Korean Mobile Game
Marketing Trend & Strategy
MediaR, Kyunga Park
Korea is one of the largest markets by revenue that every publisher
wants to make success.
Google Play Revenue Top 3
* Based on the app annie numbers released on Jan, 2014
Korea, Japan and US now generate 75%
of Google Play revenue
(A) few global titles are making success in Korean market.
• Tens of new titles are released everyday through Kakao platform or not.
• Korean developers know their market well and making the market-oriented game
• Some of them are big, others were startups but now growing preparing IPO
Hard to Break
Clash of Clan and Candy Crush are a few example of success. But most
games which are successful in US or own country are hard to succeed.
Candy Crush keeps within top grossing 20 over a year without much
visible marketing in Korea.
Candy Crush Saga in PSY ‘Gentleman’
MV by King headquarters
Candy Crush Saga
CableTV CF in Korea
Clash of Clan
In contrast, clash of clan did omni directional marketing including
mobile/online/offline and TV CF, estimated to spend over $10M.
Clash of Clan
It turns out success as it maintains top grossing 1-3 for over 5 months
and revenue seems positive than doing passive or no marketing.
Korean version, Mktg start
But, this is unusual case combined with high product quality+ capital
• It’s a high risk, high return strategy supported by product confidence and global hit
• They started a big advertising budget with korean localization
• Without high quality product and localization, offensive marketing budget would
just end with ‘Branding’ or ‘Spending’…..
In case of most titles, you need gradual approach. Otherwise it’s better
to do nothing.
• Test your product KPI with localized version or a small of marketing budget
• Boost your product to test market response
• Go commercial to broaden user base
Test your product KPI
Boost your product
Reward is to test & fuel market response
Reward is most efficient tool to get exposure and users in Korea.
• Budget range $30,000-$60,000 to rank in top free 25 or 10 (Google Play)
• But many games ended with just more downloads and some ranking numbers... not
leading to lasting(?) rank boost effect or visible sales impact
• You can check market possibility and plan additional marketing spend if you see
positive marketing and product KPI
Download & Grossing ranking trend
Usual case after boost Amazing case after boost
Reach top free ranking within 7~10
days and out of rank 100 in a month
Top free ranking go slowly down and
maintain top grossing over month
Non-incent CPI needs more strict approach
Non-incent traffic in Korea is not enough to lift ranking or expect ROI
• It’s usually over $3 whether Casual or RPG game in case of Korean ad networks
• Recommend to spend when it’s high lucrative or LTV title
• Test and scale the right media according to your marketing goal
Typical Marketing Lifecycle
Organic channel, Incentivized
Non-incent cpi, offline, TV
(Inmobi, Applift, Adpacker,
You can change your marketing tool according to your product status, marketing goal &
- Check your product KPI and localization
- Have clear goals and objectives on your marketing plan
Buy on a CPI basis
- As non-incent does not guarantee ROI, it’s best to buy/calculate on a CPI basis
Test and scale the right media according to your app, mktg goal & performance