Kakao Games' most anticipated game, 'Uma Musume', has started pre-ordering.  (provided by Kakao Games)

Kakao Games’ most anticipated game ‘Uma Musume’… ‘The Myth of Odin’ one more time?

Kakao Games’ most anticipated game, ‘Uma Musume’, has started pre-ordering. (provided by Kakao Games)

The most anticipated mobile game ‘Uma Musume Pretty Derby’ (hereinafter referred to as Uma Musume), the most anticipated mobile game released by Kakao Games this year, has started pre-ordering. It is a ‘masterpiece’ that has been released for a long time since Odin, which was released last year. However, the stock market and the game industry predict that it will be difficult for Uma Musume to succeed easily. Since the strengths and weaknesses are clear, there is a cautious theory that it is necessary to look at future trends.

‘Uma Musume’ is a nurturing simulation game that develops characters with the motif of a real race horse and plays with the goal of winning the race. In particular, this game is characterized by ▲a unique concept and highly immersive story development ▲three-dimensional character and free development strategy ▲overwhelmingly excellent cartoon rendering style graphics.

Uma Musume was developed by Cygames in Japan. The game became so popular that it surpassed 14 million downloads on April 1 of this year, about a year after its release in Japan in February of last year. In Japan, it was such a sensational popularity that it was so popular that there was a saying, “The gamers went to play Uma Musume, and everyone who was playing other games disappeared.” It also became famous as it became known as the favorite game of star baseball player Masahiro Tanaka who played for the New York Yankees.

As the game was a huge success in the Japanese market, it was a hot topic even before its launch in the Korean market. When Kakao Games confirmed Uma Musume’s domestic service, the financial investment industry was vying for a report saying, “Kakao Games will lead another leap,” adding to expectations.

However, now that the pre-booking has started, the eyes towards Uma Musume are strangely mixed. This is because of the rapidly changing ‘game environment’.

First of all, Uma Musume’s own box office performance fell. Unlike the beginning of last year, when it boasted the overwhelming top position in sales, the current ranking of sales has declined. In particular, the App Store ranking has fallen somewhat. Due to the nature of the Japanese market, where iPhone usage is high, the App Store ranking is considered to be a more important indicator than the Google ranking. As of the end of April, the App Store ranking is moving sideways from #8. This is the reason for the analysis that the domestic box office cannot be guaranteed.

There is also a strong question as to whether the ‘text-based’ process unique to Japan will work in Korea. An industry insider who requested anonymity said, “Uma Musume is a text-based game that progresses the story based on dialogue and adds to the charm of the game. If these characteristics work for domestic consumers, it will succeed at the box office, but if domestic users show rejection, it will be difficult to succeed at the box office.”

Of course, the strengths are clear. Thanks to the increase in users who prefer animation-style games, ‘subculture’ games aimed at them have been successful in the domestic market one after another. Nexon’s ‘Blue Archive’ and Netmarble’s ‘Fate Grand Order’ are representative examples. Uma Musume is also evaluated as having no problem with the box office if it is selected by game users who prefer ‘subculture’.

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