How did StarCraft get so popular in Korea?

Games come and go and sometimes it seems that this happens in a matter of days. Some games, such as casino games, are always popular so it is not unusual to hear people talking about kwiff Welcome Offer or their favourite online casino. Board games are also quite popular even today, but with video games, the issue is more complex. The internet and the faster game development process have led to different games being made all the time. So, when a game becomes popular and sticks around for a few years, you can count that as a great success. For example, it has been more than 20 years after the release of StarCraft, we are still talking about it. This says enough about how popular and iconic this game is. But this game had another and to a degree unusual success – it became very popular in Korea. I have 4 ideas as to why StarCraft became a phenomenon in Korea, so let’s see how that happened.

Great timing 

First of all, when video games are being released, timing plays a huge part. Just like with most things in life, I guess. The developers of the game managed to time the release in Korea brilliantly (although I am not completely sure if this was a great strategy or just a lucky shot). At the end of the 90s when StarCraft was taking off, Korea’s internet was also booming. Internet cafes were being built everywhere across the country and people were starting to explore the wonders of the online world more and more. Everything seemed more interesting on a computer and obviously, that counts video games. 


The first esports league in Korea happened at the same time StarCraft was becoming more and more popular there. This is also one of the lucky coincidences but it was a major reason why the game became everyone’s obsession. Some of the world’s best and most popular sponsors were sponsoring these events and suddenly StarCraft was everywhere. 


Like with any popular franchise or product, merch is always a great idea. Since people who loved the game were able to buy more products with the game’s theme and even characters, StarCraft went from being just a game everyone likes to a complete phenomenon all over the country. Having your brand in every shop, in people’s houses, on posters, buildings and even planes (yes, planes) will surely cement your popularity. We have seen this happen with Harry Potter books and movies as well as with the Star Wars franchise, and the same thing happened with this game in Korea. 

The game itself 

Now the last item on this list has nothing to do with the marketing strategy and good decisions but with the nature of the game itself. Of course, the game was interesting to people all over the world as a fun past-time activity but why did it take Korean gamers by storm? There is an old board game that is very popular in Korea called baduk in which you have to think fast and usually do several things at the same time which is basically what StarCraft asks of its players. I believe that the reason the Korean public loved this video game so much is that it in a way reminded them of this board game they all love.

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