Japan Data

Esports Little More than a Name to Most in Japan

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Esports—live competitive video gaming—is gaining more attention since being selected as an official event for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. In Japan, a public poll conducted in February revealed that awareness of the sport has risen to almost 80%.

Japanese research firm MyVoice Communications conducted an online survey on gaming and esports in February, receiving responses from over 10,000 people.

It found that around 35% of respondents felt they knew what esports were, while roughly 44% had heard of them, but did not really know what they were. In total, 79% of people had some awareness of esports.

Only 21% of respondents had not heard of esports—compared with 57% in July 2018. In 2018, less than 18% percent of respondents knew what esports were—a figure that has now doubled.

The survey also asked if respondents had played video games in the past year, either on a smartphone, PC, or dedicated gaming machine. Overall, around 40% of people surveyed had played a game in the past year. Of those who had, 22.5% said they played almost daily—outnumbering those who played only a few times per week, per month, or less.

Only minor changes were noted from the previous survey, with a 4% increase in people who played almost daily and a 3% drop in people who had not played a game in the previous year.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: The 2020 League of Legends World Championship—an esports tournament held in Shanghai in October 2020. © AFP/Jiji.)

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