South Korea takes gaming very seriously and it is one of the few countries in the world (perhaps the only country), where Warcraft and Starcraft (online PC games) matches are broadcast live on national TV and top gamers are followed with the same amount of fan fever usually reserved for soccer or K-pop stars. Mobile gaming is no different. Of course it helps that South Korea is Android country, courtesy home giants such as Samsung and LG.
This was clearly on display at the recently concluded Game Biz-Dev Party, held on the 23rd of August at the Aevil Square In Seoul. By the time Team InMobi reached the convention center at 4:30 PM, the reception area already had a long line of visitors waiting to be admitted into the event. Perfect start! The 2nd floor of the convention center consisted of about 15 meeting rooms meant for the sponsors, which included InMobi. The 3rd floor was the main exhibition area, with over 40 studios showcasing their games, ranging from Gundam styled tablet-shooters to mobile social MMOGs (Mass Multiplayer Online Games) to the classic arcade and puzzle games. It was a gamers paradise, not to mention a VC haven who were also there in good numbers, looking for the next big thing.
The event kick off consisted of 10-minute presentations from 5 key sponsors, which consisted of social game platforms, monetization solutions, cloud gaming solutions and large international publishers. InMobis Seungyon Kim, GM Korea presented our monetization and action oriented analytics solution (AppIntelligence) for developers.
The interesting observation, which came out after our interaction with some of the more advanced studios, is that they believe their products have pretty much achieved their peak in the Korean market and they are looking to expand into western markets to maintain their growth rates. And to achieve that they are looking for global publishing partners and VC funds to help build and deploy the international versions. Also, In-App purchase seems to be the most preferred monetization method for these studios, contributing over 70% of revenues. Now that we had experienced the Game and Biz part of the event, it was time to test the Party part. The ground floor of the convention center housed a pub and lounge bar and most of the discussions that started at the exhibition area continued well into the evening there, the only difference was that it became more informal and developers were swapping stories and experiences with their peers and competitors as well. Overall, an amazing event with lot of insights into Korean mobile gaming studios and how they plan to dominate app stores globally with their new range of international titles. InMobis developer offerings are well placed to help Korean studios achieve just that: Core Ad network to distribute and ad monetize multi-platform apps globally Analytics product AppIntelligence targeted at optimizing game revenues by creating specific monetization actions based on customer segments Upcoming publishing and ad network mediation solutions
PS: If you are confused about the Gangnam Style reference, it is a mega viral music video from the popular South Korean artist PSY and the video can be viewed here