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Lineage titles dominate the South Korean mobile games chart

Crunching the data with App Annie
Lineage titles dominate the South Korean mobile games chart

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

In our world tour of individual countries' mobile games markets, we've looked at the US, German and Japanese charts, and this week we're looking at South Korea.

Considering the chart for the most downloaded mobile games, there are some very familiar titles, notably Voodoo's Draw Climber at #1, which is also popular in Japan, Germany and the US.

Other hypercasual games featured, which have also been successful globally, include Push'em all, Slap Kings and Park Master.

But there's also a decent number of high-ranking core titles such as PUGB Mobile, AFK Arena, and R5 Online, all of which are developed by Chinese companies.

Korean culture is reflected with mobile games based on traditional games such as Rummikub (rummy meets mahjong) and tower defense mash-up Random Dice: PvP Defense.

This sort of mixture of global and local games is reflected in the engagement chart, which measures weekly active users.

PUBG Mobile is #1, as it typically is on the global chart, while Supercell is well represented with Brawl Stars, Clash Royale and Clash of Clans in the top 6.

It's a surprise to see both Roblox and Minecraft Pocket Edition featuring, however. That pairing hasn't been seen before on the engagement in this data series. Clearly, user-generated content is a big deal in South Korea, at least at the moment.

As for the most successful local developers, that's Neowin with its casual gambling game Pmang New Matgo, Nfly Studio's endless runner Infinite Stairs and AwesomePiece's Zombie High School (#10).

As always, however, it's the top grossing chart that is most revealing in terms of national gaming behaviour.

And in the case of South Korea, this is all about hardcore MMORPGs; particularly mobile games based on the domestic obsession Lineage.

Three titles stand out. Lineage 2 (released in 2019) and Lineage M (2017) come from original IP holder NCsoft, while Lineage 2 Revolution (2016) is from Netmarble, which licensed the IP from NCsoft.

Netmarble has another game in the chart with Blade & Soul: Revolution, while the other giant Korean publisher Nexon features with V4.

Chinese games are also finding success with Lilith having two games in the chart - AFK Arena and Rise of Kingdoms - while 4399 features with Crasher: Origin and Yostar with Arknights, which is also currently top grossing in Japan.

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