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Japanese Game Sales and Demographics


Japanese Game Sales and Demographics A study of the influence of culture on the video game market Compare And Contrast Why are we different? Top-selling Games Culture ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Japanese Game Sales and Demographics

Japanese Game Sales and Demographics
A study of the influence of culture on the video
game market
Prior to 2005 Games
  • Many of the top selling games are based on
    popular television series and established video
    game franchises, despite some being rated poorly
  • 1996 DBZ (ultimate battle 22) sells in the top
    100 with a Metacritic rating of 25/100
  • 1997 DBZ Final Bout sells in the top 100 Despite
    Metacritc rating of 30/100
  • 2001 Gundam Zeonic Front sells in the top 100
    with an IGN rating of 6.5/10
  • 2002 Unlimited Saga sells in the top 50 with a
    Metacritic rating of 45/100

Prior to 2005 Games contd
  • Nintendo is Japans Top Selling Publisher
  • Since 1989 Nintendo has sold more titles every
    year then any other publisher in Japan
  • Pokemon hits critical mass
  • 1996 Pocket Monsters is introduced, selling over
    2.5 million copies in Japan alone. The series as
    a whole has sold over 30 million copies in Japan
    alone since its inception
  • Through 1996 SNES games dominate sales
  • Through 1996 SNES leads the way in software sales
    followed in a distant second by the Gameboy.
  • Shift in Focus?
  • In 1997 Gameboy software sales more then double
    from 4.3 million units to 10 million units

Prior to 2005 Games Contd
  • By 2005 Combined sales of GBA and DS Games tops
    PS2 game sales
  • 2005 is the first year where portable systems
    sell more games then home console games in Japan.
    Led by more traditional girl games such as
    Nintendogs, Tamagotchi, and Brain Age.
    Coincidentally a massive expansion of the
    Japanese rail system occurs in March of 2004 with
    the opening of the Kagoshima to Yatsushiro line
    which cut the travel time between the cities from
    130 to just 35 minutes.
  • Top selling categories
  • Prior to 2005 the top selling video game
    categories included RPGs, Fighting Games, and
    Racing Games

Top Chart Software Sales in 1996 Bottom Chart
Software Sales in 2005
2005 - Present
2005 Present Games
  • Nintendo Revolutionizes the Market
  • With the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2006
    Nintendo looked to capitalize on game play
    innovations instead of graphical enhancements.
    Having sold over 24 million titles thus far
  • No Xbox or Xbox 360 titles crack the top 100 in
  • Being outsold by PS2 consoles at a 2 to 1 ratio
    and just barely topping sales of Dreamcast,
    Microsoft has yet to publish a game that cracks
    the top 100 sales list in Japan. A feat which
    would be difficult considering only 760,000 Xbox
    360 consoles have been sold in Japan.

2005 Present Games Contd
  • Portable Games Becoming Dominant
  • With the release of the Playstation Portable and
    Nintendo DS, coupled with the busy lifestyles of
    Japanese gamers, the portable systems have begun
    to outsell the major consoles.
  • As of August 2008 the Nintendo DS has sold over
    108 million games, while Sonys PSP has sold over
    20 million titles. Compare this to the combined
    total of all next gen systems tallying up to
    roughly 35 million units.
  • Top selling categories
  • The top selling game categories include, Role
    Playing Games, Brain Training games, Fighting
    games and the new Active Games Genre (including
    wii play, wii fit, wii music)?

(No Transcript)
Demographic Information
There is very little information about Japanese
gamer demographics. The little that is known is
based on game sales and supported with cultural
What Can Be Determined?
  • Females, both young and old play video games.
  • According to a recent study involving women over
    the age of 50 showed that 41 of those asked had
    a game machine in their house. Of that 41, 68
    used it occasionally or more frequently.
  • Games like Brain Age, Big Brain Academy, Animal
    Crossing, and Wii Fit are very popular among
    Japanese Women and Girls. It then may surprise
    you that they are also some of the top selling
    games in Japan.

What Can Be Determined? Contd
  • The typical Japanese gamer enjoys story over
  • With Role Playing Games consistently selling at
    the top of the Japanese charts, and Games like
    Halo and Gears of War not cracking 1 million
    sales overall, its pretty clear that Japanese
    gamers prefer a good story.
  • Brand Loyalty is very strong
  • Japanese gamers purchase games based on their
    favorite television series, regardless of the
    apparent quality of the title. Thats certainly
    a strong sense of loyalty.
  • This can also be seen with the lack of Xbox
    sales, brand loyalty to Sony and Nintendo is very

What Can Be Determined? Contd
  • Japanese Gamers Purchase Portable Games
  • Its been shown time and time again, Japanese
    consumers have purchased portable games at a
    ratio of over 3 to 1 since 2005.

United States Game Sales and Demographics
2006 Game Sales
  • Sports and Shooter games high on best-selling
  • Madden NFL 07 sells 3.1 mill units on PS2 and 1.3
    mill on Xbox360
  • Gears of War sells 2.0 mill units on Xbox360
  • Also a mixture of other genres within top ten
  • Role-playing, puzzle, musical, simulation,

2006 Game Sales Top Ten
Numbers from VGChartz.com
2007 Game Sales
  • Wii games becomes more popular and frequent on
    best-selling charts
  • Wii Sports sells 7.3 mill units
  • Wii Play sells 4.3 mill units
  • Super Mario Galaxy sells 2.5 mill units
  • Other noteworthy titles
  • Halo 3 sold over 170 million on its first day of
  • Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare has sold over 7
    million copies worldwide

2007 Game Sales Top Ten
Numbers from VGChartz.com
2007 ESA Report Best-Selling Genres
Top 4 Action, Family Entertainment, Sport Games,
2008 Game Sales
  • Wii begins to dominate top-selling charts
  • Wii Sports sells 6.4 mill units
  • Super Smash Bros Brawl sells 4.1 mill units
  • Mario Kart Wii sells 3.4 mill units
  • Wii Play sells 3.2 mill units
  • Wii Fit sells 2.7 mill units
  • Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock sells 1.3 mill

2008 Game Sales
  • Popular Action and Shooter games ranked high
  • Grand Theft Auto IV sells 3.9 mill units and
    takes in over 500 million in its first week
  • Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare sells 1.8 mill
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots sells
    1.3 mill units

2008 Game Sales Top Ten
Numbers from VGChartz.com
Demographics - Overall
  • Consumer Level
  • 65 of American households invested in computer
    or video games
  • 38 of homes own a video game console
  • Player Profiles
  • Average age of players is 35
  • Adult gamers have been playing games for an
    average of 13 years
  • 26 of gamers are age 50 or older

Games Arent Only for Kids!
Demographics - Gender
  • 40 of players are female
  • 60 of players are male
  • Percentage of women has increased from 33 to 38
    over last 5 years
  • Frequent adult male players average 15 years of
    gaming, and females average 12
  • 33 of the playing population is female gamers
    age 18 or over
  • 18 of the playing population is male gamers age
    17 or under

Compare And Contrast
  • Why are we different?

Top-selling Games
  • Culture influences game sales more than anything

  • The U.S. Was founded on freedom and independence
  • Grand Theft Auto, Mercenaries, Saints Row
  • Player is not forced to experience the game
    through the designers eyes
  • players can develop their own emergent play

Culture - Freedom
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 Camera system
  • Original had fixed camera
  • Critics complained, Subsistence was released with
    free camera.

Culture - freedom
  • For most but not all..
  • Japanese Gamers prefer experiencing the designers
  • American gamers prefer creating their own

  • Character Archetypes
  • Marcus Phoenix vs. Cloud

Similar Top-Selling Games
  • What do we agree on?
  • Everyone Loves Nintendo in some way
  • They Suite Hard-Core and Casual Gamers alike
  • Final Fantasy I XII
  • Metal Gear Solid

Niche Gamers
  • Fact Not all Japanese think Microsoft is the
    devil and exists solely for the purpose of
    delivering bad games.
  • There are Japanese gamers who love certain
    American games just as we love Japanese games
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