Korean games remain strong in Japan despite worsening ties

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Korean games remain strong in Japan despite worsening ties

Netmarble's "The Seven Deadly Sins: GRAND CROSS" released in Japan on June 4. / Courtesy of Netmarble

By Jun Ji-hye

New Korean mobile games including Netmarble's "The Seven Deadly Sins: GRAND CROSS" are generating good results in the Japanese market despite worsening diplomatic relations between Seoul and Tokyo, company officials said Wednesday.

The steady popularity of Korean games among Japanese gamers is apparently allaying worries of game companies that chose the Japanese market as the alternative after the exports of their products to China have been blocked since March 2017.

Officials at game companies attributed the meaningful performance to the fact that the major consumers of games are mostly in their 20s and 30s, a demographic that is becoming indifferent to politics.

Officials said, however, that they are still keeping close tabs on the development of situations as the Japanese government could impose additional regulations after placing export control on three high-tech materials used in the semiconductor and display sectors last week.

Netmarble, one of the leading game developers and publishers, released a mobile role-playing game "The Seven Deadly Sins: GRAND CROSS" in both Korea and Japan, June 4.

Since the release, the game has maintained its upper ranks in Japan, coming in fifth in Apple's App Store and 14th in Google Play in terms of sales, Wednesday, according to mobile app market analysis website Gevolusion.

The achievement came after Netmarble rocked the Japanese game market in 2017 with mobile MMORPG "Lineage 2: Revolution."

Pearl Abyss, which started offering its megahit "Black Desert Mobile" service in Japan in February, has also done fine work there.

Pearl Abyss' "Black Desert Mobile" released in Japan in February / Courtesy of Pearl Abyss

The game came in 18th in Apple App Store and 12th in Google Play, up from 30th and 32th three weeks ago, respectively.

"There has been no direct impact (from the Korea-Japan trade conflict)," a Pearl Abyss official said. "We are continuously monitoring the development of situations and focusing our efforts on providing stable services."

Securities companies issued a positive outlook about the game firm's second-quarter earnings, saying sales of "Black Desert Mobile" in Japan will be reflected.

"Sales of Black Desert Mobile have been stabilized in Japan," Kiwoom Securities analyst Kim Hak-joon said.

Other Korean games such as Nexon's "Maple Story M" and Com2uS's "Summoners War" have also shown an upwards curve in the Japanese market.

Game companies plan to continue to be active in releasing their new games and carry out marketing activities in Japan in the latter half of the year, officials said.

Nexon is developing "Revisions: Next Stage" and "Ark Resona" to target the Japanese game market.

"Revisions: Next Stage" is a mobile game based on popular animation "Revisions" produced by Japanese anime director Goro Taniguchi. "Ark Resona" is a puzzle action game that will be released in Japan this summer.


Netmarble's "The Seven Deadly Sins: GRAND CROSS" released in Japan on June 4. / Courtesy of Netmarble

By Jun Ji-hye

New Korean mobile games including Netmarble's "The Seven Deadly Sins: GRAND CROSS" are generating good results in the Japanese market despite worsening diplomatic relations between Seoul and Tokyo, company officials said Wednesday.

The steady popularity of Korean games among Japanese gamers is apparently allaying worries of game companies that chose the Japanese market as the alternative after the exports of their products to China have been blocked since March 2017.

Officials at game companies attributed the meaningful performance to the fact that the major consumers of games are mostly in their 20s and 30s, a demographic that is becoming indifferent to politics.

Officials said, however, that they are still keeping close tabs on the development of situations as the Japanese government could impose additional regulations after placing export control on three high-tech materials used in the semiconductor and display sectors last week.

Netmarble, one of the leading game developers and publishers, released a mobile role-playing game "The Seven Deadly Sins: GRAND CROSS" in both Korea and Japan, June 4.

Since the release, the game has maintained its upper ranks in Japan, coming in fifth in Apple's App Store and 14th in Google Play in terms of sales, Wednesday, according to mobile app market analysis website Gevolusion.

The achievement came after Netmarble rocked the Japanese game market in 2017 with mobile MMORPG "Lineage 2: Revolution."

Pearl Abyss, which started offering its megahit "Black Desert Mobile" service in Japan in February, has also done fine work there.

Pearl Abyss' "Black Desert Mobile" released in Japan in February / Courtesy of Pearl Abyss

The game came in 18th in Apple App Store and 12th in Google Play, up from 30th and 32th three weeks ago, respectively.

"There has been no direct impact (from the Korea-Japan trade conflict)," a Pearl Abyss official said. "We are continuously monitoring the development of situations and focusing our efforts on providing stable services."

Securities companies issued a positive outlook about the game firm's second-quarter earnings, saying sales of "Black Desert Mobile" in Japan will be reflected.

"Sales of Black Desert Mobile have been stabilized in Japan," Kiwoom Securities analyst Kim Hak-joon said.

Other Korean games such as Nexon's "Maple Story M" and Com2uS's "Summoners War" have also shown an upwards curve in the Japanese market.

Game companies plan to continue to be active in releasing their new games and carry out marketing activities in Japan in the latter half of the year, officials said.

Nexon is developing "Revisions: Next Stage" and "Ark Resona" to target the Japanese game market.

"Revisions: Next Stage" is a mobile game based on popular animation "Revisions" produced by Japanese anime director Goro Taniguchi. "Ark Resona" is a puzzle action game that will be released in Japan this summer.


Jun Ji-hye jjh@koreatimes.co.kr


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