Enterbrain CEO Hirokazu Hamamura spoke at a semi-annual Japanese games industry seminar about the profit loss that happened as a result of the massive earthquake, tsunami and subsequent radiation containment issues that began on March 11th, 2011. According to his presentation, he estimates that the Japanese games production industry lost nearly $89 million in potential profit over the last month and a half. Obviously, that’s money that the nation could use right now.
Hamamura connects the disaster and its lasting affects to the delays and cancellations of 31 software entries. Games like Steel Diver, Yakuza of the End and Dead or Alive Dimensions have been pushed out of their March 2011 launch windows.
Hamamura even made reference to the Nintendo 3DS‘ relatively lackluster sales performance during its first few months on the market. The 3DS released in Japan on February 26th of this year. During its first month at retail, which was interrupted by the March 11th disaster, the 3DS only sold 746,000 units; the Nintendo DS, on the other hand, sold 1,105,000 units during its first month several years ago.
However, Hamamura indicates that the gaming industry in Japan may rebound quickly. As games were pushed out of their launch windows, their new release dates cluster around April and May. Hamamura expects the high concentration of software at the end of this spring to bolster the Japanese games industry’s quarterly sales results.
I will personally be in Japan at the end of the month. Don’t worry, like it or not, I’ll be doing my part to support the games industry. I say that beaming with pride now, but my wallet will likely hate me towards the middle of May.