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Report: Japanese Market Share Of Overseas Game Biz Down By 20%

Report: Japanese Market Share Of Overseas Game Biz Down By 20%

January 23, 2009 | By David Jenkins

January 23, 2009 | By David Jenkins
More: Console/PC

A figure of 20 percent has been put on the declining market share of the Japanese-developed games in the Western market, placing new data behind industry-wide talk that Japan’s market share of the global games business has shrunk considerably.

While the market share for Western-developed titles in their own territories approximately doubled between 2004 and 2007, it's claimed that the overseas market share for Japanese-created games has decreased 20 percent over the same period.

These figures are cited according to new Japanese industry commentary translated by consumer weblog Kotaku.

The dominance of Japanese publishers and developers has long been recognized to be on the wane in recent years, particularly since the start of the current console generation.

Not only have Japanese games been increasingly outsold by Western rivals, but many Japanese publishers -- particularly Capcom, Sega and Square Enix -- have been actively courting Western developers to work on both new and established brands.

In October of last year, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada said that Japan had "lost its position" as the leader in the global marketplace.

Although he offered several suggestions for how Japanese games companies could address the problem, the situation has not been helped by a declining home market -– which shrunk 15.8 percent in 2008.

One silver lining for the Japanese games industry is that the revenues generated from Japanese games exports overall have increased by 43 percent year-on-year in 2006 and by 54.3 percent in 2007, primarily a result of the success of the Nintendo DS and Wii hardware.

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