Opportunities in Japan for aspiring mobile game developers

The growing demand for handheld consoles has created great opportunities for mobile game developers seeking an opening into the Japanese market. Innovation Norway Japan is creating an extensive network for connecting “you” with Japanese consumers.

Source: Newzoo.com

Source: Newzoo.com

With the big companies focusing hugely on expensive games that take longer to develop, the rate of traditional game releases is notably lower. However, this has created a significant demand for other platforms such as handheld consoles and mobile-based games for android and iOS. In fact, the smartphone game market in Japan is the second most valuable game market in the world in terms of average revenue per user. If you are sitting on an idea or an attention-grabbing mobile game, Japan can be the right marketplace for you.

A marketplace for game developers

While E3 and Game Convention might be the biggest gaming events of the year in the United States and Europe, here in Japan, the homeland of Sony, Super Mario, Nintendoand much more, the Tokyo Game Show  is the event to pay attention to. This year, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo and Innovation Norway Japan attended the convention to map strategic business opportunities for Norwegian game makers.

Personal photo by Sverre Blakstad. 15.09.16

Personal photo by Sverre Blakstad. 15.09.16

The Japanese convention reflected a local taste in certain game-industries, such as a greater focus on mobile-based games and Virtual Reality technology (VR) stealing most of the spotlight. The large numbers of VR- based booths and exhibitions showed ample evidence that the Japanese industry believes that VR could be the thing for the future in gaming industry. However, Japan continues to be first and foremost one of the world’s most lucrative mobile gaming markets

Support for Norwegian smartphone game developers in Japan

A total of 614 companies and groups (of which 345 were foreign) were exhibiting their products at the convention. Innovation Norway Japan made contact with several businesses aimed at assisting mobile game developers from abroad:

  • Kadokawa dwango, or their marketing research & business development section, offers valuable information on the Japanese game-related consumer preferences… (more info)
  • Adways Inc. offers marketing assistance through advertisements for mobile-based games… (more info)
  • Microsoft Biz-spark is a global program that assist startups by giving access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, software and support… (more info)
  • Dico CO., ltd – offers a wide array of services, such as game planning, development and production game publishing. For a fully-developed smartphone game, Dico Co. ltd also offers translation opportunities… (more info)


Innovation Norway will continue the efforts on mapping strategic business opportunities here in Japan. For further questions and information on the Japanese game market, please contact: Yoji Ishihara,

For those of you that are interested in arranging a meeting with Yoji, please note that he will be visiting Norway in November 2016. He has extensive experience in assisting Norwegian technology companies in identifying, directing and coordinating business opportunities. Share your ideas with us!

Author: Sverre Brakstad



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