Japan is fascinated with digital gaming — it has the third-largest market in the world. The total revenues of game developers are bigger than in Germany, France, and the UK combined! Online services are booming, with new genres emerging all the time. Here is an overview of Japan’s lasting affair with gaming.
Since the 1960s, the industry has been thriving. Video games and casinos are all the rage. Players use bonuses called no deposit 入金不要 to explore the best entertainment for free. But how did it start?
It was Japan that gave the world the legendary Nintendo, Sony PlayStation, Sega, Square Enix, Capcom, and Bandai Namco! All of these companies are based in the land of the rising sun. They are revered by all generations of video gamers.
During the bubble economy period, the world saw the most iconic titles like Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Pac-man. These hits determined the direction of the gaming world. Today, they are still popular with millions of retro gamers worldwide.
Key Figures for 2021
The biggest share of the market now belongs to mobile games. Statista’s estimates reveal that revenue in the segment is projected to reach $12.4 million in 2021, with $18,248 million expected from video games overall. The projected user penetration is 77.3% in 2021 and 85.8% by 2025. Experts are confident that mobile gaming will continue to expand.
Reasons for Dominance of Mobile
For decades, the Japanese have enjoyed excellent mobile data coverage and fast internet speeds. Millions of commuters spend hours traveling daily, and mobile games are a popular way to pass the time. Last year, the country had almost 93 million smartphone users.
Since the introduction of 5G in March 2020, connection speeds have surged. This has boosted the spread of AR and VR. Now, low latency connectivity and fast data transmission are the norm. We have already seen games like Pokémon Go and Dragon Quest Walk. Experts predict the further expansion of virtual and augmented reality.
Esports is also developing, albeit at a slower pace. In comparison with China and the US, competitive gaming in Japan is less vigorous, but this is about to change. The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry are determined to boost growth by supporting businesses in the arrangement of large tournaments. BCN Inc. predicts growth from ¥6.1 billion in 2019 to ¥15.3 billion in 2023.
Gaming And COVID-19
During the lockdown, global sales of online games skyrocketed. Aside from being a great form of entertainment, these digital products helped individuals stay connected with others. A 2020 study by MacKenzie showed that consumers in Japan intended to cut spending on nearly all categories except for household supplies, groceries, and at-home entertainment. This was great news for the gaming industry, and the figures confirmed it. For example:
- Animal Crossing by Nintendo had record-breaking sales, and it is now the biggest best-seller in the Switch game category;
- on a global scale, downloads of apps increased 15% in the first quarter of the year;
- mobile games accounted for 65% of all sales on iOS and 85% of sales on Google Play;
- Japan was one of the top three markets for Android games, along with South Korea and the US.
A Look Ahead
Clearly, the online gaming industry shows no signs of slowing down. Experts predict that streaming platforms and fixed-rate packages (Ubisoft’s Uplay and Google’s Stadia) will boost casual gaming and revolutionize video game consumption. These new platforms are worth keeping an eye on.