Multiplayer online RPGs dominate South Korea’s mobile game market
Multiplayer online role playing games from Korean firms sweeps Google Play Store’s sales ranking for game apps
By Baek Byung-yeul
There are many kinds of video gaming genres, but South Korean gamers have a special love for massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG).
Ranging from Nexon’s “Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds,” which Guinness World Records recognized as the longest-running commercial graphical MMORPG, to NCSOFT’s popular MMORPG “Lineage,” Korean gamers have enjoyed numerous kinds of online RPGs.
Now, the gaming world has experienced a platform change due to the rise of the mobile device. But still Korean gamers are enjoying MMORPGs the most.
According to Google Play Store’s sales ranking for game apps, MMORPGs developed by Korean gaming firms swept the top five list.
In the list, NCSOFT’s “Lineage M,” the mobile version of its MMORPG “Lineage,” has topped the list for about a year. It is followed by Webzen’s “MU Origin 2,” which is the sequel to its 2015 mobile game “MU Origin.”
Both are using intellectual property from the PC versions of “Lineage” and “MU Online.” The two games have been in fierce competition in the sales chart like they had been back in the early 2000s. While Blizzard’s strategy game “StarCraft” was dominating the chart, “Lineage” and “MU Online” were second and third at that time.
An expert in the game industry said the popularity of those two mobile games is powered by gamers in their 30s or 40s who previously enjoyed the PC versions. “Of course, StarCraft was a dominator of online games in the early 2000s but the two games also enjoyed enormous popularity,” the expert said.
Given that the majority of mobile MMORPG players are males in their 30s and 40s, those MMORPGs will continue to sit on the chart higher and longer, the expert added.
Netmarble’s mobile MMORPG “Lineage 2: Revolution,” a mobile version of NCSOFT’s “Lineage 2” online game, ranked third. Pearl Abyss’ “Black Desert” is fourth and Nexon’s new MMORPG “Kaiser” ranked fifth.
Industry watchers presume a mobile game, included in the top five sales chart, has recorded daily sales of 200 million won (US$186,200) on average. It is reportedly alleged that “Lineage M” has recorded daily sales of 1.5 billion won while No. 2 “MU Origin 2” has earned between 700 million won to 800 million won a day.