Mobile Gaming Habits of Japanese Gamers


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Mobile Gaming Habits of Japanese Gamers

Asia is home to over 1.29 billion mobile gamers – almost half of the global market share. Within the region, Japan has one of the most engaged mobile gaming user bases and has been listed as one of the five countries with the highest mobile gaming revenue, generating 11% of the market share. But what is it about mobile gaming that draws in a significant Japanese audience?

According to a study done by GMO Research, Japanese mobile gamers have different considerations that motivate them to try out new games. At the top, with 38% of respondents choosing this option, is the ability to game alone instead of through forced socialising. This is reflected in the types of games that are popular with the Japanese market, including puzzle games, business simulation games, and card games.

Compared to other groups of respondents, the results from the student group indicate that they pay more attention to a game’s popularity, art style, and whether it allows them to play with their friends. This suggests that when selecting new games to try out on a mobile platform, the student group has a more multidimensional approach to their selection process.

Out of all the respondents surveyed by GMO Research, 34% indicated that they usually learn about new games via television commercials, and another 34% attributed their game choices to app store recommendations and rankings. For mobile gaming businesses to reach out to gamers outside the gaming world, the preferred channel would be via videos, such as online films, television programmes, and movies.

It is worth noting that 53% of the respondents surveyed stated that they rarely discuss their games on online media. The remaining game users choose social media platforms and communication applications such as Twitter and LINE to discuss mobile game-related information.

Japanese mobile gamers take their online gaming seriously, with 61% of those surveyed acknowledging that they have paid for mobile games and in-app purchases, especially loot boxes designed to aid in advancing their gameplay. Of this 61%, 43% have spent between JP¥0 and JP¥5,000 within six months of gameplay, of which male mobile gaming users make up the more significant percentage.

Download the full report here: Japanese Mobile Game Users 2021
The report of the Basic Tracking Study on Japanese Mobile Game Users covers the following
insights and more:
  • the gender ratio of game users and their game habits
  • the differences of game categories among mobile games users
  • the variety of game discussion channels used
  • the paying behaviours and in-game socialization
  • future preference trends


Compared to the other demographics surveyed, the working group accounts for the highest number of those paying for their gameplay, mainly because they have stronger economic capabilities. The purchases made by this group are geared more towards the growth and time-saving services of their games, in comparison to the lower-income group, who make up a higher percentage of monthly/season card holders, which are more cost-effective paid content. Of the highest-paying user rates, multiplayer online battle arena, strategy, and tactical roleplaying games make up the top three categories, accounting for 94%, 90%, and 85% respectively.

As the mobile gaming industry in Japan continues to evolve, gamers have indicated their preferences for future game choices. Male gamers favour highly innovative gameplay and strategic dimensions, while female gamers are more interested in familiar themes, unique art styles, and charming characters.

For more information on this consumer insight research, please get in touch with the team at GMO Research.

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