The Japanese mobile app market has experienced explosive growth over the past two years, driven by changing user habits during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a report, Liftoff and Adjust examine the Japanese mobile market and discuss the dominant genres.

Read the full Liftoff and Adjust report here.

The country’s mobile users turned to apps to make necessary purchases, reorganize finances, entertain themselves, or pass the time. As the pandemic waned, users’ habits continued to change.

This market brings challenges and benefits for app marketers looking to increase their share in Japan. The average age of Japanese people is relatively high at 49.2 years old. Even though Japan is known for developing cutting-edge technology, it has slowly adopted it across the population.

Side note: Global report on app marketing for H1 2022 — The state of mobile game and app markets.

Japan’s mobile users have grown over the past few years. According to a study by Insider Intelligence, the number of smartphone owners among Internet users ages 16 to 64 has surpassed 90%.

A report by social media agency We Are Social also found that 98% of social media users log onto platforms via cell phones, and 59% of smartphone users play games.

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Japan is the world’s third-largest gaming market, with 22% more sessions in 2021 than last year. Today the market situation is different — the number of sessions is 8% higher than at the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the report, app installs in all verticals in Japan increased by 19% annually from 2020 to 2021.

Hyper-casual games accounted for only 1% of total sessions. This is the lowest of all genres surveyed. RPG games equalled the action genre in several sessions at 17%, followed by puzzle games at 6%.

In terms of installations, hyper-casual games dominate — 15% of new downloads. RPGs follow them at 13% and puzzle games at 12%. Casual games ranked in the middle of the list regarding installations and sessions at 7% and 8%, respectively.

Apple mobile devices accounted for 67% of all sessions, while Android devices accounted for 33%.

Marketers are adapting and developing strategies based on regional trends, user preferences and habits to take full advantage of opportunities.

The Liftoff and Adjust report includes insights from marketers with extensive experience driving app growth across the country.