Japanese games industry revenues are down 8% with the two Mario games released at the end of the year taking the top spot, according to Enterbrain.
A recent edition of Japanese magazine Enterbrain revealed that the Japanese game industry lost 8% of its domestic revenue in the last year.
Looking at the sales a number of worrying figures appear. Looking at the the sales figures of all the games sold in the last 12 months, the top two are Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land which were only released in the last two months of the year. Third place is taken by a game that was released in 2010, Monster Hunter Portable.
This was clearly the year of the handheld in Japan: with the release of Nintendo’s 3DS and Sony’s Vita the total hardware sales was over 7.2m (4m of which were the 3DS alone). In comparison the home consoles sold just 2.5m. Though, as there were no new consoles we shouldn’t expect them to compete with the handhelds.
Though, by simply looking at the figures you can see that the domestic games industry in Japan isn’t failing. Nintendo and Sony are still selling millions of games and consoles, and this is despite suffering both a recession and a tsunami. Lifting the games industry out from the context of all Japanese industry emphasises their loss, and on this scale 8% is a large amount of money. But, it would be surprising if there were many Japanese companies that hadn’t suffered similarly in the past year.
We’ll need to wait till next year to see if this is a trend that supports Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima when he said he was “not sure how Japan can compete” in the current industry.
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