Characteristics of the Japanese app marketMobile apps are used by a majority of Japanese smartphone users, but most prefer apps that can be downloaded for free. This is also true in the case of mobile games, which are the most popular form of gaming in Japan. Mobile game companies generate revenues mainly via in-game purchases that allow users to engage with additional content. Another possibility of creating revenue streams is in-app advertising, which is readily employed by video-sharing apps and other media-related services.
Next to domestic companies, app developers targeting the Japanese market often hail from China, the U.S., or South Korea. Entering the Japanese app market remains a challenge especially for smaller foreign companies, as Japanese consumers are said to exhibit a high brand-consciousness. In addition, localization remains an important issue, as many Japanese are not fluent in foreign languages. A further issue is information security, which has become an important topic for Japanese consumers in recent years. In 2021, more than 1.7 million account holders were affected by a hack of the popular matchmaking app Omiai, which resulted in the leak of personal information such as driver licenses and passports.