How to Succeed in the Korean Mobile Gaming Market
The mobile gaming market is growing rapidly worldwide, and competition in the market is becoming fierce. However, the Korean market, in particular, is emerging as an attractive market in mobile gaming.
Korea has the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world. The smartphone penetration rate of Korea is 89%, much higher than that of the United States (70%) and Japan (54%). This figure reflects Korea’s advanced outdoor mobile network. For example, the 4G speed in subway stations in Seoul is up to 150Mb, three times faster than that of subway stations in the US. Thanks to the advanced environmental factors, the growth of the Korean mobile industry is more worthy of attention, compared to other countries, especially for the mobile gaming market.
In addition, Korea holds the 3rd place in Google Play ranking, and is the highest grossing country following Japan and the US. Moreover, Korean gamers’ retention is 14.3 weeks on average, 5 weeks longer than the US. These characteristics of the Korean gaming market are proving attractive factors to global game developers such as Supercell, King and Gaia mobile, who have already launched their games in Korea and shown impressive performance.
If game developers launched their games into the Korean mobile gaming market without any strategic plans, could they achieve the same success? The answer is ‘No’.
So what are the essential insider tips to entre into the Korean mobile gaming market successfully?
1. Localise your strategy and creativity for Korean market
Korean people are fast-paced and passionate. When entering the Korean market, these characteristics must be taken into consideration. The overall strategy and creativity should adapt to the Korean lifestyle as much as possible to minimise alienation.
2. Integrate your media strategy
According to a recent survey, by Nasmedia and Opensurvey, looking at game user behaviour, there are 12 important channels in which to engage the Korean mobile gamer through advertising. Therefore, a full-range media strategy covering numerous channels is necessary. Namely, Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) should be through the various media which Korean people often encounter in everyday life, such as mobile, online, TV and OOH. By taking an integrated approach, you can see great results such as the Conversion Rate (CVR) through mobile ads increasing by 500%.
3. Form a flexible marketing plan in order to adapt to the fast-paced Korean market
A short-term plan of about 3 months is recommended over a lengthy campaign plan in order to adapt to the fact-paced Korean market. To achieve a marked impact in a short period of time, you could consider purchasing inventories through sizeable media agencies with substantial buying power.
4. Conduct Android-oriented marketing
More than 90% of the Korean market is Android, therefore an Android-focused marketing strategy is recommended.
5. Keep the app size under 50M
Foreign games in the past have experienced deflating marketing efficiency due to their large app sizes. If the size is too big, the conversion rate of all media, including any incentive ads, may decrease.
One great example that highlights a successful maximised strategy in Korea is Clash of Clans by Supercell. Supercell executed large-scale marketing campaigns in order to launch Clash of Clans in Korea successfully. Their strategies included the above points, such as intergrated marketing across numerous platforms with a particular focus on Korean styles and characteristics. As a result, Supercell’s marketing campaign became very popular, even with people who were not interested in mobile games and ranked 1st in the Google Play grossing chart.
There is no doubt that Korea is a highly attractive gaming market to global game developers. If global game developers take advantage of these five insider tips when entering the Korean mobile gaming market, they can become a huge success, just like Supercell.
By Byungjo Kim, Head of Mobile Business at Nasmedia.