Yano Research Reports on Japan's 2009-10 Otaku Market
posted on by Egan Loo
The Yano Research Institute posted its 2010 report on the Japanese "otaku marketplace" on October 8.
The institute reported that seven categories in the marketplace expanded in 2009, with dating simulation games growing the most at 83.0% to 8.6 billion yen (about US$106 million). Other categories with significant estimated growth include electronic comics (29.8% to 42.2 billion yen/US$520 million) and online games (17.2% to 213.1 billion yen/US$2.62 billion). The remaining expanding categories were cosplay outfits (5.5%), dōjinshi (4.7%), figures (2.9%), and idols (1.9%).
While the customer base for dating simulation games has been already growing for the past 2-3 years thanks to female-targeted mobile phone games, 2009 saw rapid expansion fueled by Konami's male-targeted Loveplus game. The print comic marketplace shrank, but the electronic comics continued to grow due to lower prices (compared to print), greater penetration of broadband services, and more features on e-book devices. The rise of social games hosted on social networking sites led to more developers, content, and users entering the online game segment.
|Electronic Comics||42.2 billion yen||US$520 million||50.0 billion yen||US$616 million|
|Dōjinshi||64.0 billion yen||US$788 million||66.2 billion yen||US$815 million|
|Plastic Models||25.5 billion yen||US$314 million||26.2 billion yen||US$323 million|
|Figures||28.3 billion yen||US$349 million||29.3 billion yen||US$361 million|
|Dolls||13.5 billion yen||US$166 million||13.6 billion yen||US$168 million|
|Railroad Models (Including Dioramas and Related Products)||16.0 billion yen||US$197 million||16.0 billion yen||US$197 million|
|Idols||54.2 billion yen||US$668 million||55.3 billion yen||US$681 million|
|Cosplay Outfits||40.6 billion yen||US$500 million||42.8 billion yen||US$527 million|
|Maid-, Cosplay-Related Services||8.4 billion yen||US$103 million||8.3 billion yen||US$102 million|
|Online Games||213.1 billion yen||US$2.625 billion||244.8 billion yen||US$3.015 billion|
|Adult Games||29.8 billion yen||US$367 million||27.5 billion yen||US$339 million|
|Adult Videos (Including Adult Video Tapes, DVDs, Downloaded Content)||59.0 billion yen||US$727 million||57.9 billion yen||US$713 million|
|Dating Simulation Games||8.6 billion yen||US$106 million||10.2 billion yen||US$126 million|
|Boys-Love||21.3 billion yen||US$262 million||21.3 billion yen||US$262 million|
Yano Research conducted its study through in-person and telephone interviews as well as through fax and online surveys from July to September. The figures for each category were calculated from the yen value of releases shipped domestically, except for maid- and cosplay-related services and idols. The category of maid- and cosplay-related services is based on domestic revenues, and the idol category is based on how much consumers spent. There is a partial overlap in the categories of dating simulation games and online games. Similarly, some items in the boys-love category were also counted towards the electonic comic, dōjinshi, adult game, and adult video categories.
Tadashi Sudo, the maintainer of the animeanime.jp and animeanime.biz industry news websites, expressed his skepticism for the report due to how it calculates its findings, and indicated that it is best used for background reference only. The Japan External Trade Organization uses data from Yano Research and other organizations for its reports on the state of the anime industry. A different research firm, Media Create, posted a 2008 Otaku Industry White Paper.