In response to the increasingly tough business conditions described above, pachinko hall operators are seeking reliable returns on the limited investments they can make. Therefore, they have been introducing machines that promise favorable utilization rates. In the pachinko and pachislot machine market, the contrast between winners and losers is becoming even more pronounced due to the difference between leading manufacturersーwho have competitive intellectual properties as well as robust financial bases to support development capabilitiesーand other manufacturers. Meanwhile, pachinko and pachislot machine manufacturers and pachinko hall operators have been stepping up efforts to increase the industry’s soundness and vitality. Manufacturers have been making industry-wide efforts to introduce a series of voluntary regulations aimed at curbing functions that encourage excessive gambling. In addition, although some new-format machines compliant with the new regulations are achieving high utilization rates, pachinko hall operators are being cautious about replacing existing machines with these new machines.
Consequently, the pachinko and pachislot machine market is likely to flag over the short-to-medium term.
With a view to overcoming such impacts and extending the player base to revitalize the industry over the long term, pachinko and pachislot machine manufacturers are advancing initiatives that are a clear departure from traditional practices in the industry. For example, manufacturers have begun marketing directly to consumers. Other initiatives include the forming of partnerships between an industry competitor that would have been unthinkable previously. These partnerships are focused on establishing industry-wide platforms that will increase joint purchasing of components and the use of common components. Also, development-related collaboration among competitors promises to create new gameplay.