A review of Japan, China, and the U.S. mobile game markets in 2022

The mobile game industry had an active year in 2022. But what the picture looks like in major markets like China, Japan, and the United States?
Collage of various game images from japan, china, and the US markets.

The mobile game market struggled to recover from the effects of the pandemic in 2022 after enjoying extraordinary growth in the previous year. Nevertheless, this decline didn’t ripple panic across the industry; it was instead interpreted as normalization after the unexpected shift. But no one can deny that market dynamics have been affected or even transformed. The game industry works and tweaks monetization, retention, features, and game design dynamics. This report highlights factors and trends in three major gaming markets.

According to Game Refinery’s report, the year has seen some significant events in the game industry, such as the virtual concert of the artist Aurora in the game Sky: Children of the Light. It was the first time in gaming history. The renowned artist took the fans through a musical experience while the players could feel the waves of emotions of other players in real-time.

Another important music and game industry event was Martin Garrix&JVKE’s animated music video “Hero”, Marvel Snap’s first-ever collaboration event.

Genshin Impact and Diablo Immortal introduced features to keep the players engaged after finishing the main questline.

The year has seen some changes in popular games’ monetization strategies too. Some games completely renewed their monetization systems like Lotsa Slots and EverMerge. Another outstanding example was the Brawl Stars removing all gachas from the game and replacing them with a new system called Starr Road.

U.S. 2022 game market overview 

Genshin Impact has implemented Genious Invocation, a TCG (trading card game) mini-game just before the end of the year, to keep advanced players engaged. Players receive a tutorial card deck and can acquire more by defeating certain NPCs in a duel or completing specified objectives during the match.

Diablo Immortal introduced Terror’s Tide update, which introduced the new zone Stormpoint with a new questline. There have been some updates to Helliquary, which is the gameplay system intended for endgame play and the game’s overall difficulty system Hell. There were also some changes in acquiring the game’s premium in-game currency. Players can also buy them directly through Blizzard’s online store to bypass Apple and Google online stores’ fees. Diablo Immortal achieved a 400% increase in its daily revenue after the Terror’s Tide update.

Some other significant events in the market were Dice Dreams, a casual casino game, and Triple Match 3D, a puzzle game landing among the top 100 grossing games. Mob Control, a hybrid-casual tactical battler game, and My Hotpot Story, an idle game with merge game mechanics, climbed into the top 200.

China 2022 game market overview 

A Chinese Ghost Story MMORPG celebrated the World Cup with a limited-time Cuju football event. (A type of Chinese football) The Chinese version of Team Fight Tactics, Battle of the Golden Spatula, added new limited-time gachas with an exclusive football-themed skin to the game that the players can acquire via in-app purchases. The game achieved and increase in daily revenue after the update.

Besides being a first in gaming history, Aurora’s concert has also been the stage for some technical progress. Four thousand players were hosted on the same server during the event. More than 1.6 million players logged in to watch the concert, which could be watched until the 2nd of January and took place every four hours. The players attending the event transformed into different animals and were able to react with emotes. 

The event also created some monetization opportunities. Souvenirs, cosmetic skins, and outfits are available after the event. A music box, including an exclusive concert album with a link to Apple Music, was available after the event.

Japan 2022 game market overview

The Japanese mobile game market has seen some significant collaborations in the year. Puzzle RPG Yo-kai Watch Punipuni introduced nine characters from the Evangelion anime series that could be bought through in-app purchases or gachas. Since this was the second time the game has collaborated with the anime series, there hasn’t been a considerable increase in the game’s downloads, but the game’s daily revenue has seen an upsurge.

Line Bubble 2, a casual puzzle game, collaborated with Winnie the Pooh for Christmas, where the players could unlock the characters Winnie, Tigger, Eeyore, and Rabbit from the show. Besides various in-game items, players were presented with real-life Christmas gifts like spa vacation days or household appliances.

Ants: Underground Kingdom collaborated with the globally famous monster Godzilla, where it appeared as a new insect type that boosts other units. Some unlockable skins like Snow Sakura Godzilla and Mothra Parade Troop.

You can access the full report here.

NEXT: Top downloaded games of PlayStation Store 2022

Stay informed in 5 minutes

7K+ game industry stakeholders are getting our newsletter every week.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Related Posts