As it approaches a year old, South Korea’s Kakao game platform has become a mobile game juggernaut with 30 million users. The platform is part of the 100-million-user strong Kakao Talk mobile-messaging network, which is replacing text messaging.
The numbers associated with the platform’s fast growth are astounding. It has had more than 300 million accumulated subscriptions and more than 400 million downloads. Kakao Talk was launched in 2010, but it really took off after the game service started on July 30, 2012, with 10 titles from seven partners. Now there are 180 titles from 99 developers. Overall sales grew 194 percent from 118 billion Korean won achieved in the second half of 2012 to 348 billion in the first half of 2013.
Six out of 10 top-grossing games on Kakao were developed by small or medium-sized developers. The company says, “The Kakao game platform has revitalized the entire mobile game industry through a miraculous synergy with prominent local and international game developers.”
Just a year ago, mobile game apps in the Korean market struggled to get 1 million downloads. But Kakao reversed that trend. Eight Kakao games have generated more than 10 million downloads, and more than half of those were for small developers. Anipang for Kakao and Dragon Flight for Kakao both generated more than 20 million downloads.
Toby Ban, the director of Kakao games business development, said in a statement, “We believe that the Kakao game platform is the most ideal mobile-game platform, brought forth by the synergy of the social network power generated by KakaoTalk and KakaoStory, together with the creative contents of game developers. The added entertainment aspect of being able to play games with actual friends appealed to even those who didn’t play mobile games in the past.”
Kakao Corporation is the owner of the KakaoTalk, a mobile-messaging application and global mobile-social platform based in South Korea. KakaoTalk’s 100 million users send as many as 5.2 billion messages a day in the form of text, photos, video, and voice.