Japanese PC gaming saw another year of explosive growth

 Armored Core 6 mech
Armored Core 6 mech

Japanese gamers have continued to embrace the PC as a platform at staggering rates, jumping up 43% from 131.3 billion yen to 189.2 billion yen in 2022. That's a total size of about $1.3 billion US. The data comes from the latest report by Kadokawa ASCII Research Laboratories, an industry think tank which compiles yearly material about the performance of the gaming industry in Japan and abroad.

For comparison various analysts peg growth rates in the US PC Gaming market at between 1-2% in 2022, on a market of something like $9-10 billion, as growth stabilizes following a boom during the pandemic. The global gaming market as a whole actually shrunk in 2022—for the same reason.

A post-pandemic drop that, it should be noted, didn't slow down Japanese PC gaming much at all. It's another year of data proving that though conventional wisdom once said PC Gaming in Japan was niche, it ain't niche anymore. Japanese gamers are joining the rest of Asia demographically, where PC gaming is by far the largest segment of the hardcore or hobby gaming market. (Mobile gaming, of course, outstrips everything else everywhere.)

The growth numbers were reported in English by KantanGames, a Japanese games industry constultancy run by Dr. Serkan Toto. We covered Toto's analysis of the last few years of data in November of last year, where he emphasized growth factors that included improved PC gaming storefronts and wider availability of physical Steam wallet cards.

Kadokawa is certainly following up on their own subsidiary's research, as that megacorp is also part-owners in Elden Ring and Armored Core 6 developers FromSoftware, whose last few games launched with PC parity. They are of course not the only ones, with everyone from Valve to Square Enix renewing their focus on selling to Japanese PC gamers.