Between 2021 and 2022, the number of gamers in Japan and Taiwan remained consistent. 95.6% of netizens in Taiwan reported being gamers in a survey conducted by GMO Research, while the number of gamers remained at around 80% in Japan. It may be that Taiwan overall has a higher proportion of gamers than Japan, with only 14.4% of surveyed Taiwanese reporting not playing games, compared to 33.1% in Japan.
Surveyed netizens more commonly reported playing games in both places, perhaps illustrating a relationship between greater digital literacy and game playing. In both places, mobile games are the most commonly played games, with 95% of netizens reporting playing mobile games, while around 80% of Japanese netizens surveyed reported playing mobile games.
It is generally thought that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an increase in gaming, with people confined to their homes because of lockdowns or otherwise being unable to go out across the world. This is also the case with Japan and Taiwan. But one also observes shifting trends among what kinds of games are being played. There were declines of about 10% between 2021 and 2022 in playing computer games in both Japan and Taiwan, as well as in playing console games. This may have to do with the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 measures, allowing for the resumption of daily life activity–and so the turn toward mobile gaming, rather than playing console and computer games that are not portable.
Similar genres of games are popular in both Japan and Taiwan in 2022. Most popular were puzzle games, which were popular with 47.5% of those surveyed in Japan, and 49.7% of those surveyed in Taiwan. This was followed by role-playing games, which were popular with 28.8% of Japanese and 23.1% of Taiwanese, then simulation games, at 21% of Japanese and 20.7% of Taiwanese. The popularity of puzzle games increased by around 10% in both markets.
In the five most popular game categories, 60% of Japanese users are willing to pay, which compares to 50% of Taiwanese. But otherwise, perhaps given the structural similarities in lifestyle between both societies, usage habits can be similar. Game playing is highest in both Japan and Taiwan between 6 PM and 12 AM on weekdays–during commute times and after–followed by 6 PM and 12 AM on weekends, and 12 PM and 6 PM on weekends.
Survey data on the similarities and differences in game playing between Japan and Taiwan sheds light on a market in which trends in past years have been deeply tied with COVID-19 and attendant developments afterward. To this extent, many Japanese games are imported to the Taiwanese market, while Taiwanese games also frequently seek to enter the Japanese market. Consequently, it proves important to understand the data when it comes to both, as markets in which one often observes similar trends but there are also differences worth keeping in mind.
GamingGaming Trends 2022Gaming in TaiwanGaming in Japan