Japan iGaming market analysis
Like many places around the world, significant improvements in mobile and internet access in Japan have greatly enhanced online casino gameplay. And at the same time, there has also been an increasing interest from consumers in playing for real money.
Japan’s online gambling market forecast is optimistic, mirroring global trends, with a market projection of $10.7 billion by 2023, and a significant year-over-year growth rate from $7.2 billion in 2022.
Given this positive market outlook, it’s unsurprising that a growing number of iGaming providers are looking to enter the Japanese market.
Kaizen: a commitment to quality
As the iGaming industry in Japan continues to expand, with market size and revenues expected to rise, understanding the nuances of the local market becomes crucial for success.
The principle of ‘Kaizen’ (改善), which signifies a dedication to continuous improvement and a quest for excellence, offers insight into the Japanese market’s distinctiveness.
High standards for quality are a hallmark here, and while a superior user experience with fast load times is valued universally, in Japan, these are essential standards rather than lofty goals. Here, the pursuit of ‘good enough’ falls short; only excellence will suffice.
Japan’s top slot games – performance comparison
Using SlotCatalogs’ list of Japan’s top Game Providers as a reference, Testa conducted Japan iGaming market analysis with crowdsourced market research & benchmarking, and loaded the top 10 Slot games from major operators’ websites. The test case provided to the testers was to launch all ten listed games by clicking. The timer started when a game was connected and ended when the game was playable. All browser diagnostics were saved for analysis.
Japan iGaming market analysis: top 10 slot games speed benchmark
- Game load time (sec) – less is better; this is the actual waiting time of players when they click a button or navigate on something on the platform. The minimum gaming load time shouldn’t exceed 5 seconds or playable at least within 15 seconds, or you risk players’ retention.
- Load speed (MB/s) – larger being better; refers to the rate at which a website or application loads data from a server, so it’s important to know the local network stability and resources before setting up the platform
- Game size (MB) – normally smaller being preferable; refers to the game’s file size that a player needs to download before playing it. The size of the game can vary depending on the type, the length, and the graphics used. There’s a difference between resources and transferred, see below:
- Resources – uncompressed size of all resources, the MB of your website content (ex. 10MB) resources refer to the data a website uses to provide content and features, such as images, videos, and games.
- Transferred – compressed size of all resources, the files you download when opening your website (ex., equal to or less than 10MB) transferred files may include game assets such as graphics, sound effects, background processes, and software updates needed to ensure optimal gameplay.
Since not all games are equal – looking at a mix of load speed, game size, and overall load time can help compare games to one another. First impressions are everything, and a slow-loading game can frustrate potential players and increase their chance of bouncing.
The average load time (less is better) is the actual waiting time when a player clicks from when the tester clicks on the game icon until the game reaches a playable state. Game Global’s Mega Moolah bags the top spot with only 9.4 seconds of loading time. Under 10 seconds is a healthy loading speed.
Meanwhile, iSoftBet’s Gold Digger was the slowest of all games tested, with an average loading time of 31.06 seconds. Anything above 10-15 seconds is a very long time to wait in the age of mobile phones and on-demand everything. It is worth noting that 2/3rds of the games loaded in 15 seconds or less with a cold cache.
Google famously found that the bounce rate increased by a whopping 32% when a page took 3 seconds to load vs.1 second. Slots players may have a little more understanding as they know they are loading media-rich software – but if their Netflix video launches in a few seconds – why wouldn’t their slot game?
Next, we look at the throughput /game load speed (larger being better). The game load speed indicates the rate at which data is sent from the server and CDN to the player’s browser. Spinomenal’s Book of Rebirth wins this measurement, clocking in at 2.06 MB/s, while Push Gaming’s Wild Swarm was the slowest at 0.31 MB/S.
The average game size (normally smaller being preferable) refers to the game’s file size that a player needs to download before playing it. An optimal game size ensures the games run smoothly on different devices with varying memory and processing power levels. By optimizing the game size and memory usage, iGaming providers can provide players with a seamless gaming experience while minimizing the game’s impact on users’ devices.
Testa Japan iGaming market analysis’ data shows that Pragmatic Play’s Sweet Bonanza is a whopping 48.8MB game but only transfers 15.3 MBs of compressed data. This means a compression ratio of 69%!
Meanwhile, Spinomenal’s Book of Rebirth came in at 33.3MB uncompressed but transferred a total of 29.7 MB – a compression ratio of only 11%.
Get visibility on iGaming performance
Running a successful slots business in today’s hyper-competitive iGaming industry requires being active in markets all over the globe. The challenge is that each market has its unique preferences and user behaviors. From variations in phone quality to network connectivity – no two markets are alike. Game Studios and Providers cannot be expected to be physically present in each market they serve – which means as they expand – they lose visibility on the customer experience.
This is where Testa Japan iGaming market analysiscomes in to help. Using our team of testers in key gaming markets, providers can see real “on the ground” results and generate insights for their own games – and those of competitors. Testa’s crowdtesters come from a wide range of backgrounds and skill levels, ensuring that the testing process represents real-world player usage and is not limited to a specific group of users.
Testa Japan iGaming market analysis enables providers to gain Japanese market data and provide proof to internal and external stakeholders. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video of real users playing and interacting with iGaming products from within the market must be worth a million.
The process begins by defining test cases and data outputs with your dedicated service delivery manager. From there, the tests are assigned to our team. Results are posted to the Testa Web portal and summarized in reports. Data can include pictures, video, browser diagnostics, or any other output the client defines.
Testa is the only crowdtesting platform built specifically by iGamers experts for iGaming experts. See how crowdtesting can help you with Quality testing and improve Compliance, Performance, Integrations, and many other vital areas of the iGaming landscape. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive future research and updates, or Contact us to learn more and receive a free demonstration of our crowdtesting services.