[KG] Korea’s “Big Five”‘s Sales Tops US$2.68 Billion
As reported, the five game tycoons occupying a market share of 50%+ in South Korea’s online game industry made good achievements and hit sales of USD 2.68 billion in the financial year 2010, about 20% more than USD 2.23 billion in 2009. The five tycoons, including Nexon, NHN, NCsoft, Neowiz and CJ Internet, are currently leading the development trend of the South Korean online game market.
South Korean game companies’ merges and restructures have made Nexon, NHN and NCsoft the three main forces in the South Korean online game market in recent years. But as Neowiz reached its best-ever sales and operating profit, the age of four instead of three main forces arrived, and when NHN met its pre-set goal thanks to the appearance of TERA in 2011, the age of five main forces formally started.
Nexon, which had acquired certain shares of the medium South Korean game development companies like Ndoors and Gamehi, reaped a good harvest in not only South Korea but also North America last year. Nexon’s sales predicted by the industry have also been raised from USD 625 million for 2009 to USD 803.7 million for 2011. Nexon now tops the sales chart in South Korea.
NCsoft reached sales of USD 580.18 million and an operating profit of USD 216.91 million last year, slightly up by about 2% and 4% respectively over the year 2009, and ranked second in terms of sales. NCsoft, which’s to celebrate the 12th birthday, witnessed its representative title Lineage make the best-ever performance and hit sales of USD 161.81 million in 2010. Additionally, the sales of Aion that has always been No. 1 have even kept rising in a row of 3 years. Plus the favorable development trends of other major online games, NCsoft is very likely to secure an increasingly firm foothold.
Neowiz last year also reached the best-ever sales since it was founded, i.e. it achieved sales of USD 381.04 million with an operating profit of USD 97.16 million in 2010, about 54% and 42% more than those in 2009 respectively. In this way, Neowiz outdid NHN’s Hangame and took the third place. Its online football game, EA SPORTS FIFA Online 2, and FPS AVA, have both gained a lot too.
NHN’s Hangame achieved sales of USD 377.07 million last year, a decline of 5.5% or so over the year 2009, and ranked fourth. The local government’s certain policies brought an impact on Hangame’s browser game business, and thus gave birth to its worse financial performance. Not only its sales in South Korea but also those in China and USA went down. However, it’s predicted that in 2011, TERA, which is deemed to be comparable with Aion, will help NHN make another stir and take the place of Neowiz.
Finally comes CJ Internet. CJ Internet, which was fighting it out with Neowiz in 2009, put off the announcement of its actual sales for 2010 due to the merge. The sales are expected to reach USD 214.32 million, and CJ Internet now takes the fifth place.