South Korean Game Streaming Industry Bigger Than Ever

Online live video game streaming is taking the world by storm, as the idea of sharing and enjoying the experience of playing and watching games becomes increasingly popular, and the impact is being also felt in South Korea where eSports have a huge following. As demand for video game streaming services continues to grow, Microsoft is jumping on the bandwagon by introducing a new streaming app called “Beam” with its latest Creators Update for Windows 10 that was released last month.

Streaming is now only a hotkey away for Windows 10 users, as holding down the Windows key along with the G key will allow PC gamers to instantly stream their gameplay to their friends. Though the new streaming feature on Windows 10 can be only shared and viewed between Beam and Xbox Live users, its simple and easy nature is expected to see more people get on board with game streaming. Microsoft’s latest move to feature a streaming a service comes on the heels of similar services provided by the likes of YouTube, Facebook and AfreecaTV.

YouTube has been at the forefront of the game streaming industry, led by a number of famous YouTubers who specialize in game streaming in South Korea. Not to be outdone, social media giant Facebook teamed up with Blizzard to introduce a feature that allows gamers to stream Overwatch and Hearthstone via the most popular social media platform in the world. The catalyst for the popularity of online game streaming was the nationwide Starcraft craze that began sweeping across South Korea in 2000, with live streaming of the real-time strategy game dominating cable TV and the internet, spawning game streaming channels like OGN.

When OGN was first launched in July 2001 under its former name Ongamenet, critics were skeptical that the idea of watching someone else play an online game would appeal to viewers.

However, the critics have been proven wrong time and again over the last few years, with global streaming services such as Twitch topping video giant YouTube in revenue share in the video game content industry in 2014. On the back of the immense popularity of Starcraft, the eSports industry began growing rapidly, as the concept of watching other people play games caught on among the South Korean public, with mobile gaming video services starting to gain popularity around 2010.