The last couple of years have been tough on Japanese game developers, according to a recently released study (PDF
). The study, compiled by one Mirko Ernkvist, used consolidated financial data and revealed that just over half of Japanese developers actually manage to turn a profit. Specifically, in the last reported fiscal year for Japanese developers, 54.8 percent of companies reported a positive profit.
Obviously, that means that nearly half of developers either broke even or saw a financial loss. The study attributes these issues to a decrease in both domestic and international demand, increasing production costs and other factors like a strong Japanese Yen and "unfavorable demographic development in Japan and the challenging development of domestic consumption."
The data collected refers mostly to larger, publicly held companies, while financial data regarding smaller studios is harder to come by. Still, the study paints something of a bleak picture. With several Japan-focused panels
planned for GDC next month -- notably a panel with Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune
-- you can bet we'll be hearing plenty about how Japanese developers plan to reinvigorate their industry.