Japan was responsible for 22 per cent of all worldwide mobile revenue in the first nine months of 2020, according to Sensor Tower.
Overall, two of the top-ten-earning publishers globally so far this year are from Japan, Bandai Namco and Square Enix, who have generated $1.5 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively.
Moreover, in the top 20 grossing publishers, Sony, Konami and Mixi all made an appearance, meaning that a quarter of the list was made up of Japanese companies. However, it was not the only country to do so as China also had five entries, though the region has long been dominant in the mobile space.
Meanwhile, based on international spending rather than at home, the top ten Japanese games in 2019 broke $1 billion in revenue, a first for the Asian country.
More specifically, two games attributed a significant amount of money, Bandai Namco’s Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle – which has hit $2 billion in lifetime revenue – and Sony’s Fate/Grand Order, the pair racked up $273.6 million and $273.3 million respectively. By January 2020, the fantasy RPG had generated $4 billion since its 2015 launch.
However, so far this year, Japanese games have brought in $814.5 million in overseas spending.
Home field advantage
In Japan, eight of the top-grossing games over the past five years – from Q1 2016 to Q3 2020 – were published by Japanese companies. More impressively, seven of those entries broke the $1 billion revenue threshold.
Such billion-dollar titles include Mixi’s Monster Strike, Line Corporation’s Disney Tsum Tsum, Sony’s Fate/Grand Order, Bandai Namco’s Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle and Puzzle & Dragons by GungHo Online Entertainment.
By October 2018, both Puzzle & Dragons and Monster Strike had surpassed $7 billion in lifetime revenue with $7 billion and $7.2 billion respectively.