South Korean online games market to exceed USD 1.7 billion by 2009

South Korean online gaming market will exceed USD 1.7 billion by 2009, driven by new releases and a fervent gaming culture.

Pearl Research’s Games Market in Korea paper highlighted sophisticated information technology infrastructure and the fact that 80 % households are connected to the Internet.

The study revealed that 67 of people in South Korea between the ages of 20-30 paid for online content, with 91 buying music and the 39 % purchasing community and avatar items for online services.

This has been spurred on by the success of large game portals in the region that provide access to a wide selection of games. The top portals can attract up to one million unique visitors every day and more than 10 million Korean adults visit such sites every month.

The report also draws attention to the many challenges the games industry faces in the region, such as intense domestic competition, the prevalence of derivative titles, rising development costs and challenges in expanding overseas.