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Latest Stats: Size Of Japan’s Social Game Market [Social Games]


What’s the size of Japan’s social gaming market? I am constantly monitoring sources from Japan that try to answer this question, and I published some of the results the last time here or as an infographic here (note: I don’t publish all the results I find publicly).

Now Japan’s Ministry Of Internal Affairs released a report on the size of the domestic mobile content industry in 2011. Needless to say, this sector includes mobile social games – apart from paid music, mobile videos and movies etc.

I took the liberty to translate the main gaming-related stats below, using the current Yen-USD exchange rate.

I) General

Size of the entire Japanese market for content on feature phones in 2011:
US$8.3 billion (excluding mobile commerce)

Size of the entire Japanese market for content on smartphones in 2011:
US$1.0 billion (excluding mobile commerce)

II) Social games market (feature phones only!)

2007: US$0.076 billion
2008: US$0.2 billion
2009: US$0.6 billion
2010: US$1.77 billion
2011: US$2.65 billion

On smartphones, the government estimates the size of the domestic social games market for the first time ever:
US$0.61 billion (in 2011).

In other words, the report suggests that Japan’s market for mobile social games in 2011 was worth a total of US$3.26 billion.

N. B.:
For reference, here is what the report says about Japan’s mobile games market on feature phones (non-social games that can be accessed through the mobile web or via downloads).

Again, all numbers refer to feature phones only:

2007:  US$1.08 billion
2008: US$1.1 billion
2009: US$1.13 billion
2010: US$1.05 billion
2011:  US$0.73 billion

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.