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Japan is the world’s biggest market for consumer spending on location-based titles like Pokémon Go and Dragon Quest Walk, having generated over $620 million in 2023.
That’s according to a report by Sensor Tower, which says this accounts for 50% of the global spending on geolocation games.
The top five titles in the genre alone generate that $620 million. Square Enix’s Dragon Quest Walk was comfortably the leader at $300 million in revenue, followed by Pokémon Go, Monster Hunter Go, Station Memo and Nobunaga’s Ambition.
By comparison, the United States – the second largest market for this genre – spent over $380 million on the top five games, nearly 40% less than Japan. South Korea’s spending on its top five came in at less than $16 million, while China didn’t reach $2 million.
While Dragon Quest Walk is the leader in Japan, Pokémon Go remains the most popular location-based game in the US and South Korea, accounting for $300 million and $14 million in revenue respectively.
Sensor Tower reflected on the factors that have led to the success of geolocation games in Japan, including the fact that most people travel by foot or via train (as opposed to the US, where most people drive), and that the top five games are all based on Japanese IP.
However, the genre remains relatively niche even in Japan, where it accounts for just 5% of overall mobile game revenue.