Genshin Impact ranks only 43, which game in the Japanese market is riding on whose popularity
Genshin Impact ranks 43 in the Japanese market, riding on whose popularity?
Article | Jinx
Recently, Japan conducted a survey of 10,000 Japanese people aged between 15 and 69. The survey was conducted through completely free-form questioning, asking: What entertainment content are you currently “liking,” “obsessed with,” or “pushing”?
According to the survey results, the top five entertainment content favored by the Japanese people are: “Demon Slayer,” YouTube, “One Piece,” “Detective Conan,” and Snow Man; “Umamusume: Pretty Derby” ranked 25th. Only one domestic game IP, “Genshin Impact,” made the list, ranking 43rd.
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A fiercely contested Japanese game market
Japan’s gaming industry can be traced back to the 1970s, and it has deep expertise in console gaming. Two of the three major console manufacturers, Sony and Nintendo, are Japanese gaming companies. However, with the rise of mobile gaming, Japanese domestic game developers have performed poorly. In contrast, Japanese gamers have pushed global mobile gaming revenue up by 18% with a population of only 125 million. For Chinese game developers looking to expand abroad, the Japanese market is a must-see destination due to factors such as their own mature mobile game products, the influence of East Asian traditional culture shared by Japan and China, and easier localization of games. According to the “2023 Japanese Mobile Gaming Market Insight Report” released by App Annie, 35% of Japan’s best-selling mobile games in 2022 came from China, with miHoYo’s “Genshin Impact” leading in revenue; that year, many Chinese mobile games such as “Fantasia Sango,” “Fantasy Tower,” “Shin Sangoku Musou Mobile,” and “Tian Yu” successively landed in the Japanese market and achieved good revenue performance. In terms of revenue from domestic publishers in Japan , in 2022, Seven Seas Interactive ranked first with revenue of $351.03 million from its survival-themed match-three construction mobile game “Puzzles & Survival.” miHoYo ranked second with revenue of $323.73 million from “Genshin Impact.” NetEase, Joy Elements, and Lingxi Interactive ranked third to fifth on the list, respectively. As is well known, ACG culture is popular in Japan. Therefore, games based on manga and anime adaptations have become a common theme. Therefore, anime and manga IPs with high market recognition have become the focus of attention for game developers.
Difficulty in creating original IPs, “riding the wave” is essential
In the gaming industry, there are many well-known original IPs. From Blizzard’s “World of Warcraft” to Nintendo’s “Pokemon,” to miHoYo’s “Genshin Impact,” to Tencent’s “Honor of Kings,” and so on. These original IPs from the gaming industry have created considerable value. According to incomplete statistics, the value of just “Pikachu” exceeds $105 billion. However, as the global gaming market matures, it has become increasingly difficult to create a high-value original IP. Therefore, a wave of anime/game adaptations has swept the gaming industry. The “One Piece” IP, ranked third on this list, is the main choice for many manufacturers in anime/game adaptations. According to relevant data, as of September 29, 2022, the number of “One Piece” fans has exceeded 30 million. The huge fan base of the manga makes this type of IP adaptation itself have a certain player base and inherent traffic, which plays a promoting role in the early promotion of the game. Specifically in the Japanese market, the “One Piece” game with the highest ranking on the free chart in Japan is “ONE PIECE Bounty Rush,” developed by Bandai Namco Dream, ranked 16th. In addition to being a game theme, linking with popular IPs is also a common marketing method for games. In the Japanese market, compared with game culture, the anime culture is more prosperous, and many game manufacturers have aimed at this track. In addition, the success of miHoYo’s “Honkai Impact” series and “Genshin Impact” has made this track even more popular. Since the statistical time of this list is April 15-16, 2023, coinciding with the online release of the “Swordsmith Village Arc” of “Demon Slayer” season 3 (April 9), its popularity value is higher. Games that go overseas to Japan can also pay attention to the online release time of popular anime, manga, etc., and carry out joint marketing with them. Therefore, whether it is the choice of anime/game adaptation themes or joint marketing, the popularity of IPs is a key point that game manufacturers need to focus on.
According to Sensor Tower data, the revenue of the Japanese mobile gaming market showed a continuous growth trend from 2020 to 2021. With the reduction of the impact of the epidemic, the revenue of the Japanese mobile gaming market fell to 14.7 billion US dollars in 2022, close to the level of 2019. Despite the decline in revenue, the Japanese market is still an important market in the global gaming industry. In the Japanese market, where ACG culture is particularly popular, game developers need to pay attention to the popularity of anime and manga. Of course, for Japan, which never lacks hot anime and manga, “the king of traffic” is constantly changing, and the key is to always grasp the latest market trends.
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