Japan’s game makers and markets

(Report, pdf-file)

Approx. 279 pages, 50 Figures, 83 Photos, 32 tables, pdf-format, 5.1 Mbyte (specifics subject to change as updated versions are made)

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Japanese companies have created many of the global game genres, platforms and characters, and represent a US$ 50 billion industry sector - far higher still if Pachinko and Pachislot are included.
With consumer focus shifting from dedicated game platforms such as Nintendo’s Wii or DS, Sony’s Playstation or Microsoft’s Xbox to applications or online games on smartphones, Japan’s traditional game companies are facing unprecedented disruption, as shown in the figure above: three representative new game companies combined exceed all traditional game companies in operating income.
Most established game companies, including Nintendo and SONY, see an erosion of business, while at the same time new a large number of new game industry startups are rapidly growing and filling the space vacated by traditional game companies.
This report presents a detailed overview of Japan’s traditional game sector, as well as an overview of some of the new emerging players in Japan’s game sector.

Table of Contents:

  • Executive Summary: Japan's game industry
    Trends for 2013/2014
    Status of smartphone market penetration in Japan
  • Japan's game industry in the world (graphics relating Japan's game market size to global market size
    Japan's game industry: structure and overview
    Game platform segmentation
    Game industry in the context of the media industry (figure shows quantitative market segment sizes in comparison)
    Game industry landscape (figure shows major sectors, segmentation and market structure)
    Game industry overview (figure shows size comparison of major four sectors)
    Market trends (figure shows market size development and trends for video games, hardware, software, online games, mobile phone based
    game market, market sizes for 1996-2009, and extrapolation of trends to 2009, linear scale)
    Video game software market compared to online and mobile phone markets (Figure shows size of video game software, online games and mobile phone based games from 1996-2007 and with projection to 2009)
  • Hardware:
    market segmentation
  • Arcade game sector
    Description, overview, major trends
    Konami's Benami series
    Dance Dance Revolution
    Crane games, UFO-Catcher
    Game machine locations and sales figures per machine
  • Game console platforms
    Overview and size of market (graphics: 1996-2009)
    Console rule of thumb for Japan
    the current 7th generation platforms (table)
    Full high definition gaming vs Wii's EDTV
    sales figures Wii vs Playstation PS3 and Xbox 360 in Japan (since launch until Sept 28, 2008
    Mii's and avatars - lead by Nintendo
  • Wii - Nintendo's internal code name: "Revolution"
    Wii, new markets - the paradigm shifts
    Console rule of thumb for Japan
    "too many powerful consoles can't coexist", "a low cost console makes mums happy" (Wii's creators about their strategy)
    the controller as paradigm shift
    The Wii control system
    Wii remote and Nunchuk in action
    Top selling Wii games (including sales estimates)
    Wii Fit
    Wii Music
  • PS3
    PS3 - no compromises - going for the max
    PS3 and bluray
  • Xbox and Xbox-360 in Japan
    PS3 - no compromises - going for the max
    PS3 and bluray
  • Paradigm shifts in business models: prices vs manufacturing costs
    Paradigm shifts in business models: Nintendo wins, SONY loses
    Estimated manufacturing costs vs prices
  • Handheld game platforms
    Current 7th generation handheld game consoles
    Detailed comparison between DS and PSP (table)
    DS and PSP sales figures since start until Sept 28, 2008 in Japan
    DS pioneered Nintendo's paradigm shifts
  • Japan's remaining two console platform companies: Nintendo and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE)
    Financials: Annual revenues and operating income for Nintendo vs SONY and SCE (graphics: Revenues and operating income for Nintendo and
    Sony Computer Entertainment: FY1998 - FY2009))
    Nintendo vs SONY sales and income (Graphics: revenues and net income comparing SONY and Nintendo, 1998 - 2009)
  • Nintendo
    Company history
    Nintendo's top 20 software titles
    Graphics: Nintendo - annual revenues, operating income and net income 1998 - 2009
  • SONY Computer Entertainment SCE
    Company history
    Graphics: SEC - annual revenues, operating income 1998 - 2009
  • Japan Game software markets
    Market size
    Remark on interpreting game market statistics
    Which games do Japanese people like?
    Games by genre, most popular games in Japan
    Top 13 most popular game genres
    Figure comparing popularity of game genres in Japan
    Software game market trends
  • Japan's Game software companies
    Market size
    Japan's major game and games sofware companies (table)
    Financials: game companies annual revenue (graphics showing top software companies' revenue 1998 - 2009)
    Financials: game companies operating income (graphics showing top software companies' operating income 1998 - 2009)
    Financials: game companies net income (graphics showing top software companies' net income 1998 - 2009)
    Comparing operating margins for top Japanese game companies (operating income / revenues) 2003 - 2009
    Consolidation of Japan's game software sector (graphics and tables)
  • Analysis of Japan's top Game software companies (includes company history, main titles, business description,
    graphics showing revenues, operating income and net income, and analysis in most cases)
    Sega Sammy Holdings
    Bandai Namco Holdings
    Takara Tomy
    Square Enix and Taito
    New game companies: GREE, DeNA, GungHo
    Electronic Arts in Japan
  • Games on mobile phones
    Mobile game market size projections (figures with projections out to 2010)
    Games sell mobile phones (store impressions)
  • Games on DoCoMos i-Mode
    Games on the i-mode menu
    The game i-mode menu section, listing of subsections (by game genre, type of game or type of site), number of official sites in different sections
    Role playing games section
    Role paying games section in detail
    Final Fantasy on i-mode: introduction of i-mode official site with sketch of business model
    Real world promotion: linking i-mode with the real world
    DoCoMo co-promotes
  • Games on KDDI/AU
    AU EZGameStreet
    KDDI-AU perspective: EZGameStreet as a game platform and portal
    Dragon Quest on EZGameStreet
  • Games on Softbank
    Yahoo!-keitai services
    S! services
    Bluetooth based chika-game
  • Video game generations and history
    Video game generations (table describing 1st to 7th generations, including the video game crash, and console wars)
    3rd generations game consoles
    4th generations game consoles
    5th generations game consoles
    6th generations game consoles
    7th generations game consoles
  • Pachinko and Pachislot
    short overview
  • Summary
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