Video game magazines that I read regularly would cover Japanese imports and niche titles, but dating sims were merely a curiosity and nothing more. The games industry has grown exponentially and modern gamers are interested in titles beyond the scope of the action, shooting and role-playing genres.
The PC is an open platform with tons of great development tools, making it ideal for small indie developers to target.
Steam on the other hand, has made digital distribution cost-effective, efficient, and accessible to a massive audience.
With my curiosity peaked, I searched Android’s mobile store to see what the market was like, as I had also seen games such as before and knew an otome version was in development.
Anticipating the selection would be meager, I was shocked at the breadth of the mobile otome market.
I suddenly felt silly for not pursuing the idea earlier and was spurred on to give them a go. I knew (rightly, it turns out) that the stories would have the same main female character and the same basic archetypes of male characters.
Our leading lady is, invariably, most or all of the following: helpless, clumsy, childish, easily flustered, and sexually reserved.
She is generally that fabled innocent virgin with a heart of gold and a face of vermillion from all the sexually-suggestive hijinks she lands in.
We sympathize, but technology keeps improving and we have to keep up, too.
They were a female-targeted version of an already popular brand of manga-inspired male dating sims named Bish?
jo (or young, beautiful girl) games. While many were doubtful about the market for female-targeted video games of any kind, the genre became hugely popular among young Japanese women, inspiring an entire subculture of dedicated players.
Many of them featured the same game mechanics, but with a variety of genres I toyed with the idea of playing one or two titles from what appeared to be the major developers, doing a quick comparison, but then shelving the idea for some reason.