By Dr. Serkan Toto – On Japan's Game Industry



It was interesting to see that one of my publicly stated predictions for the game industry in 2022 generated so much buzz it actually started trending on global Twitter over the last days.

International news coverage was crazy, too.

The background: game industry news siteGamesIndustry.bizasked several analysts (including myself) for predictions how we think the gaming business will evolve in 2022.

Here is a repost from my contribution totheir article:

● Crypto gaming becomes even bigger

2021 was just the beginning for crypto gaming, and we are very likely to see more and more established studios getting into the space in 2022. A sizable chunk of the start-ups in the space have sprung up from South East Asia so far, but it can be expected that some of the listed players (especially in Japan and South Korea) will at least start to experiment with NFTs, metaverse and/or blockchain this year. We will also continue to see one VC deal in crypto gaming after another.

● Nintendo announces Mario Kart 9 and a new mobile game

I am aware Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still selling very well on the Nintendo Switch, but Mario Kart 9 is in active development (and comes with a new twist) and Nintendo could tease it this year. On mobile, Nintendo has been very silent since Mario Kart Tour’s launch in 2019, but I think 2022 is when we will see an established IP arriving on smart devices again.

● The industry sees fewer delays

In 2020 and 2021, dating the launch of blockbusters in particular was so hard that every new game actually arriving on time was a surprise. Even ultra-conservative Nintendo was affected. I am hearing now that studios everywhere are getting a lot more cautious when it comes to communicating release dates for the big titles and are getting better at gauging the effects of the pandemic on their production. As such, I think we will see more robust pipelines and fewer delays from the bigger studios in 2022.

● Microsoft continues its charm offensive in Japan

Microsoft has been trying a lot of things to make the Xbox work in Japan for two decades now, but the Sega partnership announcement from late last year was one of the biggest steps. I think in 2022, we will see more such deals from big M, including (finally) an investment in a local studio. A prime candidate is Kojima Productions, also because of the ongoing rumors about a co-development deal for a new game.

About the author

Dr. Serkan Toto

I am the CEO & Founder of Tokyo-based Kantan Games Inc., an independent consultancy focused on Japan’s game industry.

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By Dr. Serkan Toto – On Japan's Game Industry