies) and distributors, with 12,459 PC bangs and 500 arcades across the country.
The report anticipated the market to exceed 11 trillion won in 2016.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)