New survey finds that South Korean gamers are also willing to try a new service provider that can offer more reliable and consistent connectivity

A new survey commissioned by Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) found that South Korean adults love to play games, whether it’s on their smartphones, laptops, desktops, or favorite consoles, with two out of three (67%) identifying themselves as a gamer.

Against the backdrop of the pandemic, gaming emerged as one of the main entertainment and leisure activities in South Korea, as South Koreans spent more time on mobile games than before the pandemic. As a result, the mobile gaming market in South Korea recorded a growth of over 5 trillion won (US$4.5 billion) in 2020, with an increase in total mobile game transactions by 24.3% from 2019[1].

Consequently, the growth of mobile gaming has also contributed to South Korea’s total domestic game market size, which is projected to increase by 7.4% from 2020 to reach around 18.3 trillion won (US$16.6 billion) in 2021[2]. This corresponds with the global trend, as revenue for the global gaming market surged 20% to US$179.7 billion in 2020, and is expected to reach US$256.97 billion by 2025[3].

Good connectivity, not the type of device, contributes to an enjoyable gaming experience

As digital entertainment such as gaming becomes deeply embedded in our daily lives, consumers naturally expect a seamless connection when consuming different types of content. According to Ciena’s survey, nearly half (44%) of all gamers believe that better internet connectivity is the most important element for a positive gaming session, as compared to other device-related factors such as the type of gaming-optimized mobile phones they use (40%), the use of handheld gaming devices (8%), or VR headsets (6%).

Gamers are willing to pay more for faster internet speeds

To improve their gaming experiences, two in five gamers (40%) are willing to pay more for faster internet speeds. Additionally, nearly one in two (49%) are willing to try a service provider that can offer a reliable and consistently uninterrupted connection. These insights reinforce the notion that good network quality and connectivity can help service providers retain current customers and gain new customers who are open to alternatives.

Comfort matters, too

Interestingly, 44% of gamers indicated that a comfortable setting (i.e., chair, couch, table) is an important criterion for a satisfying gaming session. Similarly, having ergonomic gaming gear that improves comfort is also important to them (16%). Other important factors while gaming include a pleasant room temperature with air conditioning or heating (11%), having snacks and beverages (5%) as well as an organized setup (4%).

“The insights from this study has highlighted the desire of South Korean gamers for stable and reliable internet connection to make gaming fun and enjoyable,” said Henry Kim, Korea President and General Manager at Ciena. “With millions of gamers live-streaming every day and milliseconds meaning the difference between victory and defeat, networks need to adapt to unpredictable bandwidth demands and be future ready. For this reason, it is critically important that we construct networks to embrace next-generation metro and edge architectures that are closer to the end user.”

For more information about Ciena’s latest survey, which also covers the Japan and Singapore markets, download the full report here.

[1]Yonhap News Agency, 2021
[2]The Korea Economic Daily, 2021
[3] Essence Global, 2021

Note to editors
Ciena commissioned independent survey firm YouGov to conduct a survey of 1014 adults in South Korea between 2 - 6 August 2021. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all South Korean adults (aged 18+) nationally.

About Ciena
Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) is a global leader in networking systems, services, and software. We build the most adaptive networks in the industry, enabling customers to anticipate and meet ever-increasing digital demands. For three-plus decades, Ciena has brought our humanity to our relentless pursuit of innovation. Prioritizing collaborative relationships with our customers, partners, and communities, we create flexible, open, and sustainable networks that better serve all users—today and into the future. For updates on Ciena, follow us on LinkedInTwitter, the Ciena Insights blog, or visit

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