PUBG Corp and Tencent’s battle royale hit PUBG Mobile was the most downloaded games in South Korea for the first six months of 2018.
As part of our South Korea Special, market intelligence firm Sensor Tower has calculated the most downloaded and highest grossing mobile games in the country combined across the Google Play and App Store charts for the first six months of 2018.
Battle royale titles were of course hugely popular, with Garena’s own Free Fire taking second spot behind PUBG Mobile.
Ubisoft-owned mobile publisher Ketchapp has found success in the market this year, with its titles Knife Hit and Rider the third and fifth most downloaded titles across the stores.
Half of the list featured games from publishers within South Korea: Pearl Abyss’s Black Desert Mobile, Sundaytoz’s We Bare Bears Puzzle and Kakao’s Friends Marble for Kakao.
South Korean publisher Nexon is on the list with Durango: Wild Lands, though that company has its HQ in Japan. PUBG Mobile meanwhile is based on the IP owned by PUBG Corp and Bluehole, though the company worked heavily with Chinese publishing giant Tencent on various mobile iterations of the PC blockbuster.
Such an internationally diverse roster of games shows there are opportunities for developers around the world to find an audience in South Korea.
As for the top grossers in the first half of 2018, local companies had a firmer grip on the top 10.
NCSoft’s Lineage M - a mobile port of the hit PC MMORPG - was the dominant force in the first six months of the year. In third was Netmarble’s Lineage 2: Revolution. Both are said to have generated more than $1 billion in lifetime revenue.
Sandwiched between first and third was Pearl Abyss’s Black Desert Mobile.
Netmarble had two other top grossers in the top 10 alongside Lineage 2, which were Modoo Marble for Kakao (fourth) and Seven Knights for Kakao (sixth).
While South Korean games were top dogs, other Asian companies were breaking through in H1. Japan's Aniplex took 10th with its hugely successful Fate/Grand Order, while China-developed Girls’ Frontline took ninth and Efun, another Chinese company, took eighth with Three Kingdoms M.
RPGs have long been known as the best performing mobile games in South Korea, and that’s once again evident in the top grossing chart, particularly those that are also MMOs.
Join Steel Media and Jagex Partners to explore the Korean market first hand at G-STAR, the biggest games conference in the region. We're running the finale of the Big Indie Awards, two Big Indie Pitches and a PG Party in association with Persona.ly, Jagex and G-Star, whilst Jagex is launching its Jagex Partner program, looking to connect with developers and publishers in the 'living games' space.