From a global mobile game revenue share perspective, Japan has held the lead for a long time.
Japan’s share of sales is second only to the United States. From 2019 to the first half of 2022, Japan contributes more than 20% of global mobile game revenue each year.
Although there is no clear advantage in terms of download numbers of Japanese mobile games, the Asian country’s mobile game player paying still has a huge potential. In the first half of 2022, Japan leads with an average pay-per-download of over $25, five times that of the US market.
Spending by mobile game players in Japan has increased significantly due to the impact of the epidemic. In the first quarter of 2021, that was up 34.4% year-on-year in 2020, reaching an all-time high with quarterly revenue of $5.1 billion. After that, sales of Japanese mobile games decreased slightly, and revenue for the first half of 2022 was nearly 8.2 billion US dollars, still 15.4% higher than the same period in 2019.
Medium to blockbuster mobile games, including RPG and SLG genres, are still the main source of revenue for mobile games in Japan. In the first half of 2022, revenue from medium to “hardcore” mobile games accounted for nearly 70%. Among them, the mobile RPG game contributed 48% of the total revenue in the first half of 2022, and is still the genre with the strongest ability to attract money in the country of the rising sun.
Casual mobile games such as puzzles have the largest number of players in Japan, with downloads of these mobile games accounting for nearly 70% in the first half of 2022. Among them, hyper-casual mobile games have the largest download rate, followed by puzzle mobile games as represented by Disney Tsum Tsum.
In the first half of 2022, the top 5 best-selling Japanese mobile games are still native games. Among them, CyberAgent’s simulation development mobile game Uma Musume Pretty Derby has grossed over $400 million USD and won the number one spot for the biggest grossing mobile game in Japan. XFLAG’s Monster Strike mobile game came in second, with $380 million in sales.
Several IP mobile games have thrived in the Japanese market in the first half of 2022, including Apex Legends Mobile developed by Tencent and EA. With the strong appeal of end game IP, this game quickly became a popular mobile game in Japan.