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"Middle audience" to spur Japanese market revival

Suda 51 hopes to see games created to sit between core and casual gamers

Grasshopper CEO Suda 51 has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes that the Japanese games market - currently suffering a significant slump this calendar year - can be revived by games created for what he calls a "middle audience".

By that he means the gap between the well-served core and casual markets, a segment of the population he believes will be "very important".

"Well, there are a lot of core gamers, and a lot of lighter users playing on platforms such as the DS - but there's nothing in-between," he said during an interview at this year's Nordic Game conference. "I think it's going to be very important for games to be created for that middle audience, and that will help bring the market back on-track.

"I was actually here early last year for the promotion of the first No More Heroes, and I realised that the UK, France and Germany are the mature markets, while Italy and Spain are still growing. There are still new gamers there and they want to know more - so there are good opportunities.

"In Japan there are still core gamers, but since Nintendo released the Wii and DS a lot of people who never played games before are now playing. Those people that are playing the different types of games are growing, which is a good thing for the Japanese market."

The full interview with Suda 51 is available now.

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