Japan's PC gaming market doubles in size in 3 years

ArtHands

Thinks buying more servers can fix a bad patch
https://www.serkantoto.com/2022/11/06/japan-pc-gaming-market/

Good analyze I must say.

KADOKAWA ASCII also says there were 16 million PC game users in Japan in 2021 – among a total gamer base of 55.4 million people (Japan’s population was around 126 million last year).

Here, too, a comparison provides more context: in 2015, the same company identified just 11 million PC gamers in Japan – so the number grew a whopping 45% by 2021 (the total gamer population back then was just 45 million – so it grew by just 22%).

Going back to 2021, KADOKAWA ASCII says of those 16 million PC gamers in Japan, 4.5 million played exclusively on that platform (while the others also played on consoles or smartphones).

That number is up an incredible 100% up from 2.2 million PC-exclusive Japanese gamers in 2015.

The main factors behind the current boom are:

  • Corona effects (enlarging the user base of gamers in Japan overall, with the tide also spilling over to the PC)
  • The continued lack of availability of the PS5 in Japan, leading some hardcore users to turn to PCs to play high-fidelity games
  • A growing acceptance of foreign and indie games, which are more accessible and often cheaper on Steam or the Epic store (PUBG was a particularly big driver for Japan’s PC gaming scene around 2017/2018)
  • Improved local PC gaming platforms, i.e. that of DMM that wisely took PUBG to Japan early on (the game moved from DMM to Japan’s Steam store in 2021)
  • Simply more availability of Japan-made PC games, driven by new insight of Japan’s studios such as Capcom (9697) that this platform can be actually very lucrative (Steam in particular is among the standard launch platforms for many Japanese studios nowadays, something very rare just a few years ago)
  • Rare but existing home-grown PC-first hits like Final Fantasy 14 or Kantai Collection
  • The rise of blockchain gaming in Japan (most such games are still computer-only, and Japan has a healthy community of blockchain enthusiasts)
  • Steam has a drastically improved store front for the Japanese audience and expanded its presence (the first iterations several years ago were terrible and didn’t even offer prices in yen, for example – but the usability is now much better, physical Steam top-up cards are available everywhere in Japan etc.)
  • Smartphone hits like Uma Musume from CyberAgent (4751), Memento Mori from Bank Of Innovation (4393) or Heaven Burns Red from GREE (3632) are increasingly present on the PC as well, in some cases on day one
  • etc.
The list above is not complete, and I am fully aware not every point set the PC gaming market in Japan on fire by itself – but the individual factors combined certainly have been and still are self-reinforcing themselves over time.
 
 

Holammer

Gold Member
Japanese publishers tried to keep PC down. Some refused to sell the games to Japanese users on Steam, or made Japanese language a DLC (due to licensing). There was a lot of friction, but it's getting better and you seldom see Japanese PC users complain on forums or Twitter for the past 3-4 years now.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Japanese publishers tried to keep PC down. Some refused to sell the games to Japanese users on Steam, or made Japanese language a DLC (due to licensing). There was a lot of friction, but it's getting better and you seldom see Japanese PC users complain on forums or Twitter for the past 3-4 years now.
That's sure a dumb way to limit sales potential.

Capcom is a great example of a Japanese company that embraces both console and PC. The thread last week said 50% of sales are PC. Good to have diverse sales so a company isn't handcuffed to certain platforms.

It's a long term thing. Japanese game companies and gamer base have historically been arcade/console/console handheld based. PC is the last thing on the laundry list. But it's shifting.
 

TrueLegend

Member
I just said something similar about pc gaming in another thred. This is a very good development. Japanese games particularly those who remain untouched by the so called WOKE elements and remain focused on fun aspect will find greater audience now. PC helps for exposure and preservation and can also help with sustainability. Games on PC have long legs and help in generation of long term revenue stream rather short burst of success.
 

ACESHIGH

Member
Great to see Japan finally embracing PC gaming. Would be great to see stubborn studios like vanillaware porting their games to the platform.

Valve should absolutely continue bringing the steam Deck to more countries. Disruptive device.
 
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yurinka

Member
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Fbh

Member
Makes sense I guess.
Sony has no interest in making japanese games, they just pay for some time exclusives, many of which launch on Pc too (Forspoken, Ghostwire, etc)
MS has always struggled in japan and even if they start releasing more Japanese games they'll come to PC on day 1 anyway
PC has way more portable options (Steamdeck, Ayaneo, etc)..

Pc seems like the obvious choice for a japanese gamer that wants something besides a Switch
 

Holammer

Gold Member
That's sure a dumb way to limit sales potential.

Capcom is a great example of a Japanese company that embraces both console and PC. The thread last week said 50% of sales are PC. Good to have diverse sales so a company isn't handcuffed to certain platforms.

It's a long term thing. Japanese game companies and gamer base have historically been arcade/console/console handheld based. PC is the last thing on the laundry list. But it's shifting.
It was stupid, but there was a twisted logic to it as they wanted to sell all the physical copies on PS3, and I guess there might have been exclusively clauses involved we don't know about.
Capcom is a good example, another is SEGA. I think they're one step ahead in their PC commitment. Plus they publish lots of PC-centric games.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
The momentum Steam has is unreal. Just keeps getting bigger and bigger. What a juggernaut.
I was a PC gamer (and console) in the 80s to early 2000s. I stopped PC gaming after I played Unreal and HoMM 3 as my last games I poured time into and shifted to PS2, 360 etc...

I only got back into PC gaming a bit doing low end and oldies on Steam and GOG almost two years ago. My laptop isnt meant for good gaming, but I've had a great time playing $5 or under classics for dirt cheap. Lots of games you dont really get on consoles too like obscure boardgames I buy. As cheesy as it sounds, a dice game called Sagrada is good. I got my $5 worth out of it.

I think with the big boom to Steam last bunch of years everywhere due to covid or console gamers pissed they cant get a PS5 or Series X is great as it opens up people's eyes to what on PC. I did it cause I was always home due to covid and I couldn't get a next gen system till I think March 2021. I got into Steam/GOG at Xmas 2020. And I've stuck with it now playing both.

Console only gamers should realize PC gaming isn't just uber rigs at ultra settings. I have a great time playing older games and modest cheap games that I know my laptop can handle and arent on console. For these kinds of games on both console/PC, I prefer PC anyway if it's better with M/KB or cheaper. There's this budget indie game called Mainframe Defenders. I got it for like $5 CDN. On Xbox it's $15. PC for me.
 
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ArtHands

Thinks buying more servers can fix a bad patch
The thread title is wrong.

To grow from 11M in 2015 to 16M in 2021 is to grow a 45% -not to double- and in 6 years -not in 3-.

The title should be "Kadokawa estimates that Japan's PC gaming market grew a 45% in 6 years" or "Kadokawa estimates that the number of Japanese PC only players doubled in size in 6 years"

the article is talking about the money.

KADOKAWA ASCII says that Japan’s PC gaming market in particular was worth 131.3 billion yen (US$896 million) that year.

Now, what’s interesting is that the size of the PC gaming market in 2021 roughly doubled versus 2018 – so there is definitely significant growth here.
 

rofif

Member
I am currently replaying EDF5 on steam and it got only one problem - it's capped to 60fps. C'mon Japan! use this knowledge to fix this !
 
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Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
This thing is FUCKING amazing! I've started Final Fantasy VII with Satsuki Yatoshi HD mod on my Deck and it's sooO OoooOoooo good. PC+Deck combo is life.

First time playing? Enjoy friend. It doesn’t have the best English localization but you don’t forget your first FFVII playthrough. Its considered a classic for a reason.
 

ssringo

Member
Not to dismiss this as it's great news but hasn't Steam users in general gone up dramatically over the past 3ish years? I feel like there was a thread about that not too long ago.
 
First time playing? Enjoy friend. It doesn’t have the best English localization but you don’t forget your first FFVII playthrough. Its considered a classic for a reason.

Thanks! I'm a huge western CRPGs maniac (classic Fallout, Arcanum etc.) but I was never into JRPGs. This is my first deep into this genre. My old ass feels excited.
 

Denton

Member
One day Sony and MS are gonna make PS/Xbox branded open PCs, all players will be able to play all games and the console war will end for good.
 
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