In an article from our web magazine AUTOMATON, we posted about how the number of Japanese Steam users has grown wildly, smashing records to bits. The article also discussed the breakdown of languages for Steam games, English being first (36.11%), Chinese coming in second (26.23%), and Russian in third (9.67%), with Spanish right behind it. Japanese was eighth on the list at 2.34%.
You can read the article for the details, but essentially the Japanese percentage has nearly doubled, and the growth rate is higher than other languages.
Some of the reasons behind the growth of Japanese users are as follows:
・More Steam releases for big titles
・More titles are offering Japanese language options
・People are unable to get their hands on a PS5, and Steam is the alternative
I think you can see how the Japanese game market is growing just by looking at these numbers. As stated in the article as well, English is not widely spoken in Japan. Japan’s overall English ability is considered low compared to other countries. When Japanese people decide whether to play foreign games, whether they’re localized into Japanese or not is a significant factor.
Above blog: Game Localization/Translation Worldwide
So what are the rankings of other Asian languages like? Simplified Chinese is in second place (26.23%), and Korean is in tenth place (1.57%). That makes three Asian languages in the top ten.
Others have pointed this out, but China, Japan, and South Korea account for a high percentage of the world game market. We believe that these three are necessary targets in the global game market.
From an outside perspective, China, Japan, and Korea might not seem so different as they’re all part of the same continent, but in truth, they are entirely different countries, from language to culture. If a company plans on selling in those markets, they need to have localization/translations for each one. At AGM, we have staff from Europe, the Americas, and Asia to perform the localization/translations. If you’re thinking about releasing your game in Japan, China, or Korea, please don’t hesitate to contact us.