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South Korean games market expected to exceed $2.0 billion in 2007

San Francisco, CA, July 11, 2006 - Pearl Research forecasts the games market in South Korea will exceed $2.0 billion in 2007, driven by the fast growing online and mobile games market. These findings are contained in the 80-page "Games Market in Korea" report published by San Francisco-based Pearl Research, a leading business intelligence and consulting firm. Pearl Research's key findings: South Korea has a sophisticated information technology (IT) infrastructure with 79% personal computer (PC) penetration and 12 million out 15 million households connected to broadband. More than 20,000 Internet cafes, charging less than $2 an hour, also provide convenient Internet and games access. The PC-based online games market is forecasted to be valued at more than $1.2 billion in 2006 and constitutes the largest games platform in South Korea. One of the fastest growing segments is casual games that are free-to-play, easy-to-learn and can be played in "micro-slices" of time of ten minutes or less. Pearl Research believes that casual games account for more than 30% of the online games market and appeals to a wide audience including females and gamers 30 years and older. Pearl Research believes the $160 million South Korean console and handheld market will be driven by these factors: online console gameplay capability, culturally relevant and localized software, increasing investment in the market and the release of next-generation consoles by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Mobile games represent one of the fastest growing games segments and are forecasted to exceed $275 million in 2006 in South Korea. A slate of new technologies capable of delivering rich mobile content; ubiquitous marketing by South Korea's three mobile carriers, SK Telecom, KTF and LG Telecom; and innovative 3D mobile games are expected to drive the market. While South Korea has a thriving games market, critical challenges include intense domestic competition; prevalence of "me-too" or derivative titles; software piracy for console, handheld, and packaged PC games; and rising development costs. The "Games Market in Korea" report provides an in-depth analysis of the Korean games market and contains an executive summary; 2006 to 2010 forecasts for the online games, console, mobile and packaged PC platforms; inhibitors and drivers to growth; deep marketplace analysis; discussion of key market players, and strategic conclusions. To inquire about this report, please call (+1) 415-566-8509 or email research@pearlresearch.com. About Pearl Research Pearl Research, a business intelligence and consulting firm, specializes in the interactive entertainment and games market with a special focus on emerging markets and platforms. Based in San Francisco, Pearl Research publishes in-depth research reports and provides customized research and consulting services. For more information, please visit www.pearlresearch.com or contact us at research@pearlresearch.com or call (+1) 415-566-8509. Contact Allison Luong Managing Director aluong@pearlresearch.com (+1) 415-566-8509
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