ICYMI: Taptica’s SVP Client Success Weighs in on South Korea’s Gaming Market

January 18, 2018 | Article written by Carly Morris

Gaming is big business in South Korea, though it often operates quite differently than other comparable markets. Case in point? The resurgence of PC gaming.

To shed some light on the immense South Korean gaming market and its many intricacies, Taptica’s SVP Client Success Rivi Bloch shared her first-hand perspective with VentureBeat.

Rivi explains the PC gaming phenomenon like this:

“It is no secret that console and mobile gaming’s popularity has challenged the PC gaming industry’s dominance… Users now have access to games wherever they are. But as alluring as that on-demand play might be, there is still a major drawback to mobile for the serious gamer: its small screen size. That is part of the reason why we are seeing a resurgence in PC-gaming, both in Korea and beyond.”

This PC-forward trend couldn’t have been more apparent as our team made their way to Busan, South Korea for G-STAR this past November. Among the other exciting new innovations, this event demonstrated that PC-based eSports gaming is back in a big way.

Here, live eSports competitions drew in massive crowds of spectators, as Actoz Soft hosted eSports contests across 300 exhibition booths, as well as the World Esports Games & Leagues 2017 final for 12 different games – all much to the delight of their countless live and online streaming spectators.



What’s interesting, remarks Rivi, is that PC gaming was previously expected to shrink or to disappear completely. “Now, it seems the market is reorganizing to accommodate large gaming companies that focus on the platform. Additionally, these gaming companies are increasingly aiming for overseas expansion, so we may see a rise in PC games throughout Asia and beyond in the near future.”

This prediction, while seemingly counterintuitive to the explosive growth of mobile gaming, is certainly not without warrant. In fact, it mirrors a pattern that’s become increasingly prevalent throughout other major gaming markets as well.

According to Gartner, average spending on gaming-equipped PC rigs is set to increase steadily through the year 2020, in spite of the fact that the overall market spend for gaming is projected to decline.

“Now it’s PC gaming threatening consoles, not the other way around,” notes Bloch.


What Does This Mean for Mobile in South Korea?

Is PC gaming experiencing a resurgence in South Korea? Absolutely. Should this be cause for concern among mobile game developers within the region? Not necessarily.

As Rivi explains it, “Gaming, it is all about experience. People still play mobile games—on their way to work, on the train, or while they are waiting for their food to arrive at a café. But the mobile gaming experience is different from what players get with a larger screen and sound system. Mobile games are often less intense and more strategic. Many are designed for players who are on-the-go and semi-distracted.”

It’s important to remember that mobile is no longer in its infancy. Without the novelty of the format as a key motivator to engagement, we can begin to make more objective assessments of mobile as a medium for gaming – the truth of which may just be that a larger screen is preferable for a genuine gaming experience.

“Users are spending more time on mobile than ever, but they also have more ways to spend their time. They can choose from countless eCommerce, social media, news content, and other entertainment apps. Their affinity for using mobile hasn’t waned, it is just that mobile isn’t necessarily their top choice for games — or at least not their only choice,” Rivi concludes.

In the end, mobile is not going anywhere. Nevertheless, PC gaming is poised in an extremely strong position for continued growth, both within South Korea and around the rest of the world.

For Rivi’s full take on the world of South Korean mobile and PC gaming, you can check out our article right here on VentureBeat.