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Chinese Games in Korea: A Glimpse into 37Games's Success

2015-11-18 21:00

SHANGHAI, November 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- G-STAR 2015, one of the four largest global game exhibitions in the world, was held from November 12th to 15th in Busan, South Korea. Competition was fierce this year, with more international game companies trying to attract more attention by decorative booths and using creative ways of presentation. Among them, exhibitors from China have once again become a focal point.

Game publishers like Tencent, NetEase, 4399, and 9you from China were busy unveiling their latest games during the exhibition, while 37Games even set aside a separate area to meet with potential partners.

Chinese games prevail in Korea

The Korean game market is currently valued at 2.4trillion KRW. According to Metaps's latest research in 2015, 70% of the most popular games in Korea originated from China. Meanwhile, 6 out of the top 8 game publishers on Google Play Korea are all from China, which indicates that Chinese companies are playing an increasingly important role in the Korean game market.

Take 37Games as an example, it first stabilized its position in Korea with Blood and Jade, which became one of the top 10 games in Korea 2013. Now the company's Korean platform PUPUGAME owns the largest game market share in Korea. In 2014, 37Games acquired the IP of MU from WEBZEN and adapted it into a popular browser game in China called Archangel. The company has also acquired Lineage II in 2015. Meanwhile, according to its founder and President Li Yi Fei, 37Games's latest mobile game Dawn After Dark has been released in the Korean market and is believed to be performing quite well.

Chinese direct investment uprises

As Chinese games become more popular in Korea, more Chinese game publishers have chosen to increase their presence in the Korean market by acquiring local game companies. For example, 37Games holds a 59.12% stake in ENP Games Co., Ltd., and indirectly owns a 5% stake in EST SOFT. Meanwhile, the same Chinese company has handed over its game publishing for the Korean market to its independent local subsidiary ENP Games Co., Ltd. 37Games President, Mr. Li, thinks it will be beneficial for the company's future to make good utilization of both its international development teams that bring diversified visions and its local operation teams who understand the target players better. Mr. Li also thinks that the general trend for Chinese companies is to seek more investment opportunities in the Korean market, where tastes and culture are similar to those in China.

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Source: 37Games
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