Top 10 Mobile Gaming Companies in South Korea – Best of 2020

Mobile Gaming Companies in South Korea had an amazing 2019 and their outlook for 2020 looks very positive. South Korea ranks #4 in the world for mobile gaming revenue behind China, the US, and Japan. It is estimated that around 36 million people in Korea play mobile games. The average paying gamer spends around $75 per mobile game. Therefore, many global gaming companies are looking to enter the South Korean market. However, the South Korean gaming market is very difficult to break into if you don’t understand the Korean gaming culture. Having a game on Korea’s app stores is not enough to ensure success. The type of mobile game really matters in Korea. MMOs are very popular in South Korea, especially MMORPGs like Lineage.

With virtually all South Koreans having smartphones it is easy to see why many gaming companies in Korea are focusing a lot on mobile games. The average Korean spends around 2 hours a day commuting. Most use the Seoul Metro or the bus which is why many Koreans use mobile games to pass the time. The best part is that most mobile games are free to download. So who are the top players in the mobile gaming industry in South Korea?

The Top 10 Mobile Gaming Companies in South Korea

1. NCSoft

Korean Mobile Gaming CompanyThe top mobile gaming company in Korea is NCSoft. This is because they produced the massively popular mobile game in Korea Lineage. Their launch of Lineage 2M was a massive hit in late 2019. It was able to get over 3 million preorders in the first 5 days of their presale. As of the first quarter of 2020, Lineage 2M brought in sales of $250 million. Lineage 2M is the mobile version of Lineage 2. In addition, the mobile game comes with full 3D graphics and has a bigger map. In fact, it is currently the largest map for any mobile RPGs that have been developed by a Korean company.

NCSoft has seen its stock rise by more than 40% since the launch of Lineage 2M. Their mobile game sales rose 9% to a little over $750 million. Mobile games make up 60% of NCSoft’s total sales.

2. Netmarble

Korean Mobile Gaming Company NetmarbleNetmarble would be above NCSoft in terms of global appeal. But in Korea, Lineage is just too popular. However, Netmarble develops some of the best mobile games around such as Marvel Future Fight which has around $2 billion in sales globally. In addition, they have partnerships with Korean K-pop band BTS and Lucas films. Netmarble’s Korean mobile games are also very popular. Lineage 2: Revolution is not as popular as the other Lineage mobile games developed by NCSoft but still have a strong fan base. In addition, Blade & Soul: Revolution has gotten very positive reviews among the Korean mobile gaming community. Furthermore, some of the mobile games due to come out in 2020 include A3: Still Alive, Magic: Mana Strike, Second Country, and Seven Knight Revolution.

Marvel Future Revolution COming to Mobile in 2020

Netmarble will be launching the sequel to Marvel: Future Fight called Marvel Future Revolution in 2020. It will be an open-world RPG that has been kept secret for some time now and fans are eagerly awaiting its release.

3. Gamevil Com2uS

Com2uSCom2uS is a South Korean mobile and online game developer/publisher. Their most successful mobile game is Summoners War which has gotten over $1 billion in revenue to date. In addition, it has gotten over 100 million worldwide downloads since its release in 2014. Com2uS and US-based Sky Entertainment announced a partnership in 2017 to franchise Summoners War. They will create an animated TV series based on the game. In addition, the trailer came out in 2019 and now has over 66 million views on Youtube.

The Walking Dead Coming to Mobile?

Com2Us invested in Skybound Entertainment which is owned by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman. Therefore it is highly likely that they will work together to create a mobile game based on The Walking Dead.

“The Walking Dead is a huge franchise. I don’t think only one series could explain the whole narrative for that world. And I know that Walking Dead has mulitple mobile games but I think there’s also multiple things to deliver to the users,” said the president of Gamevil Com2Us, Kyu Lee.

4. Nexon

NexonKorean game company Nexon is rising up in the mobile gaming sector because of their popular hit V4. They are very active in launching a lot of mobile games but V4 which was developed by Nexon affiliate NAT Games has gotten a lot of attention from to Korean mobile gaming community. It is not surprising because NAT Games is run by Park Yong-hyun who worked on Lineage 2 at NCSoft and Tera at Bluehole.

Nexon integrated its online and mobile division and got Huh Min, the president of the Korean e-commerce platform WeMakePrice, as their game development advisor. Their focus for 2020 will be one of their new mobile RPG game called Counter Side. The game allows players to fight between the real world and the virtual world. In addition, look for Dungeon and Fighter, The Kingdom of the Winds, KartRider, and Mabinogi to come to mobile in 2020.

5. Pearl Abyss

Pearl AbyssKorean gaming company Pearl Abyss came on the mobile gaming map with its popular mobile game Black Desert Mobile. It is an MMORPG game that has found success in Korea and is expected to go global sometime in 2020. Black Desert Online is a very popular online PG game in Korea. Therefore Pearl Abyss decided to make their mobile version of the game mimic much of the gameplay found in Black Desert Online.

6. Kakao Games

Kakao GamesKakao Games is the game unit of Korea’s mobile giant Kakao. They have followed in the model of other top mobile gaming companies in Korea by capitalizing on Korea’s love for MMORPG games. They published TERA Classic, a mobile game developed by Lantu Games Ltd. Furthermore, this is the first MMORPG published by Kakao Games since its foundation in 2013.

7. Webzen

WebzenKorean gaming company Webzen is known for their mobile series MU Origin series. It is an MMORPG game that has a loyal following among Korean mobile gamers. Furthermore, MU Origin 2 which is the sequel to MU Origin has been optimized for mobile devices and has improved the content in terms of competition and cooperation among users.

8. NHN Entertainment Corporation

NHN Entertainment Mobile Gaming Companies in KoreaNHN Entertainment Corporation is a South Korean gaming company is made news in the past for partnering up with Nintendo to develop and run mobile games for Dr. Mario World. NHN Entertainment is responsible for content development. The gaming company is transitioning into becoming an IT company. Therefore, they will now also focus on fintech, the cloud, AI, and big data.

“In the fast-paced global business environment, NHN will try to put more focus on its core values to develop new technologies and expand its operations,” said CEO of NHN Entertainment, Chung U-Jin.

9. PUBG Corporation

Korean Mobile Gaming CompanyPUBG stands for PlayerUnknown’s Battleground and it is one of the most popular online games in Korea. It was developed and published by PUBG Corporation which is a subsidiary of Korean video game company unicorn startup Bluehole. Two free-to-play mobile versions for Android and iOS was released in 2018. The first, PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield, is an abridged version of the original game, and was developed by Lightspeed & Quantum Studio, an internal division of Tencent Games. In addition, the second, PUBG: Army Attack, includes more arcade-style elements, including activities taking place on warships, and was developed by Tencent’s Timi Studio.

10. 4399 Korea

43994399 Korea is the first overseas subsidiary of 4399. They provide Korean mobile gamers with easy and enjoyable games such as the Mystery Hero Exhibition. Furthermore, their most popular mobile game in Korea is Miracle Sword.