Japan’s Galapagos Syndrome shows signs of globalization

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The assumption of many is that the Japanese games industry, and indeed that of much of Asia, is a unique, indecipherable entity compared to the more easily understood and integrated dynamics of gaming in Western countries.

Mobile gaming has a foothold around the world, but the rise of gacha gaming in Japan in particular feels unparalleled to trends witnessed elsewhere, where many major franchises like Uma Musume: Pretty Derby, which developer CyGames announced had earned a cumulative revenue of $2 billion in less than two years following its 2021 launch, almost entirely a product of domestic spend bar a small launch in South Korea.

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