Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poll Shows Japanese Less Interested In Video Games

Doom and gloom! The Rockman franchise hasn't been a hot seller in Japan lately; Shooting Star Rockman 3 met expectations at low numbers, while fan favorites such as ZX Advent totally bombed. Somethings gotta give, right?

Many of us pen a lack of sales on the supposed "diminishing quality" of the games or the belief that the formula is just getting stale, aka, the "Japanese have grown tired of the Blue Bomber" tirade. However, there might be something bigger going on, something that is effecting the Japanese gaming industry as a whole and not just our beloved franchise: lack of interest in games in general.

According to a poll ran by the Japan's Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association, interest in video games between Japanese individuals significantly dropped between 2007 and late 2008. 30.3% of those polled, between the ages of 3 and 79, no longer consider themselves gamers because, well, they aren't interested in video games. According to Kotaku, if we expand that percentage upon the Japanese population, that 30.3% equals a loss of 6 million gamers nationwide. Kind of scary isn't it? Japan use to be where the market thrived, and now it only accounts for 6% of the industry's total sales. Ouch.

For more statistics, read the complete article at Kotaku.


  1. In capcom's case it also does not help Mega/RockMan sales over all if they only really cater to the Jap fan bases needs.
    I think if all regions got the same treatment (no content removal in games , holding american european tournaments and conventions)they would sell more.

    Look at BN6 people complained becaues of the removal of the parts of the graveyard area. I bet if they had left it in BN6 would have sold better and boktai 3 actually would have been released internationally.

    The companies just have to balance.

  2. That kinda makes me want to cry.

  3. Holy cow that is scary! Are the "video games are just a fad" predictions from the 70's coming true?

    I certainly hope not... I'm going into game development. o_o

  4. Well not surprised really cause i kinda saw this one coming. I think it's the games today; they don't make like they used to. Or maybe it's a Western Dominated now than Eastern when ya look at it. And if not, then it's probably all that crazy porn thats been growing. . .

  5. Meh, I could have seen it coming. Most of the Japanese are getting tired of the shovelware, adn I dont blame them. They've gotten tired of it, and want something or new or are just going to move on.

    They like change and innovation, and once somethign gets boring and old they give up or move on.

    Also a final thing, lately the US and other countries have been dominating the Gaming market. Heck alot of foreign game sales are from US importers, who are tired of being left out by the Japanese game developers.

  6. Doesn't the sheer size of North America and Europe also account for why Japan only represents 6% of the market? Japan is quite small. I don't think it is only loss of interest that drives that percentage.

  7. I agree with Dynamo8 and it's true, they really don't make them like they used to. I think I've never seen so many cross-ripoffing in my life. Everywhere you look, it seems like some franchise is ripping off of another, trying to get some of the same fame. RPGs, for example, tend to get very simmilar and people sometimes get tired of seeing the same sort of things in every game. (However, I can understand that that's the case, 'cause there are a lot of RPGs, and there are a whole lot of ideas and gimmicks that have been done, so it really must be hard to avoid, by now.)

  8. This is why Indie Game development is gaining steam. But you know, eventually the indie crowd will fall into the same ruts as the "pro's". Or they'll just all go pro themselves. :P

    But until then... Indies FTW!

  9. Well knowing Japan, it's all about change. Knowing their culture, they love change things around. Heck majority of their culture is technology oriented today. They're a fast pace country and thats what their known for. But video gaming is a slight slippage from them since it's also apart of their technology. . . .

  10. The main problem, in the end, is this...

    While the economy may not be up to snuff (and that certainly affects Japan too), the main thing is, the otaku/fanboys of the 80s/90s? They've grown up. The majority of them don't have time to play games any more, because they've got responsibilities, jobs and bills to tend to.

    And, also, unfortunately, those otaku haven't been doing much to "replenish" the gamer stock. Fewer children are being born in Japan. And with less children, comes that much less of a market for entertanment media to cater to.

    This is perhaps the largest fundamental problem Japanese media, as a whole, faces. It's not just gaming, as various other media have also been taking hits (manga and anime as well).

    This, also, is why you're probably going to see Japanese video game developers/publishers probably do more to follow the example of others (and for the likes of Capcom, only do more so) and do more to cater to the West. The Japanese market is going to be shrinking too much for them to cater to it alone, and if they want to survive, they'll have to adapt.

  11. I hope they export all thier game creating software when they're done with it. (In 2035 or so. XD) I just wish it didn't have to come to this. I wonder what it is that they're moving onto? Having lives? Working? Going to school? Nah, that can't be it....

  12. In reference to what Trelll said, it seems like they're already doing it, based on the random surge of cellphone games. XD

    I just really hope they start giving us some of their previously exclusive games. I'd love to have Rockman EXE 4.5 in english so that I could actually have some more fun with it....(Playing off of a guide can get a bit boring sometimes.)

  13. I think its time for Capcom to take advantage and release Megaman for different Media.
    Megaman [insert series] game related anime anyone?
    yes please.


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