When we talk of video games, there is no doubt that Japan is one of the leaders in the market. First and foremost, it has one of the largest pools of players in the world. According to statistics, the number of video game players in the country, as of 2018, are estimated to be around 67.6 million players. And by now, the numbers are expected to have increased substantially.
But that’s not all, as Japan is also a master of creating gaming software. Although Japan did not invent the very first video game, since the video games industry was born, Japan fully embraced the gaming culture passionately and ended up having the largest impact in the industry. Video games in Japan have a rich history that dates back to the 60s. Many experts say that after the game industry crash, back in the early 80s, the industry might have ended if not for developers like Nintendo and Sega, Japan-based developers, resurrecting it with gusto.
The same companies, accompanied by top-rated developers like Capcom, Square Enix, Konami, NEC, and many others, are responsible for the creation of the most popular games in the world. The selection of games those companies offer are highly diverse, as some games can be stand-alone or part of a series. That is why many Japanese video game series have become popular not only in Japan but globally. Listed below are some of the best-selling Japanese video game series.
The Legend of Zelda
This series is a collection of high fantasy, action, and adventure video games centred on the same story. Game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka created this game, and Nintendo was responsible for its development and publishing.
The Legend of Zelda collection is centred on the many reincarnations of the princess Zelda and a courageous young man, named Link, as they defend their world from an evil warlord/demon king. Although the personality and back-story of the incarnations of Link and Zelda differ from game to game in the series, they often retain many common traits.
Its gameplay incorporates the elements of action RPG games and action-adventure and features a mix of action, puzzle, adventure/battle, gameplay, and exploration. The first Legend of Zelda was released back in 1986, and since then, the series added 19 new video games and many spin offs. The most recent game in the series is Hyrule Warrior: Age of Calamity.
Metal Gear is a series that contains a collection of action, adventure, and stealth video games. It was created by Hideo Kojima and the developer responsible for its development and publication was Konami. Interestingly, apart from normal video games, Konami is also involved in creating popular Japan video games found at online casinos.
The first game in the Metal Gear series “Metal Gear” came out in 1987. The character the player will play will often be a special forces operative (Solid Snake or Big Boss), going on missions. After the first release, about 22 prequels, sequels, and spin offs have been released for multiple consoles, with the latest release titled “Metal Gear Survive” in 2018.
The Final Fantasy series contains many role-playing video games of fantasy and science fantasy genre. The series was created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and Square Enix was responsible for the development and publishing. The first release of this game happened back in 1987, and about 14 other entries and spin-offs have been released since then. The more recent one is Final Fantasy VII Remake, which hit the market in 2020.
Final Fantasy’s installations are usually stand-alone stories or role-playing games, each with different settings, plots, and main characters. However, the series is about a group of heroes, responsible for fighting a great evil, while also exploring the internal struggles and relationships of the characters.
Many Final Fantasy games are widely acclaimed and played in many markets globally through numerous video game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices.
The Resident Evil video game series is popularly known as “Biohazard” in Japan. It is a Japanese horror video game series created and owned by Capcom. The series follows the story of many characters battling the outbreaks of zombies and many other monsters purposely created by Umbrella Corporation, a pharmaceutical company. The very first resident game came out in 1996 for PlayStation, and it was created by Shinji Mikami and Tokuro Fujiwari. After this, many other Resident Evil games have been released over the years reaching up to 26, with the latest game “Resident Evil Village” slated to be released in 2021.
This game series has grown very popular globally to the extent that various adaptations of the games have been made for Novels, comics, live-action film series, and animated films, and others. Another notable mention is that this video game has been made into an online slot game with the same title.
Aside from the Resident Evil slot machine, there are many more slot games in the market with Japanese video game-inspired themes. Another example is the Resident Evil 6 online slot developed by Skywind Group and Castlevania online slot from Konami.
Written by: Bright Elemeje