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The Peninsula

Korea's Rapidly Expanding Gaming Industry

Published September 14, 2021
Author: Korea View
Category: South Korea

South Korea’s dominant position in the global market for auto manufacturing and chip fabrication are well known. Less well-known is the country’s increasingly expanding gaming industry. In 2019, South Korea’s gaming industry brought in USD 6.9 billion from abroad – approximately 10 times that of the country’s vaunted pop music industry. Now, Korea’s gaming companies are looking to broaden their reach by turning to other areas in the entertainment space.

Online and mobile game publisher Com2uS announced that it acquired a 38 percent stake in Wysiwyg Studios, a video technology production service firm that produced the Netflix original space opera “Space Sweepers.” The company explicitly stated that the move was part of its long-term strategies to expand its business horizons.

Gaming companies have already been expanding into the music industry. Online gaming giant NCSOFT Corp announced earlier this year that it planned to launch a mobile K-pop fan platform. This builds on market studies showing convergence between consumers of pop music and video games. They face competition from Korean search engine Naver which is collaborating with Big Hit Entertainment (the studio that brought BTS into the world) to develop a similar platform.

With data quickly becoming the currency of the future – both K-pop and mobile games promise to furnish these technology companies with valuable resources. These developments also provide context for why the discussion around youth gaming addiction is such a sensitive topic to the industry and export-oriented officials in the Korean government.

This briefing comes from Korea View, a weekly newsletter published by the Korea Economic Institute. Korea View aims to cover developments that reveal trends on the Korean Peninsula but receive little attention in the United States. If you would like to sign up, please find the online form here.

Korea View was edited by Yong Kwon with the help of Sean Blanco, Marina Dickson, Yubin Huh, and Janet Hong. Picture from the Wikimedia account of  Ss이준

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