Market Insight

Korea: PC games continue to shut down in 2016

March 18, 2016  | Subscribers Only

Chenyu Cui Chenyu Cui Senior Research Analyst – Games, IHS Markit

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A selection of games in South Korea shut down in 2015 and 2016

Title

Publisher

Launch

Closure

Game Type

Developer

Platform

ASTA

NHN

Oct 2013

Aug 2015

MMOG

NHN

PC

Ghouls and Ghosts

Netmarble

Feb 2013

Aug 2015

MMOG

Seed9

PC

Devilian

NHN

Aug 2014

Sep 2015

MMOG

Ginno Games

PC

Echo of Soul

NHN

Sep 2013

Oct 2015

MMOG

Nvius

PC

Dota 2

Nexon

Oct 2013

Dec 2015

MOG

Valve

PC

Grand Chase

Netmarble

Aug 2003

Dec 2015

MMOG

KOG

PC

Asker

Neowiz

Aug 2015

Mar 2016

MMOG

Neowiz

PC

Football Manager OL

Sega

Mar 2015

Mar 2016

MOG

Sega

PC

Dungeon Striker

Actoz Soft

Feb 2014

Mar 2016

MMOG

EyeDentity

PC

A3

Actoz Soft

Jan 2006

May 2016

MMOG

Actoz Soft

PC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compared to China, the Korean PC gaming market is facing greater challenge from the mobile sector, as well as having to deal with regulatory changes. We expect the PC games market will shrink slowly but inevitably over the coming years. The total consumer spending on Korea PC online games is likely to represent a yearly decrease of 9.6% in 2016. As such, it’s not surprising to see many games shut down during 2015, and this trend continues in 2016.

NHN Entertainment is likely to cease its PC client games business to focus on mobile games and Internet-value-added services, such as e-commence and online payment tools. This explains why the company closed ASTA, Devilian and Echo of Soul in 2015, and transferred TERA to Nexon. We expect Kritika to be the next game to face closure as the developer has not found a publisher.

Similarly, Netmarble has virtually become an entirely mobile-dedicated games publisher, shutting down most of its PC client games in the process. When the Korean government relaxes the regulations on web-based board & card games, we believe Netmarble is likely to maintain the operation of its games within that category, but will continue to shutter its hardcore MMOGs.

The closure of Dota 2 may be a special case here, as Nexon still values its PC games business and keeps rolling out new titles within the segment. Dota 2’s failure is partly due to its more complex control scheme and a higher barrier to entry, which limits its appeal to casual gamers. And since Nexon has spent a great amount to promote the game, the low profit margin and small user base has triggered the closure.

Geography
South Korea
Organization
Nexon NHN Entertainment
Research by Market
Media & Advertising
Category
Games
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