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Japan's top earning mobile games continue to dominate in the first half of 2023

Japan's highest-earning mobile games in the first half of 2023 showed little change, with only minor shifts among the top contenders. MIXI's Monster Strike claimed the top spot, with Uma Musume Pretty Derby from CyberAgent sliding down one place, and Fate: Grand Order from Aniplex maintaining its position at number two, according to Sensor Tower Japan's latest report.

In terms of downloads, Rudel Inc's Blue Lock Project: World Champion, released in 2022, took the lead. However, overall mobile game downloads in the Japanese market experienced a 7% year-on-year decline.

A notable contender in the revenue and download growth category during the first half of 2023 is MiHoYo's Honkai: Star Rail. The game has emerged as a major player in the mobile gaming landscape, potentially overshadowing its predecessor, Genshin Impact, in terms of revenue.

Gacha games, which originated in Japan based on the concept of gachapon machines, continue to dominate the market. These games have become highly profitable, especially with the support of dedicated "whales" - high-spending players who form a relatively small but lucrative audience for developers in this genre.

Interestingly, despite Japan's vibrant gaming industry and the multitude of titles across consoles and mobile platforms, the top-earning games demonstrate remarkable longevity. Many of the top revenue-generating titles have been around for more than five years, indicating a relatively stable mobile market in Japan compared to more dynamic markets like the US, India, and China, where new games frequently enter the market.

Sensor Tower suggests that overseas publishers are worth watching in the Japanese market, as games like Honkai: Star Rail and Goddess of Victory: Nikke continue to show impressive growth. While they haven't yet dethroned the top-performing titles, their progress indicates potential challenges for the established leaders.

Source: Iwan Morris, Staff Writer at PocketGamer

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