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Business trends

Chinese and Korean games edge into Japan's hit-hungry market

NetEase's 'Knives Out' makes No. 5 in 2018 sales

GungHo Online Entertainment has seen a decline in users of its blockbuster "Puzzle & Dragons." (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara) 

TOKYO -- Smartphone games from China and South Korea are growing in popularity in Japan, where developers are suffering from slowing earnings amid a dearth of hit titles.

Of 17 Japanese game producers focused on mobile content, 12 booked either a profit decline or a loss in the July-September quarter. Nevertheless, the Japanese market for smartphone games is expected to grow 15% this year to around $14 billion, according to App Annie, an American app market data company.

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