Thinks buying more servers can fix a bad patch
Good analyze I must say.
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:
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.
- 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