The PC gaming market in Japan is skyrocketing

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What you need to know

  • The PC gaming market doubled in Japan between 2018 and 2021.
  • According to KADOKAWA ASCII Research Laboratories, Japan's PC market is now worth 131.3 billion yen (roughly $896 million), which is about twice what it was in 2018.
  • The number of PC gamers has also increased in Japan from 11 million in 2015 to 16 million in 2021.

The PC market in Japan surged between 2018 and 2021. According to KADOKAWA ASCII Research Laboratories, Japan's PC market grew in that time to 131.3 billion yen (about $896 million), which is roughly double what it was in 2018 (via KantanGames).

In addition to the market value of PC gaming increasing in those years, Japan saw a significant increase in total PC gamers between 2015 and 2021 (11 million up to 16 million). That's a longer timespan to measure an increase but is still significant.

A number of factors likely affected PC gaming in Japan. KantanGames pointed to the global pandemic increasing the total gaming market. With the total market increasing, PC players rose as well.

Another factor that contributed to the rise of PC gaming in Japan was the lack of availability of PS5 consoles. The Venn diagram of people interested in PC and console gaming is far from a perfect circle, but some gamers likely purchased a gaming PC rather than wait around for the PS5 to be in stock.

The rise in popularity of indie games and the increased number of Japanese titles on PC also played a role, according to KantanGames.

The gaming market is quite different in Japan when compared to the United States and other western countries. Earlier this year, our managing editor Jez Corden took a look at the state of Xbox in Japan. Some of the factors that affected PC gaming growth in Japan, such as the lack of PS5 availability, also played a factor in Xbox's growth in the country.

A recent Microsoft earnings report showed a sharp decline in its Windows OEM segment, showing a softening PC market. Those figures are for all PCs, so gaming could increase or decrease at a different rate.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).