Kakao celebrates social games first anniversary, makes $311 million in first half of 2013
KakaoTalk has gained a lot of traction not just as a messaging application, but as a social games platform as well. Since launching its social games service at the end of June 2012, Kakao has more than 30 million out of its 100 million users playing its catalog of 180 games. The company has announced that these games have generated revenue of 348 billion Won (around $311 million) in the first half of 2013. This is an increase of 193 percent from Q4 2012, where the company earned 118 billion Won ($105 million).
Kakao is not the only one reaping the benefits of these numbers. It says that six of the 10 top grossing games on its network were made by small or medium-sized developers. This may seem especially enticing for mobile developers because Kakao requires no charge to put apps on the platform, nor do they require any charge for downloads or users subscriptions. According to App Annie, seven of the 10 top grossing Android games in the world were running on Kakao in May 2013.
Though these numbers are impressive, Kakao’s dominance remains in Korea where it said to be installed on 90 percent of all smartphones. Though it is a smaller scale at least globally, it has made large revenues from a small number of players. In comparison, Facebook has said it has 250 million players raising more than $2 billion to be paid out to developers in 2012.
With mobile users adopting messaging applications rapidly, social games have found their place within their respective platforms. Though it is unlikely for Kakao to displace Facebook as the number one social gaming platform worldwide, it is making significant strides to chip away at its lead, at least in Korea.
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