On February 2, the Japanese gaming company Nintendo will release the highly hyped “Fire Emblem Heroes,” a reconfiguration of a popular game this time crafted for mobile users.
Though the launch will be worldwide on both iOS and Android systems, it will no doubt make a particular splash in Japan, where mobile gaming enthusiasm is high generally, and where the design of this game is geared to the sensibilities of the Japanese player.
To get an idea about the popularity of mobile gaming in Japan, consider that half of smartphone gamers in Japan ages 20 to 69 played smartphone gaming apps daily in December 2016 according to a survey conducted by Mobile Marketing Data Lab.
With 10% more saying they played five to six days per week, nearly two thirds of those surveyed played smartphone gaming apps at least five times per week.
Winning share of players’ gaming time is becoming more competitive in Japan.
The same study looked at how many gaming apps smartphone gamers in Japan downloaded between December 2015 and December 2016. Looking at the June to December period, 34.5% of respondents had installed just one or two smartphone gaming apps compared with 27.9% six months earlier. Nearly a third had installed three to four smartphone gaming apps over that period, up from 26.5%.
Meanwhile, just 12.5% had five to six installed smartphone gaming apps in December 2016, vs. 20.5% in June.