Earlier today Dr. Serkan Toto, CEO of the Tokyo-based games industry consultancy Kantan Games Inc, pointed out that the Japanese games market just had one of its worst days of trading in the last 10 years. Toto states he has been monitoring the top 50 Japanese game stocks for over a decade, and the closing of the market in Japan today marked one of its most damaging days.
I've been following ~50 Japanese game stocks for over 10 years now.
Today was the worst day I can remember (Tokyo Stock Exchange just closed).
Nippon Ichi -17.58%
— Dr. Serkan Toto / Kantan Games Inc. (@serkantoto) March 9, 2020
What caused the drop in the Japanese games market?
As you can see, Nintendo wasn’t the worst company hit by this fall, but they still saw a price per share drop of 3.96 percent. Most companies saw a little under double the drop that Nintendo did, though Nippon Ichi, the developer and publisher behind games such as Disgaea, took a much larger hit at 17.58 percent.
Within the thread of tweets that followed, the underlying cause behind these drops becomes clearer. Obviously the coronavirus outbreak is disrupting many businesses, some of which are involved in manufacturing products for the rest of the globe. Granted, there is an argument to be made that people staying indoors will lead to even higher game sales, but evidently, investors are not seeing things this way.
Additionally, around the same time as this drop in the games market, crude oil had a drop of 31 percent, which has a wider impact on most industries. Some people in the thread are reporting that it’s currently very difficult to find work in the Japanese games industry in general, perhaps hinting at a deeper root cause to these drops. We’ll keep you updated on the health of the gaming market.