Video Game Markets

after a hot, heavy and ultimately useless debate over in the joystiq comments section, i started thinking about video game market size. one of the horribly loud, yet horribly uninformed posters (funny, maybe he was just always drunk. drunks always think they are the smartest when they are the loudest.) kept going on about the fact that the xbox didn’t “won japan” in this last generation. myself, well, i could give a crap about japan’s game economy. i mean, for god’s sake, they make bizarre games.

with a little googling, i found my answers to the market demographics question.

2004 Video Game Market in US Dollars

  • United States: $8.2 Billion
  • EMEA: $6.0 Billion (and the fastest growing)
  • Japan: $3.1 Billion
  • Canada: $1.3 Billion

throwing emea in there kinda skews the results as it includes the middle east and africa, but, really, how much revenue do you think the middle east and africa actually generate?

um. so, i say again, who cares about japan? they’re a little over half the size of europe. looks to me like owning the u.s., canada and europe is the way to dominate the industry. let japan build all the upskirt games they want. i mean, there’s a reason their market share has been disappearing over the last 10 years.

the sooner people realize that japan was cool in the 80’s (just like your mullet was) but, not necessarily that cool these days (just like your mullet isn’t), the sooner this whole “winning japan” nonsense can go away.

i mean, hell. south korea weighs in at $2.0 billion for crying out loud. why aren’t we fighting over them too? who’s gonna win south korea?

source: PricewaterhouseCoopers
Video Game Market Size Overview
Asia/Pac Chart (pdf)



just thought of something — something fun to put things into proportion.

canada’s video game market is to japan’s what japan’s is to the united states.  so, when you look at it that way, as badly as japan ‘pwns’ canada for video game consumption?  well.  that’s how badly the united states ‘pwns’ japan.  way to go japan!  you’ve pwnd a country that’s mostly ice and snow!

damn funny.


10 comments so far

  1. […] i mean, why are we chasing japan? people in europe and the u.s. want the consoles more! japan, not only doesn’t want them, but their market doesn’t even matter that significantly in the big picture! the north american and european markets accounted for about $16 billion in gaming revenues last year. japan? only $3 billion. seems to me that ratio ought to be upheld in console distribution for the first year, eh? maybe then, people wouldn’t be making $500 from selling a damn photo. […]

  2. […] japan is third by a long, long way in video game marketshare (2004 statistics) and accounts for only about 12.5% of a global market. north america and europe make up over 60%. […]

  3. Deth on

    One thing i will never understand is why it matters who wins, who loses. I suppose for people who own stock in the company it would matter, but I, for one, (to use a modern cliche) am happy that there is the competition there is. It makes my gaming days twice as fun and half as expensive.

  4. m3mnoch on

    heh. amen to that! i’m just greedy and want companies to fight over the western world for game mindshare instead of the relatively small east. maybe i’m just more of a dramatic game guy as opposed to a giggle game guy.

    i dunno.

    and, i suppose games and hardware really are more concerned about the west. it’s just this crazy mentality that gaming in japan means as much today as it did 10 years ago that we need to change. the very large majority of gamers are not from japan.

    not that i mind all games from japan or even discredit any of the amazing things people like miyamoto have done. i am right there with mario, link and donkey kong. hell, mario 64 is still a game that i hold other games up to. and, i loved ff7. of course, i also loved quake. and lode runner. and halo 2. and diablo 2. and even now, i love kameo. i think it’s THE most under-rated game of the 360 launch titles.

    so, it’s not that i love any particular kind of game. i just love good games. i feel like i need to tell the rest of the planet that, just because a game comes from japan does not make it good.

    and, if you need proof, play ffxi and wow then tell me which is a better game.


  5. […] they could delay forever in japan i’m sticking hard to this one: japan doesn’t matter. […]

  6. […] a few things here.  the first one is my opinion on who cares about winning japan?  spend your time in china and south korea instead. […]

  7. […] i’ve said it before, japan doesn’t matter and whomever wins in europe wins the game. […]

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  9. gunnar on

    Hi i personaly like japanese games and the reason the market is greatly falling down in japanese game developement and marketing is not becasue their games are so bad,bizzar or perverted or whatever you call it it is simply becasue japan has started more and more to make games that are given out only in japan and nowhere else the reson for it do i not know maybe because there were not enough people to take all the translate job and translate the games over to english or maybe they are just slowly closing the market untill it gets back to where it was to begin with the japanese games were made and stayed in japan but if japan would stop compleatly making games for uk,us,and the others what would tha mean….that is right not only would all those bizzar games as you call it stop being awalible to other people outside of japan but allso the other of those big game such as metal gear solid final fantasy series sony computers that are made by the sony comp in japan that is playstatione1.2.3.and as the story says up to playstation 6 psp.and then it would be nintendo and on and on when all that is gone what is left yes we have xbox but not many games for that computer since most of the games are made in japan oh yes and pc since it made by microsoft in almost all the way but,,,,ah the games they are most all made in japan of course there are one and one game that are purely made without having any help from japan but how popular are those game and are those games many enough to make a bussiness with all by itself.Oh and of course there is always possible to simply make a good vacation to japan to make some shopping there for games but that means you would have to understand japanes since all the games would be in japanese and not subtitled or translated so after all that said you still think is ok for japanes marker to fall down so they do not make more games outside of japan wouldnt it simply be better to have your way and buy a game that you like on even though there are some kind of bizzar games from time to time isnt that better than no game at all well that is just my opinion but all have their own taste some like guns some like sports and some like the girls in the games me for example i dont like all those gunfighting games but hey if i see gunfighting game wich i very easy to find these days i simply overlook that game and keep looking for something i like and normally i always do find someting that i like and that is why i have over an 300 games today and sometimes i do not find anything i like then i just wait for some better times or something but there is onething i do not do and that is to run on the internet and cry about how bad japanese games and japanese game developers are making so many gunfighting games my motto is if you dont like it dont buy it!

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