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Mobile Gaming in South Korea: The Role of Advertisement and Applications

Mobile Gaming in South Korea: The Role of Advertisement and Applications by Waterbe

As technology continues to advance, so does marketing. Whatever device you’re reading this blog on provides networks with data that has been increasingly accessible and valuable for marketing purposes. Do you like to play games? Data shows that the South Korean gaming industry is different from other places. Do you think that the wildly popular Fortnite and Discord are popular in South Korea? Not as much as you may think. 

As expected, during the pandemic, gaming companies had higher sales revenue since many people remained home and had more free time. Because of this, the size of the Korean gaming market grew 38% from 2019 to 2022.

Now that the pandemic has concluded and people have to commute to and from school or work, what will these people play since they have less time than before? Grand Theft Auto? Call of Duty? Clash of Clans?

Convenience is Key

Koreans like mobile games that are easy to play and require little time and effort. It’s more convenient to play games for twenty minutes on the train or bus rather than one that requires a TV, console, and significant time. Idle games such as Battlemage Idle, and Crown Rumble: Idle Kingdoms are two examples of ones that are most popular given their action-packed interface, minimal time requirements, and their cheap prices for online purchases.

Growth of mobile gaming genres, by Waterbe

Sales for idle role-playing-games were up around ₩30.6 billion ($22.1 million)  in January 2024 than January 2023,  ₩8.0 billion ($5.6 million) for hyper-casual, and ₩6.8 billion ($4.9 million) for multiplayer online battle arena.

This is all due to the accessibility - people check their phones throughout the day - so it's easy to see the icon on the home screen and develop an addiction to pushing it. 70% of people play mobile games almost daily.

Not only are gamers pushing the icons more, but Korean digital marketing firms are pushing online advertising to help games expand in the Korean market too.

IOS vs Android

Given Samsung is headquartered just south of Seoul - it’s reasonable to infer the company’s smartphones penetrate the market significant more than Apple - so much so that 75% of people use the Play Store when scoping which game to download next. Therefore, it’s important the application is digitally marketed in a way that’s most effective and will entice the shopper.

In addition to most people not only using the Play Store when shopping for the next icon to add to their home screen, it’s also the hub that 38% of people recognize as their primary source of obtaining information regarding the game.

Reviewed on YouTube

Not only are Koreans frequent visitors of the Play Store, but they’re on YouTube often too. YouTube acts as more of an information source than the Play Store. 46% of information seekers visit YouTube to find videos of gameplay, reviews, advertisements, and release trailers of recently installed games.

Because of this, analyzing which videos are more effective is a necessity. 48% of consumers say advertisements on YouTube marketing gameplay have been most influential. Similarly, 30% of people believe that advertisements with a storyline are effective.

Platforms where people look up gaming information, by Waterbe

Types of most effective advertisements, by Waterbe

Webzines Over Magazines

What would be more effective than advertisements on YouTube would be to gain influence within game webzines and communities.

Because 83% of people use game webzines and communities to maximize their performance within whichever game they’re playing, having content of your game advertised on these platforms would ultimately be the most effective strategy to execute when obtaining eyes on what you’re trying to sell.

Out of the consumers using gaming webzines, 44% use Inven, 38% use DC inside, and 29% use Ruliweb.

Most popular online gaming communities, by Waterbe

In conclusion, regarding North America and some countries within Europe, we understand that games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty and streaming services like Discord might be more popular, but the South Korean market is unique from the rest.

The online gaming communities, stores accessed, preferred genre of games, and the way of life are different from some of the rest, and is something our Korean digital marketing firm has experience helping with.


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