The Gamers Powering Japan’s $22.1 Billion Games Market: Consumer Motivations, Behavior & Data

The Gamers Powering Japan’s $22.1 Billion Games Market: Consumer Motivations, Behavior & Data

The Japanese video games market is one probably the most outstanding and most influential on the earth. This 12 months, Japan’s 75.6 million gamers will assist it generate revenues of $22.1 billion. Regardless of its small dimension in comparison with different international locations, Japan is the third-biggest video games market worldwide.


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The Japanese gaming viewers can also be distinctive. Actually understanding what makes these shoppers stand out is important for fulfillment out there. Fortunately, we surveyed 1,141 players in Japan as a part of our gamer Shopper Insights analysis to find what makes them tick.

What genres do players in Japan play? Which artwork types and settings do they get pleasure from? And what truly motivates them to play video games?

Let’s dive into the information.

Japan’s Widespread Sport Platforms, Genres, Themes, and Artwork Kinds

Our World Video games Market Report reveals that cellular is Japan’s greatest sport platform by way of revenues and gamers. Cell is adopted by console and PC for each metrics.

As a part of our Shopper Insights analysis, we requested respondents in Japan what genres they performed prior to now six months. As you’ll be able to see beneath, RPG is the #1 style throughout all platforms in Japan:


Way back to the 80s, RPGs have lengthy been a staple of Japan’s video games market—a lot in order that AAA sport launches for franchises like Remaining Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Pokémon are seen as cultural occasions out there. Japan’s console players are twice as more likely to have performed an RPG title prior to now six months.

In the meantime, free-to-play RPGs on cellular, like Destiny/Grand Order and Genshin Impression, preserve gamers in Japan engaged and spending over time.

We requested our respondents which sport themes they like most. Greater than half of players in Japan discover fantasy settings interesting, making it the market’s #1 most interesting sport theme. Fantastical settings dominate Japan’s favourite style, RPGs.

However a lot of the gamers we requested internationally want one other style.

Japan’s Console Gamers Are Much less Prone to Play Shooters

Shooter franchises are extraordinarily widespread globally throughout completely different platforms and markets. However much less so in Japan. As an example, let’s evaluate Japan’s most performed console genres in Japan to the worldwide common:


You may see above that shooter was the nation’s #6 most performed style on console. Nonetheless, shooter was #1 throughout all 33 markets lined the analysis. Japan’s share was decrease than nearly each market we cowl.

The Swap is a massively widespread console globally, however is a wild success in Japan. In keeping with knowledge from our associate KADOKAWA ASCII Analysis Laboratories, the Swap has bought greater than 22 million consoles in Japan as of November 21, 2021.

This quantity, which was not too long ago boosted by the sturdy gross sales of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes, accounts for over a fifth of all Switches worldwide.

The large share of Swap consoles in Japan contributes to to the market’s decrease share of shooter engagement on console (and its larger share of RPG engagement). Aside from Splatoon, there are far fewer outstanding shooters on Swap vs. PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

As a substitute, the Swap has an enormous variety of widespread single-player Japanese RPG franchises: Pokémon, Hearth Emblem, Bravely Default, Octopath Traveler—the checklist goes on. All these titles are large in Japan and on Swap.

In the meantime, Xbox—one of many three greatest console producers worldwide—is relatively much less widespread in Japan. That is vital, as our console MAU knowledge reveals that shooters are extraordinarily widespread on Xbox consoles—particularly recently, owing to the early launch of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer. Nonetheless, it’s value noting that the Xbox model is beginning to decide up steam in Japan.

Japan’s Favourite Sport Artwork Kinds and Motivations to Play

We talked about earlier that fantasy is probably the most interesting theme amongst players in Japan. But 25% of the group has no sturdy desire for themes (vs. 16% throughout all 33 markets).

Much more putting is many Japanese players’ indifference in direction of artwork types. Whereas the most interesting artwork model for respondents is anime (38% selected it), the next-most-common reply was no desire in any respect (37% vs. 19% throughout all 33 markets).

For gamers in Japan, it’s all concerning the gameplay, which brings us to our subsequent query: what motivates gamers in Japan to play video games?

Let’s have a look nearer on the market’s high three causes for taking part in:

  • 50% of players in Japan play to chill out and unwind. Whereas this can be a excessive share, it’s far beneath the worldwide common (63%)
  • 49% of players in Japan play to fill time—once more, that is beneath the worldwide common (55%)
  • 45% in Japan play to discover sport storylinesand get immersed (vs. 38%) globally

Japan’s decrease scores for rest and time filling are atypical for such a mobile-first market. Nonetheless, it’s defined by the market’s love for extra core RPG titles, even on cellular. Even the market’s widespread puzzle video games—like Puzzle & Dragons—embrace extra core RPG mechanics.

Taking a look at Japan’s lowest-scoring motivators can also be telling:

  • 13% of players in Japan play to socialize (vs. 25% worldwide)
  • 11% play to for the competitors and delight of beating others (vs. 24% worldwide)
  • 9% play to work with teammates to finish objectives (vs. 17% globally)

Merely put, Japan’s players are much less motivated by competitors and social components and extra motivated by exploration.

Avid gamers in Japan Are likely to Want Single-Participant Video games

We’ve highlighted that the Swap is big in Japan, PC is smaller (the place aggressive video games reign), shooters are much less widespread in Japan vs. the worldwide common, and RPGs are extra widespread. Due to this fact, it’s no shock that our knowledge reveals that Japan’s players gravitate in direction of single-player titles:


Lower than half of respondents in Japan say multiplayer is likely one of the modes they play most on console and PC. Even much less (beneath a 3rd) selected multiplayer on cellular. These shares are far beneath the typical throughout all 33 markets lined.

Nonetheless, that’s to not say aggressive titles and shooters aren’t widespread in Japan. EA’s battle royale and shooter title Apex Legends, for instance, could be very profitable in Japan. In reality, the Platform reveals that Apex Legends is constantly Japan’s #1 sport by MAUs throughout PlayStation, Xbox, and Steam.

Identical to in different markets, streamers initially triggered Apex Legends’ reputation in Japan. The nation’s passionate streaming neighborhood has been facilitating Apex’s reputation even additional.

With an imminent cellular model of Apex in improvement, we might even see the title spiking Japan’s shooter and battle royale engagement on cellular within the not-too-distant future.

Talking of the long run, our World Video games Market Report knowledge factors for an thrilling future forward for Japan’s video games market, by way of engagement and shopper spending alike.

With blockbuster titles like Elden Ring, Breath of the Wild 2, and Remaining fantasy XVI on the horizon—in addition to the continuing success of free-to-play cellular titles—Japan’s video games market has an thrilling street forward.

Keep As much as Date with What Motivates Avid gamers in Japan and Past

Exploring gaming habits and motivation, figuring out priceless gaming audiences, and uncovering game-related alternatives is tough. Gaming is now greater and subsequently extra saturated than ever earlier than, making issues much more difficult.

Fortunately, our Shopper Insights boast extra strong and actionable knowledge on every part lined on this article and extra. A number of the greatest sport corporations and types are already utilizing our knowledge to find:

  • Shopper attitudes in direction of sport manufacturers
  • Sport video content material watched (dwell streams, reruns, recordings)
  • Fee habits
  • Engagement with digital media subscriptions and hobbies
  • And a lot extra

We cowl all these variables for 33 international locations/markets internationally—not solely Japan but in addition China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, the U.S.—the checklist goes on. And we’re including much more international locations very quickly.