Video games saw an exceptional rise in current value sales in 2020 due to COVID-19, with further double-digit growth seen in 2021. With more time spent at home for work, schooling and entertainment to avoid the risk of contracting the virus, consumers wanted ways to pass the time in a pleasurable way, and many turned to video games.
In an opposite trend to mobile games, console games maintained solid growth in 2020, but saw an even more dynamic increase in 2021. Consumers were particularly keen to purchase console games due to COVID-19, as a result of the additional time spent at home.
E-commerce was already by far the largest distribution channel for video games even before the pandemic, accounting for more than a 95% share of sales throughout the review period, so little further growth was possible during the pandemic. Consumers rarely visit offline shops for purchasing software, with e-commerce accounting for almost the entirety of value share, whilst even for video games hardware, more than half of sales were through e-commerce in 2021.
Video games is expected to maintain strong but slowing current value growth over the course of the forecast period, with video games hardware set to see stronger growth than software, although remaining a much smaller category. With hand-held consoles falling out of favour, it is static consoles which is set to see a dynamic performance, although AR/VR headsets is also expected to see similar growth, from a low base.
As the demand for content that can be enjoyed at home increased due to COVID-19, the number of people who were new to console games also increased. It is expected that a lot of demand will result from this, especially in the early forecast period.
The domestic video games industry is accelerating the establishment of platforms for gamers to earn money while playing games, known as Play to Earn – P2E. Several games companies, such as Wemade, NHN, Netmarble, Com2us, and Kakao Games, have announced strategies related to P2E.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Video Games industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This is the aggregation of video games hardware and video games software. Electronic/computerised educational toys such as Speak & Spell and LeapFrog are excluded from video games and included under pre-school. Video gaming population refers to the population that played a game at least once in the last 6 months on any covered platform. This includes players who have not spent any money on game purchases or in-game content purchases.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Video Games research and analysis database.
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