Where are all the casual games? Our thoughts on Tokyo Game Show 2018

If the two companies that come to mind when you think of mobile games for iOS and Android are Ketchapp and Voodoo, you’ll probably fail in Japan… We already knew that the mobile industry in Japan was different from the rest of the world, but we didn’t realize just how drastically different they really were.

So how is Japan different? “Mobile games in Japan never seem to end…”

Ask someone in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia what game they play on their smartphone and 90% of the time it will be some sort of casual game that consists of very little story (if any at all) and can be replaced with any other one of the millions of casual/minimalistic games on the app store with minimal heartbreak.

In Japan, it is an entirely different story. Mobile games are more story-oriented and seem to continue on forever with new expansions rolling out all the time to keep players coming back. (No Casual games) In addition to continuous updates which surely play a huge role when it comes to player retention, Japanese mobile games are almost constantly in some collaborated promotion with another popular Game, Anime, TV series, etc.

This boosts their popularity even more among players thanks to special characters and items which can only be obtained for a limited amount of time during the joint collaboration. Needless to say, once you have actually obtained one of these characters, there is a certain level of sentimental value which makes it even harder for you to break free of whatever game you happen to be playing…

With this sort of strategy in place, the Japanese mobile market is almost impossible to crack with a simple and/or minimalistic casual game that would normally perform perfectly fine in other markets.

If you’re thinking about launching your mobile game in Japan, we would highly recommend you research your odds of success before you start throwing money away…😅

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