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Most Popular Video Games in Korea 2020

Spotting a Korean glued on their mobile phone when riding the Seoul metro is nothing rare. 50% of South Koreans play games on their mobile phones. in fact, mobile gaming has surpassed PC gaming and console gaming in recent years.

Esports in Korea has been a buzz over the last decade, with millions of players joining the gaming industry, unlike any other place in the world. When you stroll along the busy streets of Seoul, you won’t miss spotting “PC bangs” (computer game rooms) close to each metro station.

South Korea is the 4th biggest global mobile game market coming to a few steps shy of China, the U.S, and Japan. It is estimated that mobile gamers in Korea spend close to $8 billion in mobile games per year. With such a lucrative market in place, no wonder most A-list gaming developers want a piece of the pie. But, to succeed, it’s key to understand the Korean gaming culture.


The Gaming culture in Korea:

Korea boasts of the highest smartphone penetration rate across Asia, with 36 million-plus mobile users in 2020. Two out of three mobile phone users own Samsung phones. So with the right combination of hardware manufacturers, software developers, and internet infrastructure, gaming companies are in fierce competition to churn out the best mobile games.

The thrill starts in PC bangs (local gaming cafes), which are scattered every few blocks in Seoul. The PC bangs accommodate Koreans of all ages as they come to play their favorite online video games. PC bangs are a favorite because of the wide variety of game selections, snappy internet connection, multiplayer sessions for you and your friends, and access to drinks and snacks. Koreans use pc bangs to perfect their play skills and become pro gamers.

Even though esports is now a worldwide sensation, the Korean market is quite different and though DOTA 2 is a global phenomenon when it comes to esport games , this is not the case when it comes to the Korean gaming community.

Esports continues to dominate in Korea as they host top-notch esports tournaments and also heavily advertise it on their channels.

Here’s a list of what Koreans are watching and playing in PC bangs.


  1. League of Legends

This is arguably the most popular game in Korea. Also known as LOL, League OF Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game created by Riot Games. Gamers control “heroes” who possess unique abilities and battle it out against other teams with one goal in mind: destroy the enemy’s “Nexus” main base.

As the game progresses, the hero’s skill level increases with every kill and successful experience. LoL is the most dominating game in PC bangs in Korea boasting of an insane 50% play rate. Even though most gamers love playing LoL, they have not yet embraced its twin Dota 2 with the same enthusiasm even though it is more brutal. This is because LoL came out first (2009 in comparison to 2013) and established base even though Dota 2 offers pro gamers a heftier payout.

LoL keeps reinventing the game with incentives to motivate play such as the famous “teamfight tactics” with a brand new set of origins, champions and classes. You can cash out your loot on Skinwallet marketplace. League of Legends deserves every bit of praise heaped on it by critics and fans alike.


  1. Lineage 2M

Brace yourself for the most epic battle royale. This list would be incomplete without mentioning Lineage 2M, which broke the ceiling as the highest-grossing app in 2019 less than 9 hours after its release. This Korean mobile game is a classic 3d fantasy created by NCSoft.

The MMORPG mobile game is based on the famous video game Lineage 2. It brings in up to 10,000 players from a wide range of races and classes battle it out for the grand championship.

The game is painfully stylish with fast, thrilling combat and boasts of some of the best storylines and graphics with events dating back to 150 years ago. its unique class tree system is the crucial aspect and with every successful conquest, you gain access to higher classes.


  1. PUBG

PUBG, also known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, is a creation of PUBG Corporation and an online multiplayer classic battle royale. It’s an inspiration of the Japanese film, Battle Royale plus it’s the Korean version of Fortnite.

Close to 100 gamers parachute onto an island in search of weapons to kill each other while ensuring their survival. with time the map area diminishes, forcing the players to go for the kill in this brutal, action-packed game for the position of the last man standing.

Being a Korean product gave PUBG an upper hand in dominating the Korean market. and Korean consumers support their own and PUBG Corporation has spent a fortune marketing the game in Korea, and it’s paid off

PUBG  is nothing short of an epic bloodbath and an A-list multiplayer first-person shooter game in the Korean gaming market.


  1. Overwatch

Overwatch is hot on the heels of PUBG and is worth watching over. A creation of Blizzard with roots dating back to 2016, it is referred to as a “hero shooter” game. Players are divided into two teams of six, with each player having access to over 30 unique characters (heroes). Team cooperation is king to transport a payload across the map or defend and secure control points on the map. Overwatch gained a massive gathering in the beta testing phase and was a global sensation when it was first launched garnering over $1 billion in revenues in its first year with 40 million + players.

The heroes possess a tailored set of superior abilities. Choose your hero, customize your play conditions to build a ton of exciting game modes while exploring infinite possibilities. This nerve-wracking 6v6 combat is a must-play.


  1. Blade & Soul: Revolution

Blade & Soul: Revolution is a MMORPG Korean mobile game based on the online hit Blade & Soul. Players get to customize their characters from a ton of different options from hairstyles, faces, and body types.

The controls are automated, and regardless of the mission, you get to control your character’s journey. The game features excellent graphics, settings, history and characters. Rise. strike. avenge in this tale of a vengeful bloodbath a combination of mythology and martial arts in a furious clash of betrayal and fists

Customize your persona with infinite possibilities as you marvel at its awe-inspiring complexity with cinematic battles and cut scenes featuring Korean voiceovers. Players create five-card decks to fight opponents. As the game progresses and with every challenge, aced players collect hundreds of cards and up their stats and skill level increases the difficulty of the game.


Bottom line:

South Korea is a gaming powerhouse in the world no wonder they churn the most mind-blowing games in the market. PC bangs are a popular option considering Koreans are social gamers. Video games exceed k-pop in revenue as the top cultural export. With a vibrant, lucrative gaming market, you’re to sample only the crème de la crème of video games.

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