For dedicated gamers across Asia, late-night sessions often mean chugging cans of Red Bull or snacking on fast food to stay awake. But what about the greasy fingerprints left on keyboards? Or the danger of keeping drinks near gaming equipment? Noodle maker Nissin says it has the answer: caffeinated Cup Noodles. “The gaming population in Japan is growing year by year, especially among young people, and the number is said to have surpassed 50 million,” the company said in a Monday news release. “To meet this demand, Nissin Foods is launching a new ‘gamer-friendly’ product for the first time in its history from its flagship brands Cup Noodles and Nissin Curry Meshi.” The caffeinated noodles will come in two flavors: garlic and black pepper yakisoba — which contains shrimp, pork, egg and cabbage — and curry, which uses a base of pork and vegetables. Both products are sauce-based and “soup-free, so there is no need to worry about getting your hands or peripherals dirty, making them the perfect meal in between game-playing sessions,” the release said. It added that the noodles were “the strongest ‘buff meshi’ ” — combining the words for “buff,” meaning “an increase in one’s attack, defense, recovery or movement speed in a game,” and “meshi” meaning meal. The noodles will be released in Japan starting September 18, with the garlic and black pepper flavor priced at 280 yen (about $1.90) and the curry flavor sold at 298 yen (about $2). The news was met with enthusiasm from some Japanese users on social media. “The most powerful buff meal for gamers, containing the ingredients of an energy drink,” one wrote on X, previously known as Twitter. “No liquid in it, so no need to worry about an unexpected accident. I have to try this!!” For decades, Japan has been a pioneer in global gaming culture. From the Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog games that became cultural giants, to the Sega Mega Drive and Game Boy consoles which were symbols of their time, gaming was led by Tokyo for decades. “Without the contributions of Japan, we wouldn’t have a video game industry,” Blake J Harris, a video game expert and author of “Console Wars,” told CNN in 2017. Meanwhile the gaming and e-sports industry has exploded in popularity across the world, with the global games market expected to generate revenue of $187.7 billion this year, according to gaming data and analytics firm Newzoo. And while Japan’s cultural clout waned in the early 2000s, its gaming market is still growing, generating revenues of $22.1 billion in 2021, according to Newzoo. Japan currently sits third globally in video game revenues, behind the United States and China.