A new study has shed some light on how quickly the mobile game space is expanding in Japan, suggesting that sales of smartphone games in the country grew by more than five times between 2011 and 2012.
According to the Mobile Content Forum, and as translated by
industry consultant Serkan Toto, smartphone game sales reached roughly 260 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in 2012, up 5.4 times from 2011's 48.1 billion yen ($496.5 million).
Notably, sales of feature phone games in the country were down slightly, totalling $2.4 billion, meaning that smartphone game sales were higher than feature phone game sales for the first time.
When looking at all mobile content -- not just games -- feature phone sales are actually still higher than smartphone sales, although smartphone content sales will no doubt overtake in 2013, as the feature phone market continues to rapidly contract.
Overall, the Japanese market for mobile games reached $5.1 billion in 2012.
Nexon is just one company that has seen its profits soar
thanks to this boost in Japanese mobile game sales. Android monetization platform Metaps also noted recently that
a surge in the number of Japanese game publishers choosing to release mobile games over the more traditional browser games has seen its business boom.