Fueled by a desire by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to bolster the nation’s crypto industry as part of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s “Cool Japan” tech strategy, Japan has embarked on a renewed journey into the world of Web3, embracing decentralized blockchain technologies, the metaverse, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
At the recent NexTech Week trade show in Tokyo, Sebastien Guillemot, co-founder of Web3 gaming engine Paima Studios, discussed the opportunities and challenges faced in Web3 game development and shed light on Japan’s blockchain-related developments.
According to Guillemot, much of the innovation happening in Japan’s Web3 space is led by the country’s tech giants and startups, which are moving into the realm of gaming and gamification. Said Guillemot, “A number of Japanese gaming companies, such as Bandai Namco, Sega, and Square Enix, have announced their intent to move into the blockchain gaming space. So there’s quite a lot of interest in gaming in Japan, alongside interest from the bigger gaming companies to make the move into Web3.”
On top of that, the Japanese government is actively promoting blockchain use cases in its effort to be a leader in Web3. Added Guillemot, “A lot of Japanese companies are taking this as a sign to move into gaming or gamification — commemorative NFTs and other similar use cases that are gamification-like. These companies are able to build really awesome experiences really fast in just a few days.”
Despite Japan’s promising interest in Web3, particularly by way of gaming and gamification along with government support for blockchain use cases, significant challenges remain. The regulatory landscape is yet to be fully defined, and tax measures are not yet in place, creating uncertainty for non-Japanese entrepreneurs and developers.
However, as outlined in its recent white paper, the Japanese government has expressed its commitment to transforming the nation into a Web3 leader, prompting companies to closely monitor regulatory developments and align their strategies accordingly.
With its robust market, substantial GDP per capita, and internationally renowned brands, Japan holds tremendous potential to emerge as a prominent player in the Web3 space, especially if it can harness blockchain technology to propel its brands into the global arena.