Japanese Console Game Market Grows for 3rd Straight Year
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Kadokawa's Famitsu game magazine reported on Monday that the Japanese console game market grew for the third consecutive year in 2019. The overall console market — with combined sales of both consoles and games from December 31, 2018 to December 29, 2019 — is valued at 436.85 billion yen (about US$4.19 billion), a 0.62% growth from the year before. (This market includes traditional home consoles as well as hybrid and portable systems such as the Nintendo Switch and 3DS.) Consoles account for 36% of the console game market with 159.54 billion yen (about US$1.53 billion), and game titles account for the remaining 277.3 billion yen (about US$2.66 billion).
The console game market in Japan was in steady decline from the 500 billion yen (about US$5 billion) range in 2010 to below the 350 billion yen (about US$3.5 billion) range in 2016, due in part to the rise of smartphone games. However, the console game market began to turn around in 2017.
The online gaming market has also grown, with online purchases (micro-transactions, subscriptions, other downloadable content) totaling 110.4 billion yen (about US$1.05 billion), a 25% growth from the year before. Online purchases accounted for almost 40% of the game software market in 2019.
The highest-selling game in Japan in 2019 was Pokémon Sword & Shield with 3,725,694 copies, followed by Super Smash Brothers Ultimate with 1,371,979 copies, and Kingdom Hearts III, with 996,125 copies. From the top 4 to 10, the other games include Super Mario Maker 2 (963,104 copies), Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (829,610 copies), New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (829,538 copies), Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition (811,626 copies), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (782,735 copies), Minecraft (779,655 copies), and Luigi's Mansion 3 (596,429 copies).
Source: Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)