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Releasing games in Japan

09-01-2011, 03:06 PM
#1
Joined: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 245
Releasing games in Japan

Hi,

I'm looking into the possibility of releasing games in Japan and just wondered firstly what people's experiences have been of the Japanese market and secondly, tax issues. I've seen the forms available on-line and have been looking into "consumption tax". How have people dealt with this issue.

Thanks.

Fantasy Adventure eBook set on a magical writer's desk available for DOWNLOAD @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9K3KTW
09-01-2011, 05:57 PM
#2
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpiral View Post
Hi,

I'm looking into the possibility of releasing games in Japan and just wondered firstly what people's experiences have been of the Japanese market and secondly, tax issues. I've seen the forms available on-line and have been looking into "consumption tax". How have people dealt with this issue.

Thanks.
Make sure you fill out the exemption form otherwise the Japanese tax agency will take their share. There is no way to retroactively claim it either.

Manta AppShopper Links:
Chalkboard Stunts, AppSniper, Cubes, Virus, Cubix

09-01-2011, 06:04 PM
#3
Joined: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manta Research View Post
Make sure you fill out the exemption form otherwise the Japanese tax agency will take their share. There is no way to retroactively claim it either.
Thanks for the response MR. I was looking at the on-line form. It makes a big difference when you claim the treaty allowance.

Have you done anything/or know about the consumption tax issue (5%). I've been trying to research this on the internet. Some say, don't worry others say that you should set something aside for the Tax authorities. As I understand things, consumption Tax is a sales tax like VAT and HST here in Canada. Are people assuming that this is dealt with at the source when payments are taken?

Fantasy Adventure eBook set on a magical writer's desk available for DOWNLOAD @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9K3KTW
09-01-2011, 06:59 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpiral View Post
Thanks for the response MR. I was looking at the on-line form. It makes a big difference when you claim the treaty allowance.

Have you done anything/or know about the consumption tax issue (5%). I've been trying to research this on the internet. Some say, don't worry others say that you should set something aside for the Tax authorities. As I understand things, consumption Tax is a sales tax like VAT and HST here in Canada. Are people assuming that this is dealt with at the source when payments are taken?
I don't really know about the consumption tax. I do know that we've had a decent amount of sales in Japan for one of our products and we did not have to set aside anything for the Japanese tax authorities or make any additional payments. I'm assuming it's taken out at source, similar to HST, but I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable about this.

Manta AppShopper Links:
Chalkboard Stunts, AppSniper, Cubes, Virus, Cubix
09-02-2011, 08:13 PM
#5
Manta, where you had good sales for one of your apps, was it localised for Japan?
09-02-2011, 08:29 PM
#6
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChunkoutGames View Post
Manta, where you had good sales for one of your apps, was it localised for Japan?
It wasn't, but the description was localized, which helped I think. Perhaps for a game, screenshots may be sufficient, but the less obvious the app is, the more helpful localization will be.

Manta AppShopper Links:
Chalkboard Stunts, AppSniper, Cubes, Virus, Cubix
09-03-2011, 03:54 AM
#7
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 10
I'd don't know/remember sales but couple of months ago I read on a Polish dev forum (iOS) that one team localized their title (productivity app) for Japan's market and they earned more money than from others markets.

So their/our conclusion: you don't have to put much effort/money for a localization process (and some tweaks inside the app) to gain much more (sales) from those markets... so - why not to try!?

Good luck!

Working hard for the hardzone now...
09-03-2011, 04:12 AM
#8
Joined: May 2011
Location: Big Apple
Posts: 197
I'm not quite familiar with the tax regulation in Japan, but you'd better find a professional accountant to deal with the tax issue.

I know many firms registered in small unknown countries far away on some damn weird corner of the planet in order to evade tax. Apple is one of them. Well I'd better shut up. :x
09-05-2011, 12:34 AM
#9
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 286
I can't really comment on the tax side of things, but one thing I would be considering heavily if I was to release a game to Japan is their culture.

I've seen some pretty darn obscure games come out of Japan and what works well in western cultures may not work so well in eastern, and vice versa of course.

Localizing the game is also a pretty good idea, so def do this again...
09-06-2011, 06:25 AM
#10
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
I made a Japanese promo video, PR, etc - sent to whatever decent sites over there I could dig up, they ignored me. One of their puzzle-centric sites found our game and gave a decent review with lots of detail, but it's still never sold any numbers worth mentioning.

I'll probably not promote over there anymore unless someone approaches me, but we'll see.