Chinese Mobile Games Continue To Make Headway in South Korean Market in Q1

Mobile games created by Chinese studios continued their strong performance in the South Korean market in the first quarter of 2020, accounting for 28.3% of the revenue generated by the 100 highest-grossing titles in the country during the period, according to a report released by research firm Sensor Tower.

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A total of 37 Chinese mobile games made it to the 100 top-earning list in the first quarter, increasing by 12.1% year on year, with four securing places among the top 10. The four Chinese titles: Lilith’s Games’ Rise of Kingdoms and AFK Arena, HyperGryph’s Arknights, and 4399’s A Sword of Miracle, made up 23.3% of the revenue from the 10 highest-grossing titles in the country.

Despite its wide popularity in China and a number of overseas markets, Tencent’s battle royale title PUBG Mobile only ranked 19th on the top 20 highest-grossing game list and 5th on the top 20 most downloaded list in South Korea. Lilith Games’ strategy title AFK Arena, in comparison, ranked 5th and 2nd on the two lists, respectively.

Similar to China, South Korea in February issued a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, forcing people indoors and limiting their options of entertainment. According to Sensor Tower’s estimates, in the first quarter of 2020, mobile game downloads in South Korea saw its fastest growth since 2014, increasing by 15.4% year on year and 24.1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. The increase drove the market’s revenue for the period up 33.8% year on year to close to $1.1 billion.