Korea’s contents industry exports, centering on gaming, is forecast to exceed $5 billion for the first time, an increase of over 10.% on last year. Sales in the sector are also expected to increase by 4.9% from last year, to KRW 90 trillion.
The gaming industry will fuel this growth, with figures up 9.9% on last year and is likely to account for 60% of total contents industry exports from Korea in 2013. These results are triggered by the explosive growth of mobile games. This year, two Korean games recorded more than 20 million downloads each (Anipang and Dragon Flight) and eight games have recorded over 10 million downloads.
The Korean film industry has also recorded an annual viewer count of over 200 million for the first time. Online digital film content also enjoyed remarkable growth, with figures up 30.4% on the same time last year.
The Animation and character sectors are forecasting exports amounting to$620 million, an increase of 10.2% on last year. This growth is fueled by the success of domestic animations and character brands, such as ‘Larva’ and ‘Robocar Poli.’
Sales of Korean cartoons are estimated at KRW 750 billion, a small decrease on last year. However, the webtoon market recorded rapid growth and net monthly average visitors to Naver and Daum Webtoons soared to seven million and three million respectively.
Music industry exports are also forecast to increase by over 17% to $270 million, with sales amounting to KRW 4.4 trillion.
This will be good news for the Korean government, which has put a huge focus on growth in the creative industries, as they aim to help the transition of the Korean economy from fast-follower, to innovator and leader in creative industries, which were sectors in deficit in Korea only a few years ago.
“As game and Internet industries experienced difficulties this year due to regulatory issues, contents industry, which centers on creativity, is not free from the regulatory issues, either,” said an industry insider. “A policy to encourage liberty of thoughts to turn creativity into reality is necessary.”