Redefining Mobile Gaming: Japanese Mobile Game Users
Mobile gaming has been growing quickly across the Asian region. With many game applications available for download on Android and iOS, online mobile gaming has become a popular choice for gamers in Asia.
Within Asia, the Japanese are no strangers to gaming, and the country is known as a pioneer and leader in the gaming industry. Home to some of the world’s leading gaming brands, such as Sony, Nintendo, and Sega, Japan boasts a gaming industry worth more than US$22 billion and has approximately 70 million gamers.
Japan has been identified as the third largest video gaming market globally, and it is expected to be worth approximately US$24 billion in the next three years. The current revenue of the gaming market stands at an estimated US$18.2 billion as of 2021. In addition, the country holds a prominent share of the mobile gaming industry, accounting for almost one-quarter of the global market.
In a recent study conducted by GMO Research, we asked respondents about their mobile gaming habits. Our study shows that the penetration rate of game users in Japan stands at 52%, with the largest segment being mobile game users at 41%. Of these, there are slightly more male mobile game users than female, especially within the 15–44 age group. However, compared to other gaming platforms, such as gaming consoles and PCs, female mobile game users have a slightly higher percentage and are of younger ages.
In comparison to console users and PC users, mobile game users are concentrated more within the younger age groups, 15–40 years old, with the primary younger demographic being between 15 and 24. This differs from other platforms: console gamers are more concentrated within the middle-age demographic, 29–49 years old, while PC games are more popular with the 50–64 age group.
When asked about the types of mobile games that our respondents play, 52% of Japanese mobile game users indicated puzzle games. This figure is higher than any other genre, such as business simulation, sports, or role-playing games (RPG). Business simulation games and card RPG games accounted for 21% and 17%, respectively, ranking in second and third place.
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
It is worth noting that of the first two categories, puzzle games and business simulation games, there are more female game users than male, at 18% and 11%, respectively. However, when it comes to sports, shooter games, tactical RPG games, action RPG games, and the like, male game users outrank female users. For example, male sports gamers outnumber female sports gamers by 19%. These figures indicate a difference in the gaming preferences and objectives of male and female mobile game users.
Female users tend to play games that revolve around relaxation, growth, puzzle-solving, and dressing up, while male users opt for games that require strategy, growth, and competition. Of the respondents that chose relaxation as a reason for game enjoyment, 47% were female and 26% were male. In comparison, when it comes to strategy, male gamers accounted for 21%, while female gamers accounted for 9%. Japanese mobile gamers also tend to lean towards games that offer casual, “otherworldly magic” themes.
Japan’s mobile gaming industry is poised for further growth and expansion, and even more so with the introduction of 5G, which will allow for more seamless online gaming. Furthermore, with the constant developments and innovations that many of these mobile gaming applications offer, it is to be expected that more Japanese gamers will indulge their gaming habits on this platform.
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