Japan has one of the biggest gaming industries in the whole world at the moment. A lot of Western social and gaming companies are trying to break in to Japan’s massive market of gamers because of the huge potential revenue from these consumers. However, the challenge that comes with entering this market is not an easy burden to take. Those who have tried and probably failed could attest that the Japanese market could be quite resistant to foreign invasion when it comes to their beloved games whether online or downloaded into their personal computers or mobile phones.
An excellent example of a slow reception of outside products would be Facebook. While the rest of the world is going crazy over this social media platform, the Japanese have developed their own social and gaming media that best provide what they want. The localized context of their games is much more attractive to Japanese gamers as well as the nature of using aliases instead of their real names.
So if a foreign company wants to make it big in the Japanese social gaming scene, there are various factors to consider when creating that strategic plan to promote your game in this country. Topping this list is the current culture of the Japanese when it comes to accessing their favorite games. The most effective approach to reach this market is by going mobile. It is a common scene in the streets of Japan to see a person using and playing in their mobile phones. A lot of them include games in their mobile phone payment plan because it is a common form of entertainment. And while Americans focus on social networking with featured games, the Japanese have games in the forefront of social media with chatting and messaging on the sidelines. Giving your games a local feel to adapt to their culture while being accessed on mobile phones is your biggest asset to lure those Japanese consumers.
The multi-billion dollar gaming industry in Japan has also hit its peak when social games featured monetization techniques wherein the gamer could purchase virtual goods embedded in the game. This definitely made a huge impact for Japanese gamers who enjoyed such a practice. However, a recent controversy has sprung up over the legality of such a money-making technique. Anyone wanting to enter the local market has to understand the nature and effects of using this gacha approach in their games before deciding to include it in their game.
Perhaps a universal strategy not only applied to Japan but to the rest of the world is by having free games that could be downloaded either from their computers or mobile phones. Affordability is of course anyone’s concern whether you’re from the East or West. You could start by offering free trials for social game applications and then sell it for an economical fee to your customers. By getting advertisements placed in your games, you could rack up some profits in the mean time. You could also offer a premium content fee which is most often used in Japan.
Choosing what type of social game you have to develop for the Japanese market is also a crucial point when wanting to enter their gaming industry. There is a need to study and understand the kind of games that Japanese enjoy and patronize. Most of these games could involve but are not limited to puzzles, cards or role-playing. You have to know which would tickle their fancy to make them want to play it over and over again. If you still feel lost in making that strategic move, you can do what others have tried, which is tying up with or paying for services of a Japanese developer who knows how to make that game relevant to the local market. Another option is by merging with existing successful game makers in Japan to promote your game. By doing this, your game could be enhanced and advertised instantaneously when connected to a big name in the Japanese gaming scene.
No matter what your tactic is, the gaming industry in Japan is a huge undertaking to execute. It is not a simple market to penetrate but once you know which routes to take based on research and marketing strategies, you can reap the benefits of this top-grossing industry that has taken over the gaming world.
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About the Guest Author:
Rodolfo Lentejas, Jr. is a fulltime freelance writer based in Toronto. He is the founder of the PostSckrippt, a growing online writing business dedicated to producing top quality, original and fresh content. To know more about him, please visit www.postsckrippt.ca. Like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.