開發者談日本遊戲市場已走出封閉期

開發者談日本遊戲市場已走出封閉期

原作者: Guest Author (Sponsored) 譯者:Willow Wu

日本手遊市場一直以來都被看作是一個獨特的地方。

現在很多西方遊戲用到的遊戲機制,比如說gacha、自動玩法,日本在很早之前就用上了。

雖說很多地方的遊戲設計都是跟着日本走,但其實很多日本遊戲在國內並沒有得到非常熱烈的反響,反而在國外它們一年能狂撈幾百萬甚至是幾十億美元。

類似地,長期以來外國的開發者們也很難打開日本市場,因爲這裏大部分都是由本土遊戲主導的。

然而,還是有一家公司能夠幫助開發者以及發行商克服這個困難,它就是Yengage,DAC獨立出來的一個工作室,日本最大的數字媒體買手。

“我們可以充分利用本地的廣告公司、發行商,建立合作關係,同時,作爲一個新公司還能提供100%的透明性以及靈活性,” Yengage COO Kazuhiro Kimura說,

“我們還能在影響者營銷和公關方面提供幫助。”

japanese game (from 1up)

japanese game (from 1up)

開放

Kimura說雖然以前的日本遊戲市場絕大部分都由本地的遊戲開發公司和發行商佔據,而且還有一大羣喜歡漫畫以及IP改編遊戲的玩家,但現在的市場不一樣了。

確實,在最近這幾年我們看到有更多來自美國、歐洲、中國和韓國的遊戲公司在日本市場獲得了成功。Kimura說這些外國遊戲中,能引起最大反響的是那些能帶來新鮮感的遊戲,而不是那些模仿熱門遊戲的套皮產品,就比如說Mobile Strike、Fate/Grand Order和Puzzle & Dragons在日本就非常受歡迎。

“你看下日本地區的App Store,暢銷榜前100的遊戲有20%~30%都是非本土遊戲,”Kimura說,“尤其是中國的遊戲公司,成績十分突出。

“毫無疑問,這些優秀的開發者們都製作出了高質量、高水平的遊戲,它們在遊戲畫面、劇情、角色設計以及社區支持上都下了很多功夫。

“然而,最重要的是這些遊戲公司做了研究,有去了解日本遊戲市場以及用戶的特殊性,而且還找了日本本土的合作伙伴一起定製策略。

“我的意思並不是要每個開發者都這麼做。對於大多數遊戲工作室來說,在目標市場地區成立辦公室、組織運營、營銷團隊要花掉很多人力物力。而在當地尋找一個不錯的合作伙伴,一起制定策略,其實也能達到和前者差不多的效果,而且花費還更少。”

營銷渠道

儘管日本市場有些特殊,但在營銷方面還是有一定的相似之處。

就跟在其他國家一樣,開發人員在定製用戶獲取策略時應該利用不同的流量來源,比如Facebook、Twitter和當地流行的LINE等社交媒體、還有廣告平臺和遊戲網站。

有個關鍵不同點就是大量利用電視廣告推廣遊戲。

“在日本,電視廣告仍然是影響力最大的渠道。如果你看了日本的廣播電視(大多數家庭都看),你就能發現遊戲廣告真的很多,” Kimura說,

“對於大多數遊戲工作室來說,投放電視廣告也許是一筆難以承擔的費用。然而,影響者營銷也發展得越來越好了。”

在日本,影響者營銷的最大平臺還是YouTube。但你可以根據你的目標用戶羣體選擇更小規模的營銷渠道。

有一點要特別說的就是日本主播的YouTube頻道在英語國家並沒有很多人訂閱,這很大程度上是由於語言障礙。

“我們得知客戶希望用一些具有巨大社會影響力的人物來推廣產品,但我認爲這樣做不一定每次都奏效,”Kimura說,

“雖說這樣你能接觸到更多更廣泛的用戶羣體、得到更多反饋,但你的賬單也會成倍地增長,所以你的利潤實際上並不多。

“還有,這也可能會造成觀衆的視覺疲勞,畢竟日本市場規模不大,同一個影響人物可能會在很多渠道出現。”

“你需要考慮的就是找一個對你的遊戲非常投入的人,而且還要有很多訂閱用戶;或者是開拓小衆市場以獲得更高的遊戲沉浸度。”

正如Kimura所言,日本遊戲市場已經走出封閉期了,換句話說就是對於世界各地的開發者和發行商而言,日本遊戲市場現在有很多可觀的盈利機會。

雖然它是一個獨特的市場,但是它也是世界上最具價值的遊戲市場之一。

Kimura說:“我希望有更多開發者們來嘗試。如果你選擇Yengage作爲本地的營銷合作伙伴,那我當然是樂意至極的。”

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

The Japanese mobile games market has always been a peculiar one with its own unique quirks.

Many of the features you see in Western games today, such as gacha and autoplay, were utilised by Japanese developers long before they notably came to the West.

Yet while the sector has been a trendsetter for the rest of the world to follow, many local developers have struggled to match home success – sometimes generating hundreds of millions to billions of dollars per year – abroad.

Similarly, the Japanese market has long proven a tough nut to crack for international publishers, with the space largely dominated by homegrown studios.

One company that’s helping developers and publishers tap into this seemingly tough market is Yengage, a spin-off from DAC, the largest digital media buyer in Japan.

“That means that while we can leverage the full capabilities of a Japanese advertising agency with local partnerships with ad networks and publishers, we can also provide the full transparency and flexibility of a start-up,” says Yengage chief operating officer Kazuhiro Kimura.

“We can also help with influencer marketing and PR.”

Opening up

Kimura says while in the past the Japanese games market has had a high concentration of local games developers and publishers – with consumers in particular fans of Manga characters and IPs they are familiar with – things are changing.

Indeed, the last few years have seen more developers from the USA, Europe, China and South Korea find success in the market. And Kimura says the most successful foreign games are the ones that bring a new style of play to the sector, rather than copying what’s already a hit, like local heavyweights Mobile Strike, Fate/Grand Order and Puzzle & Dragons.

“If you look at Japan’s top 100 grossing games in the App Store, 20 per cent 30 per cent are non-Japanese titles,” says Kimura. “Chinese studios in particular are having great success.

“Of course, those games developers who continue making great hits develop high quality games with aspects such as graphics, story, great character design and also good customer service.

“However, the most important thing is that they do research and try to understand the uniqueness of the Japanese market and users, as well as have a local partner to build a strategy together.

“I am not saying you should necessarily follow their path. For most studios, it will cost a lot of resources to build local offices, operations and marketing teams like those companies. You can achieve similar results with a good local partner and build a strategy together with a much lower investment.”

Marketing channels

Despite the market’s uniqueness, the marketing process is not all that different in many respects.

Like in other countries, Kimura says its developers should utilise different kinds of traffic sources when putting together a user acquisition plan, from social media like Facebook, Twitter and the locally popular LINE, to ad networks and games websites.

One key difference however is the prolific use of TV adverts to promote mobile games.

“TVCM still has the biggest impact. If you watch broadcast TV in Japan – which most households do – you’ll see many games advertising on TV,” says Kimura.

“For most studios, this might be out of reach in terms of budget. However, we also see influencer marketing is getting bigger and bigger.”

The main focus for influencer marketing in the country is on YouTube, though there are smaller local channels to consider depending on your target demographic. It’s a topic Yengage goes into further detail on here.

It should be noted however that the size of each YouTuber’s subscription base is much smaller than in English speaking countries, in large part due to the language barrier on the international stage.

“We get enquiries that clients want to use influencers who have a huge social presence, but I don’t think it’s always the right way to approach this,” says Kimura.

“You’ll get broader reach and views of course, but they will be exponentially more expensive, so return on investment will be lower.

“Also, it might make viewers get bored due to the high frequency from other channels, as Japan is a much smaller market.

“What you need to think about is finding an influencer who has high engagement with your game and lots of subscribers, or go after the niche segments for higher engagement.”

As Kimura now puts it, the Japanese games market has “come out from its closed-off period”, meaning there are now potentially lucrative opportunities from developers and publishers across the globe in the country.

While it’s a unique market, being one of the most valuable mobile games markets in the world also offers lots of opportunities.

“I want many game developers to try,” says Kimura. “Also, of course, I will be happy that if you would choose Yengage as your local marketing partner.(source:pocketgamer.biz