With the official endorsement for public restraint now being removed, markets are starting to fire back into action and Tokyo consumers are once again being welcomed with open arms into the city`s shops. However, the past month and a half have been a tough time for a lot of industries and it will take them time to recover.
It was not just direct game sales that were lost as well. Advertising on games and other entertainment was massively scaled back (everybody who watched Japanese TV in the last 6 weeks being greeted with AC commercials), the technology supply chain has been hit with a number of key factories in the north unable to operate or facing a summer where they cannot be guaranteed a regular supply of electricity.
The release of one game, in particular, has caught some attention — Zetsumei Toshi 4, a game in which players are cast as a character challenged to survive a huge earthquake and flood. Not surprisingly, this game has been put on indefinite hold. Plenty of other titles, including the latest in the yakuza series, have also been postponed for the near term.
Traditional gaming – the type that involves a game console hooked up to a TV and a $50 dollar game disc spinning in the drive – has however, been on somewhat of a downward trend since 2008. Read around and there are lots of people who have been writing of the Japanese gaming industry and any hope that it has in the future. But as we have covered elsewhere in the blogs, Japan still leads the way in plenty of areas and social games, in particular, remain a very bright spot.
Companies like DeNA and Gree have not only invested money in Japan`s reconstruction, but they have also developed employment opportunities for those living in affected areas and have a keen eye on reaching out to a global audience.