Data & Research

South Korean mobile games market still grinding

South Korean mobile games market still grinding

This article is part of an ongoing series of data-driven articles from PocketGamer.biz and App Annie highlighting trends in the mobile games sector.

In this week’s roundup of the top mobile games, we’re checking out what’s happening in South Korea, which we previously considered in mid-March.

As you’d expect, there have been plenty of changes when it comes to the ever-dynamic most downloaded chart.

The only two titles to feature across both time periods are PUGB Mobile and Gardenscapes.

There aren’t many hypercasual games compared to western countries, through.

Ohayoo’s Wobble Man is sitting pretty in the #1 position, while AppLovin/Lion Studios' Save The Girl ranks at #3. (In previous weeks we found it in the #1 on the French and Russian top download charts.)

But asides from Rollic’s Go Knots 3D, the South Korean download chart is full of core experiences, such as Oasis’ MMORPG Lord Xue Ying, Indra Soft’s action RPG Raziel, Riot’s auto-battler Teamfight Tactics and Lilith’s auto-battler AFK Arena.

Can you see a pattern?

As tends to be the case, the chart of the games driving the most engagement demonstrate much less volatility than the download chart, and this is certainly true for South Korea.

Compared to mid-March, for example, eight of the titles are common, with PUBG Mobile, Brawl Stars, Roblox, Clash Royale and Pmang New Matgo filling up the top five places in both charts, albeit in different positions.

The two new games are Playrix’s ever-popular match-3 mash-up Homescapes and local developer Awesomepiece’s multiplayer Zombie High School, which has a four-player co-op and a couple of up-to eight player team modes.

But, of course, it’s the top grossing chart that really demonstrates how South Korean mobile gamers spend their cash, and it’s dominated by MMORPGs, particularly from the Lineage franchise of PC games.

NCsoft’s Lineage 2 and Lineage M head the chart, with Netmarble’s licensed Lineage 2 Revolution at #8.

Netmarble has other games ranking too; A3: Still Alive and Blade & Soul: Revolution, while Chinese developer Lilith has two titles - AFK Arena and Rise of Kingdoms - charting.

Significantly, all the games on the South Korean top grossing chart are either developed locally or in China. That’s just the sort of very deep, long term grinding experiences that appeal to its gamers.

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Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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