Video games in Japan continued to drop off in value in 2015, as both console and software sales contracted. Games collectively brought in ¥321bn over the last 12 months, according to data from Famitsu magazine. This represents a 13 per cent drop since 2014, when the market was worth ¥369bn.
Consoles suffered a smaller decline than software – an 8.5 per cent contraction for the PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Vita and 3DS against 16 per cent fewer games being sold.
Potential reasons for the slowdown in the market are many, but nonetheless don’t bode hugely well for manufacturers and publishers. The market declined in 2014 as well, a possible drop-off from the release of new consoles in 2013, but last year aside from the New Nintendo 3DS held little in the way of hardware developments.
There are signs of life from the Japanese industry. Nintendo are set to release a new console, the NX, in the coming years, while Square Enix prepare to cash in on new instalments to long-running franchises including Final Fantasy XV (for PS4 and Xbox One) and Kingdom Hearts III (a PlayStation 4 Exclusive).
Japanese gaming in 2015 finally dropped below half its value at its peak – in 2007, when it raked in a staggering ¥688bn. The new generation – PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii – were riding high, while the worldwide recession from which the country has struggled to recover had yet to hit.
The top games sold in Japan in 2015 were:
1. Monster Hunter X (Capcom) 3DS – 2,441,977
2. Yo-Kai Watch Busters: Akaneko-dan / Shiroinu-tai (Level 5) 3DS – 1,965,202
3. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (Nintendo) 3DS – 1,282,880
4. Splatoon (Nintendo) Wii U – 1,064,897
5. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (Square Enix) 3DS – 864,865
6. Super Mario Maker (Nintendo) Wii U – 674,194
7. Monster Strike (Mixi) 3DS – 636,709
8. Yokai Watch 2: Shinuchi (Level 5) – 3DS – 625,223
9. Rhythm Heaven: The Best+ (Nintendo) 3DS – 607,343
10. Fire Emblem Fates: White Kingdom/Black Kingdom (Birthright / Conquest) (Nintendo) 3DS – 538,669
Hardware sales were as follows:
1. Nintendo 3DS (including 3DS, 3DS LL, New 3DS, New 3DS LL) 2,189,900
2. PS4 1,205,163
3. PS Vita (including Vita TV) 959,342
4. Wii U 82,304
5. PS3 18,8207
6. Xbox One 18,093
Over 100 3DS systems for every Xbox One? Impressive work. What do you make of the news?