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BizReport : Advertising : September 17, 2009

Japan's gaming audience leaps 28%

If you're looking for a growing, engaged gaming audience look no further than Japan. According to new research from metrics firm comScore Japan's online gaming audience skyrocketed by 28% - nearly one-third - in the past year. This pushes Japan's gaming audience to more than 16 million unique users, about one-fourth of Japan's total online population.

by Kristina Knight

One reason for the high growth rate? The cost of such entertainment. For most, online games are free to play - an important factor as the economy across the globe tightens - because they are ad supported. By serving ads prior to play or placing ad units in-game marketers have the opportunity to reach this engaged audience in their element.

The hottest gaming spots for Japanese gamers?

• Yahoo games with 4.8 million unique users
• HANGAME.CO.JP with 2.99 million unique users
• WAZAP.COM, 2.4 million unique users

Also in the top ten were Gamepot Inc, Goo Games, MSN Games and Nexon Corporation.

"As a growing number of people turn to the Internet as an entertainment channel, many online gaming sites have seen their traffic levels swell to record numbers," ">said Maru Sato, managing director of comScore Japan. "Online gaming has not only captured a growing number of visitors, but also shows some of the highest levels of engagement on the Web with users averaging more than an hour on gaming sites in July."

Just how engaged are gamers? According to the report gamers spent more than 70 minutes on-site and returned to their favorite gaming hubs an average of eight times each month. HANGAME.CO.JP boasted one of the highest engagement levels, with consumers staying on-site an average of two hours during the reporting period.

Tags: advertising, comScore World Metrix, game targeting, games, in game advertising, online gaming

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