Video Games in Japan – A Gaming Culture

When we talk of video games, Japan is probably the Godfather. Gaming is a massive industry in Japan.

This makes it one of the biggest exports of games around the world.

When the world experienced the North American game crash in 1983, Japan dominated the field.

During this time, a lot of gaming products were produced.

It is also at this time that there were third-generation consoles and the release of Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

The Japan supremacy in the gaming industry lasted last for almost two decades. Here is a brief history of video games in Japan.

Video game culture in Japan

Some people claim video games in Japan are different from games produced in other countries.

They believe they are interesting, engaging and more challenging.

There are some people who do not like to buy or play games associated with Japanese companies.

Choosing between video games, some players prefer to play western video games.

What most people are not aware of is that the mainstream industry in Japan is very strong.

Even though the industry today is not as strong as it used to be, no one should ignore Japan’s history with digital games.

There are many successful gaming companies in Japan that have designed some of the best games that remain popular today.

But where did the gaming culture in Japan begin?

1. Video game culture in Japan (the 80s)

One important decade for the Japanese game industry is the 1980s.

It is an interesting period where popular games such as Pac Man and Space Invaders were released.

These games were very popular in Japan and all over the world.

Other games that were developed in that era included Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, the first Zelda game, Golf, and Tetris.

All these games were very influential and helped to shape the gaming industry we have today.

Also, in this era when arcade games were most popular, Nintendo introduced the famous Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

It also changed the way people viewed games.

2. Video game culture in Japan (the 90s)

The 1990s was a period of innovation in Japan. There was the introduction of new gaming studios, new companies, and new gaming consoles.

It was also the age where gaming companies in Japan managed to innovate technology from 2D to 3D.

Also, handheld gaming started to become popular in Japan and many other countries.

Even though arcade video games were still being used, there was a huge decline as many people preferred home consoles.

In the late 90s, 3D images were introduced and this became the new standard almost in every country.

However, Japan was able to bring in a lot of innovations, more complex games, and very interesting stories.

3. Video game culture in Japan (the 2000s)

This is another age where there were great successful episodes of games.

First, the PlayStation 2 was and has remained one of the best home consoles ever.

It is the number one best-selling game console in the world.

It is also the period where most Japanese companies adjusted their digital games to fit the western market.


Japanese games may not be dominating the gaming market but no one should rule out their presence.

There are many unique games from Japan that still dominate the sector.

Even though many western countries have already outperformed Japanese gaming companies, the history of Japan cannot be forgotten easily.

Why is Japanese gaming different and who plays video games in Japan?

When we talk about technology, especially gaming, Japan is the leader.

Nintendo, Sega, and Sony are some of the biggest names from Japan.

Even though some reports show that gaming is slowly dying in Japan due to the invasion of many western companies, gaming is very popular in Japan.

There are many sectors that Japan continues to dominate that include:

• Virtual reality – since Japan is always ahead of the world in terms of technology, there are many virtual reality devices that come from Japan.

Happily, most of the gadgets from Japan are affordable and more advanced.

Since the gaming sector is somehow flooded, most companies in Japan are shifting into virtual reality.

• Mobile gaming – it is also believed mobile gaming is the future of the gaming industry.

Japan is not the biggest when it comes to developing and producing mobile games.

However, a good number of mobile games are being produced in Japan.

For instance, in 2014, the video game market in Japan managed to reach 9.6 billion dollars, whereas 5.8 billion dollars came from mobile gaming.

This report made it known that many people in Japan are playing mobile games.

Which are the most famous video games in Japan?

There are many famous games from Japan that have entertained people for a very long time.

But some people do not know that most famous games are from Japan.

From Super Mario to Street Fighter, Japan has really transformed the gaming industry for the better.

Here is a list of some popular Japanese video games.

1. Super Mario Bros – this is a video game that was created by Nintendo in 1980. Today, the game is unquestionably a world icon.

Apart from the game, there is a Mario movie and cartoon series as well.

2. Space Invaders – another great Japanese game that was released in 1978 is the memorable Space Invaders.

Whether you are from Japan or from the western countries, you can easily say that this video game is one of the best ever developed.

3.Pac Man – this famous yellow game character is even recognized in the Olympics.

The game is simple and well-designed that it attracted a number of fans across the world.

4.Pokemon – everyone who is a fan of video games knows the madness of Pokemon.

It is a Japanese game that has remained popular for a long time.

5. The Legend of Zelda – another great game developed in Japan. Its great name has also evolved into a cartoon series.

6. Street fighter – this is an evergreen video game that was developed in 1987 when fist fighting was the talk of the day.

7. Sonic the Hedgehog – we all love this game, but some people may not believe that this remarkable digital game was developed in Japan.

8. Final Fantasy – Japan is known for its outstanding and unique style of designing video games. One of the best games ever created is Final Fantasy.

Today, the Final Fantasy series continues to deliver quality content and has stretched to XV.

9. Resident Evil – this game from Japan is among the most influential action games of all time.

The Resident Evil franchise became so popular that they created movies about the game.

10. Silent Hill – The tone, theme, and direction of Silent Hill, has made it one of the best games ever developed in Japan.

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