Korea's Online Games Exports to Surpass W1 Trillion

Korea's annual export of online games is expected to surpass the W1 trillion mark for the first time, according to a survey of online games companies.

The survey revealed on Thursday that the export of Korea's online games will likely increase to US$900 million (US$1=W1,340), from last year's $780 million. Considering the depreciation of the won from W900 to W1,300 against the dollar, online game exports are forecast to surpass W1 trillion. As industry leaders' exports grow at two-digit pace and mid-ranking companies join the export bandwagon, exports of games are rapidly increasing.

Overseas sales by the three major exporters, NHN, Nexon and NCsoft, are estimated to record $480 million, 20-percent up from last year. Famous for its game portal "Hangame," NHN forecast its overall overseas sales to reach $160 million, with a 30-percent increase in Japan to $120 million and a 20-percent rise in China to $39.6 million.

Nexon also expects a 20-percent growth in overseas sales from last year's $150 million, as some 800,000 Chinese simultaneously went online to play the game "KartRider" while multiplayer game "MapleStory" is gaining popularity in the U.S.

NCsoft recorded exports of $75 million for the first half of this year, 10-percent up from last year, thanks to its main products, including "Lineage II."

englishnews@chosun.com / Oct. 17, 2008 12:06 KST