When it comes to gadgets and games, you just can’t beat Asians, especially the Japanese, as they have been frontrunners in the usage of Smartphones. Whether it’s an Android, iPhone or a Windows phone, Japanese always welcome them with open arms. With the increasing popularity of smartphones, applications from the mobile gaming industry is also booming in the land of the rising Sun. Where gaming market used to be a battle ground of PSP’s and Nintendo’s is now dominated by smartphone-based gaming apps.
If you want stats to go with it, then take a closer look at this. When Japanese mobile gaming network GREE launched the Sci-Fi game on September first, the response to it was overwhelming. Within eight days the game had reached a user base of more than 1 million and over 1200 new players signing up every hour – this is simply amazing! In fact not even popular social networking flicks do not have such a fanfare in Japan. And if you thought that GREE was the face of the Japanese mobile gaming industry, then take a look at the height scaled by its rival Mobage. When Mobage launched the highly acclaimed Robo-War game Gundam Royal, the number of users reached to an unprecedented 6 digit number within a short span of 6 days.
The success of these two games as well as the hosting gaming network of the games is a testimonial to the growing affinity of mobile gaming in a place where even 5 year olds have Smartphones. The technology mindset of the average Japanese person is a huge factor in the increasing dominance of Smartphones. Additionally, increasing affordability of phones in comparison to the past decade, more and more people would want to get their hands on the latest phones. The Japanese economy may have lost its supremacy over the last decade, but the people definitely have not lost their quest for innovative technology products.
The domestic success has motivated Japanese mobile gaming giants to consider options to expand their footprint into international gaming markets. This trend fuelled a massive acquisition drive by major gaming giants. The recent acquisition of the US based Open Feint mobile gaming network by Japanese giant GREE is an example of its intention to expand into the international market. Another example is the venture of Mobage into China, US and other markets. Additionally, there is an inward trend also, with major global players in the gaming industry making their way into the lucrative smartphone gaming sector of Japan. With the smartphone user base of over 15 million, the region simply opens up a host of possibilities for the gaming industry. The mobile gaming sector of Japan is reportedly headed for a total of nearly 255 Billion Yen by 2015 and if the current growth rate continues, it won’t take that long to reach the prospective mark.
With the rise in the popularity of Smartphones and tablets, the home consoles and home console software market in Japan has declined. According to a Jiji Press report, gaming console sales dropped eight percent in 2011 as compared to 2010, for a total of $454.3 billion. As far as the games are concerned, strong sales have been reported for games with local content despite the fact that many international games continue to dominate the number of downloads. Android is without doubt the most happening of gaming platforms with the iOS right on its tail. Microsoft and other proprietary smartphone operating systems have to do some heavy homework to catch up but with the new Windows 8 platform launched for smartphones, and Apple winning a crucial lawsuit against Samsung which indeed does have some blows for the Android OS, things are going to get interesting in the months to come.
Irrespective of the platform, the Japanese have always embraced technology in whatever form it is presented to them. The mobile gaming industry is undergoing a revolution and it is slated to continue its good run for quite some time.
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About the Guest Author:
Mandira Srivastava is a fulltime freelance writer who specializes in technology, health and fitness, politics, and financial writing. Equipped with degree of mass communication and having worked for both private and corporate clients, I have experience meeting a wide range of writing requirements and styles.