License Global speaks with Youseon Tak, project manager, KOCCA, to discover what is happening in Korean licensing and the reasons behind the growth in the Korean gaming market.

Ian Hart, Senior Digital Editor U.K. & EMEA

May 25, 2023

3 Min Read
KOCCA logo
KOCCA logoKOCCA

The Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) is a South Korean government agency affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and is charged with governing cultural content.

From a licensing perspective, it represents IPs such as YooHoo, Astrostation, “Ella Gator,” “Cookie Run,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” Zanmang Loopy, “Camem&Bert's FoodTruck,” “Frutti Dino,” Goodnight Pajamals, “Robocar POLI,” “Harp and Friends,” “Banitte,” Bellygom, “Dinoman,” “Giant PengTV” and “MeoShinKe.”

License Global: How would you describe the licensing market in Korea and what are the key trends that you are seeing?

Youseon Tak: Korea’s licensing market is growing every year. Beyond simple characters, the expansion of original character IP is emerging, such as creating various licensing products through collaboration with various companies. In addition, direct distribution is activated online due to the prolonged COVID-19 restrictions, increasing the importance of the online and offline licensing market.

What patterns are you seeing in the way audiences consume content and how does that influence the consumer product strategy?

I think content is an area of individual taste and so, accordingly, consumption methods and patterns have become very diverse. When it comes to characters, collective character products are popular. Sellers have the advantage of re-purchasing existing products, and buyers have the better choice of collective toys with a long duration of enjoyment.

What are Korean consumers looking for when engaging with a character?

There are cute images of the character, but it also seems to put meaning on the background that the character has. For example, in the case of “Kakao Friends,” there are relationships and backgrounds between various characters, so each character’s characteristics seem to be embodied and interested and allows consumers to connect and engage with the character.

That also plays into the Korean gaming market, which is one of the largest in the world. Why is that market growing so rapidly in the region and what are the trends that you are seeing in gaming and entertainment?

Games and characters have an inseparable, positive synergy relationship. Various character IPs are being showcased in games. In the case of “Cookie Run,” by Dev Sisters, was a very popular game in Korea; it’s not only fun but also famous for characters. That therefore leads to an increased consumer products program around the IP.

Can you talk about some of the key IPs in the region and tell us a little about why those resonate with fans, particularly from licensed consumer products perspective.

There are so many different character IPs in Korea. I think the key thing with the majority of the IP we work with is that they feature characters that men and women of all ages alike are able to connect and resonate with the various stories.

We will be showcasing IP from 16 amazing companies from Korea at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas in June. If you're curious about them, please come to the booths J192 and J206 and enquire.

KOCCA will be showcasing IP from Aurora World Corp, Alimolistudio, Chungdahm Media, Devsisters Corp, EUNHUHOLDINGS, ICONIX, MESE, MONOVERSE, Qtizz, Roivisual, TOYTRON, Twin Spica, WOORI HOMESHOPPING, WHYJ contents, Korea Educational Broadcasting System and HWA HWA at Licensing Expo, which takes place June 13-15 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Find KOCCA on booths J192 and J206.

Register for Licensing Expo 2023.

About the Author(s)

Ian Hart

Senior Digital Editor U.K. & EMEA, License Global

Ian joined the License Global editorial team in May 2022 as digital editor for the U.K. and EMEA, becoming Senior Digital Editor in April 2023.

Ian is a huge fan of sports and entertainment brands and, as a father, toys and kids' brands are a large part of his life!

He has been at Informa (formerly UBM) since 2018, where he was previously the editor of SHP, a B2B digital publication aimed at health & safety professionals.

Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming. Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in B2B trade print media, in the automotive sector, working on various publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.

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