According to a new report from Newzoo, Japan’s games industry is projected to generate $22.1 billion in consumer spending in 2021.
In terms of revenue and players, the most popular gaming platform in Japan is mobile, followed by console and PC.
The leading game genre in Japan is RPG, with free-to-play mobile RPGs such as Fate/Grand Order and Genshin Impact keeping players engaged over long periods of time.
Out of 1,141 respondents, over half said that their favourite game setting was fantasy, which can be seen from the country’s profound interest in fantasy RPGs.
Single player games are the most popular mode of playing in Japan, compared to the most popular in the other 33 markets surveyed, which was Shooter.
Single player sessions
Newzoo found the leading motivator for playing games in Japan is to relax and unwind, with 50 per cent naming this their reason for playing. However, this figure is below the national average of 63 per cent.
The second reason for playing games is to fill time, at 49 per cent, again below the global average of 55 per cent. Both of these reasons are atypical for a mobile centric market.
However, the third most common reason for playing games, at 45 per cent, is to explore game storylines. This reason is above the global average of 38 per cent, which is no surprise considering that the leading genre in Japan is RPG.
The lowest scoring motivators reflect that Japanese gamers are less interested in gaming to socialise, with only 13 per cent stating this as a reason (compared with 25 per cent globally).
Despite the lower popularity of competitive shooters in Japan, Apex Legends from Respawn Entertainment, is the number one game by MAUs across consoles and PC.
With the upcoming release of Apex Legends Mobile there may be a resurgence of interest in the shooter/battle royale genre.
Recently, Newzoo released its findings that 95 per cent of gamers in Africa use mobile as their platform of choice, with South Africa being the largest spender.