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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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By bkslopper on 1/27/2009 10:45:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'm merely pointing out that most of the innovation in gaming seems to come from the Western developers since 3D games took off. Back in the 2D 8-bit days, the japanese games were much more original and groundbreaking.

This is merely a generalization. You can find a few PS1 era japanese games that were pretty fresh. Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Gran Turismo started out with promise, but have gotten VERY stale since then.

But overall, most the innovation in gaming has seemed to come from the West these days. It may just come down to the fact that alot of PC developers have been migrating their games to the consoles and typically the PC devs are the innovators.


By WTFiSJuiCE on 1/29/2009 5:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
so...what you're saying is you're blaming the Japanese developers for focusing more on rehashing titles by bringing out sequels instead of developing more new and innovative properties? Correct me if I have misunderstood that point but that is hilarious the way I understood it.

The Japanese developers developed games in the 8,16,32-bit+ eras and people loved them so they catered to those figures and made sequels in which people snatched those up in large numbers as well.
The US developers in majority didn't have such a luxury in comparison but when they did, ala Twisted Metal, they milked the hell out of the franchises.

Developers in Japan and in the West innovated when it was necessary and when something took off, they stayed with it and profited from it and they still do it today! You claim these franchises are stale but yet they are still selling, that just goes to show that the definition of stale, when applied to games varies, from person to person.


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