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Japanese game market trends from TGS 2023

The Tokyo Game Show 2023 (TGS 2023) held from September 21st to 24th in Chiba, Japan, underscored its significance in the gaming industry by hosting over 700 exhibitors from 44 countries, showcasing a staggering 2,200+ titles across 2,682 booths. Compared to TGS 2022, this event featured at least 400 more titles, making it a substantial platform for gaming announcements.


Key Highlights and Trends from TGS 2023

The event featured several noteworthy announcements and trends, shedding light on the dynamics of the gaming market and what app and mobile game developers should consider when launching in Japan.


Changing Disposition of Japanese Users

A survey presented by Hike's group company, Sarugakucho, highlighted the behavior of Japanese mobile game users. It revealed that in 2023, users playing more than 5 game titles decreased by approximately 10% compared to 2022, largely attributed to the conclusion of COVID-19-related shutdowns. The competition for capturing user attention and acquiring new users in the Japanese gaming space has intensified.


Strategies to Attract Users' Attention

To address the challenge of capturing users' attention in a more competitive gaming landscape, several trends emerged among upcoming games that garnered significant attention at TGS 2023:

  1. Cross-Platforms: Games with cross-platform capabilities offer more possibilities, appealing to users.

  2. Remake/Remaster of Hall of Famers: Renowned titles like Final Fantasy VII (FF VII) Rebirth and Persona 3 Reload are being reborn with enhanced graphics and new elements to attract both original fans and new players.

  3. New Expansions or Series for Popular IP: Building on popular existing intellectual properties, games released new expansions or series to maintain their momentum.

  4. Creating New Trending IP: Some developers aim to establish new gaming trends with titles like Project Mugen and Zenless Zone Zero (ZZZ), focusing on creating fresh and engaging experiences.

  5. Nostalgic Graphics and Game Concepts: Games with dot-style graphics, reminiscent of classic games, evoke nostalgia among players.


Diverse Gaming Trends at TGS 2023

TGS 2023 featured various gaming trends, including the use of AI within games, new series or expansions for popular IPs, and the emergence of smaller game developers making an impact with nostalgic graphics and concepts. The dot-style graphics, in particular, resonated with players, as it reminded them of beloved games from the past.


Conclusion

With 787 exhibitors, 2,682 booths, and 2,291 titles from 44 countries, TGS 2023 showcased the dynamic and diverse nature of the gaming industry. The trends discussed in this article provide insights into the strategies that mobile game developers should consider to succeed in the competitive Japanese gaming market. Understanding user preferences, leveraging popular IPs, creating new trends, and tapping into nostalgia are all valuable strategies in this evolving landscape.


For Further Information

To gain deeper insights, you can refer to the official "7 key trends" outlined by TGS 2023:

  1. Technological innovation with AR/VR.

  2. Newly released games from major players like Sega, Capcom, Square Enix, and more.

  3. Diversification of gaming PCs and movie streaming devices.

  4. Increased popularity of indie games.

  5. Game Academy focusing on niche markets based on user trends.

  6. The rise of eSports as a major event.

  7. The transformation of gaming from a hobby to a lifestyle.


Source: Allen Park for App Business

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