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JAMMA Is Held With Japan's Consumer Viddie Expo

Posted On: 9/23/2011

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Japan Amusement Machinery Manufacturers Association, JAMMA Show, Amusement Machine Show, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tokyo Game Show, Makuhari Messe, Japan earthquake, Japanese video game industry, Sega, Namco, Konami, Capcom, Sony, Nintendo, amusement business, amusement machine operator, vending machine, arcade game, coin-op game, Hello Taito

TOKYO -- The Japan Amusement Machinery Manufacturers Association held its annual amusement exposition here at the Makuhari Messe convention center site from Sept. 15 to 17, a few days later than originally scheduled.

The association's Amusement Machine Show, or "JAMMA Show" as American trade members typically call it, was staged despite predictions earlier this year by the country's mainstream media that it might have to be cancelled. As reported by VT, speculation was widespread that nationwide power failures and other problems resulting from the March 11 earthquakes and tsunami might force JAMMA to scale down the show or abandon it altogether. | SEE STORY

The shift of dates may have been to align Japan's coin machine show with its consumer videogame counterpart, the Tokyo Game Show, which was staged on the same dates in another part of the same convention center.

Visitors said this year's JAMMA Show featured a large complement of redemption and "medal games," a Japanese variation on redemption. New videogames at the expo included Namco's Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

A few days after the show, The (London) Times reported that Japan's aging population is increasingly reflected in the patron demographics of its coin-op arcades. The paper said in Tokyo's suburban Hello Taito arcade, for example, "as many as 90% of its weekday visitors are over 60 years old."

The newspaper cited JAMMA officials as saying Japan's total arcade base has shrunk 20% since 2006 as players increasingly devote their time and money to consumer console games at home.

The Tokyo Game Show, by the way, evidenced an increasing focus by manufacturers on videogames for smartphones and other mobile platforms.

Other major trends include social gaming and games for women. Japan's social-games market generated $1.4 billion in 2010. It is expected to almost triple to $3.99 billion by 2013, according to Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

In addition, analysts say the industry segment catering to female players with dating-style games sold on social networks is exploding. The niche currently represents 5% ($78.6 million) of Japan's $10.6 billion consumer videogame industry but could triple to $261 million in five years, according to experts.