Pachinko and Japanese Pop Culture


1. Why intellectual property (IP) rights are needed in the pachinko industry.

1.1 Why the number of pachinko players is decreasing.
The number of players has been decreasing from 30,000,000 in the mid-90s to around 11,000,000 today.

One explanation given is that in light of Japan’s dwindling population, there simply are fewer and fewer youth that can become new pachinko players.
Therefore, there is a new necessity to raise the ratio of youth that become involved with pachinko.

1.2 How to create a larger sales drive.
There are some negative stereotypes associated with pachinko and pachislot such as “it costs money,” “it’s intimidating,” and “it’s noisy and it smells like cigarettes.”
Accordingly, one must overcome this initial hurdle to becoming a player, and the industry, parlors, and manufacturers have all taken steps to combat this.

A common step taken by the hardware manufacturer is leveraging the IP that they have acquired. Simply mentioning that a machine uses a person’s favorite game, cartoon, or show is likely to get them excited.
Furthermore, in the same way that newer IP attracts younger players, older IP has the possibility to attract older players.

Newer IP; TV Animation “Bakemonogatari”

Older IP; Samurai dramas “Hissatsu Shigotonin”