Kyung Jin Choi, a senior analyst at Shinhan Investment, predicted the Korean online gaming market in 2010 will exceed 4 trillion milestones at the G-Seminar 2010 in Korea.
According to Shinhan Investment, the Korean online gaming market growth in 2010 reaches 4.14 trillion Won (US$ 3.19 billion) by 21% from 3.42 trillion won (US$ 2.63 billion) in 2009. The main reasons behind such surge include 1) blockbusterized MMORPGs, 2) diversified game genres, 3) robust industry system, and 4) popularity of online games.
On the contrary of previous concerns over steep competition, major MMORPGs thrived in 2009. NCsoft's Aion brings close to 40 billion Won (US$ 31 million) per quarter. Given its development costs that Shinhan Investment estimated somewhere close to 30 billion Won (US$ 23 million), the game shows a healthy ROI. C9 is also believed to achieve not-too-shabby scorecard in terms of revenue.
In 2010, highly-anticipated blockbuster MMORPGs such as TERA, Warhammer Online, Age of Conan, Pae Online, Blade and Soul will continuously captivate Korean users.
Besides MMORPG, Choi pays attention to sports online games such as Ma9 (CJ Internet), Slugger (Neowiz Games), FIFA Online (EA Sports/Neowiz Games). In Korea, the seasonal cycle peaks during the second quarter where mid-term and final exams and summer vacation all take place. That's also when offline sports event take place, which usually attracts more users to the online sports games as well.
Choi backed up with a data that shows annual revenue growth of sports games and revenue decrease of casual games in the second quarter since 2007. Revenue from the sports online game tripled over the last three years while FPS games stayed same.
"As blockbuster MMORPGs successfully launched and the overall online gaming market has shown more stable revenue stream, people take the industry more seriously as a part of entertainment business. If the trend continues, the online gaming market is expected growth even faster," Choi said.