This is a guest colum from Kalle Heikkinen, Chief Game Analyst at GameRefinery.
There are many common stereotypes about Chinese and Japanese gamers.
- Are first-person shooters still a turn-off for the Japanese?
- Is casual all but dead in China?
- What about Japanese gamers and their alleged "multiplayer phobia"?
We know that many of these assumptions are around PC and console gamers, but what about mobile ones?
We took a look at some of the top iOS grossing games in China and Japan to see if the kinds of games being played lend weight to any of these stereotypes?
Myth # 1: The Japanese don't like shooters
This has to be one of the longest-lasting puzzles relating to Japanese gaming culture. Why have many kinds of shooter, especially FPS games, been marginalized in Japan?
Is it because the Japanese have a different attitude towards guns and popular FPS themes such as WW2, compared to Americans? Or does the market's history of neglecting PC gaming for a substantial period have something to do with this?
What the data says:
It should be noted that we are only looking at mid-core FPS/TPS games here, not more casual shoot-em' ups.
From this, it's clear that there are less of these kinds of games in Japan than in China and the US mobile charts.
We can see that the Battle Royale genre is the most prominent subgenre in Japan among shooter games.
Based on this market comparison of shooter games in the US, Japan and China of the top 500 grossing mobile games, we have several interesting findings.
- The amount of shooter games in Japan is lower than in China or the US.
- Battle Royale is the most popular shooter subgenre in all three markets, including Japan.
- No home-grown shooters exist in the Japanese top 500 grossing market, leaving the market up for grabs for overseas publishers.
- The biggest shooter in Japan is NetEase's Knives Out, which enjoyed a first-mover advantage in this space way before Fortnite, PUBG or Call of Duty managed to blast their way in.
Verdict: More true than false. Japanese gamers are not particularly keen on shooters, and they aren't keen on developing them locally either.Click here to view the list »