Developer Sergey Galyonkin started Steam Spy as a way to supply some statistics on the game purchasing and playing trends of users on Valve’s PC game distribution platform Steam. One of the data points Galyonkin noted in a recent blog post that broke down the data he has collected is that Steam’s Japanese players really like zombie games.
“Japan is often regarded as a console market with PC games being just a niche. It’s true to some extent — only 1 percent of Steam gamers are coming from Japan,” Galyonkin wrote. “But add zombies into your game and suddenly you’re looking at 4.5 percent of Japanese players, even before proper localization! So if your game has zombies, don’t forget about a Japanese localization and some marketing there.”
While Galyonkin says that “only 1 percent” of Steam users are from Japan, that’s 1 percent of 125 million, meaning that there’s about 1.25 million Japanese gamers on Steam. Taking that number and combining it with the 4.5 percent of them playing zombie games, this means about 56,250 Japanese players on Steam.
Unfortunately, the usefulness of this data is limited, as Galyonkin doesn’t provide any other stats to compare that with. However, for Galyonkin to point this statistic out it must have been a significant one, especially as he said that “if your game has zombies, don’t forget about a Japanese localization and some marketing there.”
Additionally, Galyonkin found that China is the country that has the most piracy on Steam, but he says that “like Russia about ten years ago, China is slowly turning into a viable market for paid games.” He uses Grand Theft Auto V as an example as 11 percent of its players are from China, which is about 225,000 copies. Galyonkin adds that as GTA V was sold at the special price of $29.99 in China this means it made about $6.75 million in gross sales from China alone.
“Of course, as Russians before, Chinese gamers are unlikely to buy just any game,” Galyonkin writes, “the market for paid games is still pretty much hit-driven and games should have a strong multiplayer component so users would have an incentive to buy it instead of pirating it. But it is possible to make money from the Chinese market without going free-to-play.”