Korea was the first nation where online gaming was a lucrative career. And, having lived in Korea for five years, I have seen the huge potential in the online gaming market here, which attracts gamers to "PC Rooms", like the one below, 24 hours a day. But, surprisingly, Korean produced games are now losing the fight against foreign competition.
It has been claimed recently that Korea is losing its reputation as an online game superpower, on account of an increasing number of domestic game companies turning to importing foreign game titles rather than developing their own games.
Among ten online games that are scheduled to be released before the end of this year, about a half of them will have been developed by foreign companies. Currently almost 50% of the online games available in Korea have been developed by foreign companies, and if the current trend continues, that figure is set to increase still further.
According to gaming research firm Gametrics, the most popular game at Korea’s Internet cafés is 'League of Legend' (LoL), developed by Riotgames, a subsidiary of China’s Tencent. LoL currently boasts a massive market share of 39.2%.
However, the success of LoL is not enough to explain why Korea’s online game industry is facing crisis. There have also been other cases where well-made foreign games like Starcraft and Diablo mastered high market share in Korea. The real problem is that the number of Korean online game companies, engaged in introducing foreign games is increasing.
Edited from original post in Korea Economic Daily