forum chatter


By: Mark Lawson

On: 14-Mar-2011


Japanese Games Industry Report

What the earthquake has caused
On Friday, March 11, Japan was hit by the largest earthquake in the country’s history. In light of the recent tragedy, now reports are coming in as to how the gaming industry is responding to the devastation. 

Japanese game publishers have announced plans to support relief efforts for victims of the natural disaster. 

Nintendo announced their plans to donate 300 million yen (about $3.6 million) to various aid groups. Sony has promised to donate the same amount, as well as 30 thousand radios for victims of the disaster. Sega is donating 200 million yen ($2.4 million). Namco announced donations totaling 100 million ($1.2 million) and that they were also accepting donations from its staff. Tecmo Koei has pledged 10 million yen ($122,000) and is also accepting donations from fans.  All the companies listed are urging fans to join them by supporting relief efforts through donations.

Sony, Capcom, Techmo Koei were all hit hard as 23.5 trillion yen vanished from the stock market.

Some $287 billion was wiped off the value of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday, the first day of trading since Friday’s Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and several videogame firms have been hit hard.  By the close of trading the Nikkei had slumped by 6.18 per cent, wiping some 23.5 trillion yen from the market’s value. Nintendo was only hit moderately, with its stock falling just 1.14 per cent, and Sega also emerged relatively unscathed, its shares losing 1.32 per cent of their value.  Shares in Square Enix fell by 4.53 per cent, Namco Bandai by 6.41 per cent, Konami by 9.9 per cent, Sony by 9.12 per cent and Tecmo Koei by 10.7 per cent.

The hardest hit was Capcom, whose shares fell by 14.4 per cent. The firm announced overnight that it had closed 10 of its amusement arcades in the Tohoku and Kanto regions because of damage to premises.

The Nikkei slump was the biggest in a single day since October 2008, with more than 4.88 billion shares changing hands, the highest since World War II. The Tokyo Electric Power Company’s value fell by 23.6 per cent in the wake of two explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, with rolling blackouts beginning today to head off a feared nationwide power shortage.

Several Japanese online gaming services have been shut down in a bid to save power following last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami.  Games like Metal Gear Online, Final Fantasy Xi and Final Fantasy XIV have all been switched offline until further notice.

Capcom has delayed the first downloadable content for Marvel Vs Capcom 3. New characters Jill Valentine and Shuma Gorath were to be released on Xbox Live tomorrow, March 15. We're waiting to hear back from Capcom if the delay will apply worldwide.

More information as it breaks.

P.S: If you wish to help, please donate to the Red Cross or the Japan Society