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Japanese market share of western game market falls to 20%

Japanese market share of the Western game market has been reduced to 20 percent according to an analysis of the Japanese gaming industry by the CESA. The decline is significant as Japanese game development used to maintain a dominant position in the industry especially for home and portable console game development.

The speed of the decline is also noteworthy as the decline has become impossible to ignore during this generation of home consoles which are roughly 2 to 3 years old.

In October of last year, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada declared that Japan had "lost its position" as the leader in the video game industry. These claims are being backed by evidence which shows the market share for Western-developed titles in their own territories doubled between 2004 and 2007 while Japanese game market share has declined.

Although market share has declined, data summarized by Kotaku revealed the news is not all negative as revenue generated from Japanese game exports overall have increased by 43 percent year on year in 2006 and by 54.3 percent in 2007. The success is attributed primarily to the success of the Nintendo DS and Wii hardware.

According to a senior analyst at Nomura Finance, there are several causes for the decline in Japanese game development. He suggests RPG games which Japanese developers tend to focus are not as popular in the west. He also suggests the right to develop games in potentially lucrative areas such as sports or popular movie franchises is tightly controlled. 

Nomura also states since the successful launch of the Microsoft Xbox the quantity and size of the competition in the field of game development has increased significantly making it more difficult for Japanese game developers to maintain significant market share.



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Number of games
By dagamer34 on 1/26/2009 11:28:40 AM , Rating: 1
It's not that Japanese games aren't selling as well, but Japanese developers aren't making as many games as they have before in previous generations. I mean, by this point, there were already TWO Final Fantasy games out in the states, a billion Capcom games, and even more Konami games. They're spending a shitload of time on graphics this generation than they have in the past.




RE: Number of games
By Crysalis99 on 1/26/2009 4:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
That's because alot of gamers today (I point at all of us westerners) are nothing but graphics whores. The Japanese too, even. Because if you will recall, what was the one thing that set Dragon Quest apart from Final Fantasy since the very first ones? Graphics.

While Dragon Quest is thier most beloved series, Final Fantasy approaches a very close tie with it. The battle animations in FF1 were far superior to anything DQ1 had to offer. And the trend continues to this day...

And you can bet your sweet ass that Japan is producing just as many games as before, its just 90% of them don't ever see this side of the planet. Ever. Alot of thier gaming culture is filled with Hentai related stuff, video gambling, dating sims, text based games etc etc etc.

Gaming has always been about the best graphics though, its just a matter of having the budget to do it...


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