November 30, 2023


[MUSAI] 2020 White Paper on Korean Games ③, the Changes Covid-19 Brought to the Korean Gaming Industry



The last article of the ‘2020 White Paper on Korean Games’ series is regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, which completely changed our lives throughout last year. Let’s find out how it has affected the Korean gaming industry, according to the survey conducted by Korea Creative Content Agency.


As mentioned in the last articles, the Korean gaming market in 2019 showed a growth rate of 9%, which is quite remarkable considering that the year’s growth rate was reported to be only 2%. Moreover, the expected growth rate of the market in 2021 is estimated to be 9.2%, which seems to be reflecting the increase in consumption of games, one of the non face-to-face activities, as people spent more time at home due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. In particular, the mobile and console gaming industries are expected to be in the center of the sustaining growth momentum.


▶ 2020 White Paper on Korean Games ①, the ‘Trend of Active Localization in Korean’ Brought the High Growth Rate of Console Gaming Market


However, as the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the beginning of the year 2020 critically affected many industrial areas, the damage blown upon the gaming industry was still something inevitable. According to a survey conducted on total 458 Korean game companies, 368 companies responded they have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since January 2020. Among the 368 companies, 42.7% has cited the ‘decrease in sales’ as the biggest damage, 21.1% the ‘disruption in human resource management’, and 20.7% mentioned the ‘difficulties in fieldwork including meetings with partners and sales promotion.’

[Image 1] Regarding the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, 42.7% of Korean game companies which participated in the survey cited a drop in sales as the biggest concern. (Source: ‘2020 White Paper on Korean Games, ’Korea Creative Content Agency)

In particular, the results of the survey showed that the companies with a smaller number of employees were affected more severely from the decreased sales. While 52.9% of the game companies with less than 5 employees said the ‘decrease in sales’ as the greatest factor of suffering, the ratio gradually decreased as the number of employees increased, and only 28.4% of companies with over 100 employees picked the same factor as their greatest damage.

[Image 2] Companies with a smaller number of employees pointed out the decrease in sales as the greatest impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. (Source: ‘2020 White Paper on Korean Games, ’Korea Creative Content Agency)

As the covid-19 crisis unexpectedly continues, various protective measures and countermeasures have been proposed to remain safe; the first that comes out is ‘working remotely.’ To prevent from being exposed to the coronavirus and minimize the damage, 54.1% of companies participated in the survey answered that they are ‘making the best use of working remotely system,’ followed by other means i.e., ‘reducing the number of employees to adjust the employment situation (12.3%),’ and ‘securing cash flow (12.0%).’


In addition, as the preparation of the upcoming post-covid-19 era, many were developing the environment for remote work. 36.3% of the companies said the priority is to ‘set up non-contact working environment thorough remote work solutions and cloud services, etc.’ On the other hand, still a high percentage (41.5%) of the respondents answered that they are ‘not preparing anything specific.’ Considering that the most resources would be spent on minimizing the impact of the pandemic, coming out with long-term measures may be difficult.

[Image 3] As a countermeasure of the Covid-19 outbreak, creating the environment and workflow for remote work to be the most-talked-about topic (Source: ‘2020 White Paper on Korean Games, ’Korea Creative Content Agency)

It has been a year since the impact of the Covid-19 crisis has been on our lives. This year, we seek for the light to shine not only on the gaming industry, but on all the other industrial areas suffering from the Covid-19 situation, and to heal and leap forward.



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