XSeed Could Port Otome Games To The West If Demand Is High Enough
(Last Updated On: February 26, 2017)

One of the niche categories of games that are very popular in Japan are the Otome games. They’re essentially dating simulators geared toward the female gaming audience. It’s the equivalent of all the fan-service visual novels and dating simulators geared toward male gamers. However, Otome games haven’t been quite so popular, or marketed much in the West. XSeed Games might change that if there’s enough demand.

Speaking in an interview with GOG.com, XSeed Games rep Ken Barry explained that while Otome games have generally been niche and more-so popular in Japan, they could try bringing some West if market demand is high enough…

“We always thought the “otome” genre geared toward female players that often involves developing a romantic relationship with one of the many male characters would be difficult, but we’re not quite so sure anymore. We continue to get fan requests for this kind of game, so it’s one that we wouldn’t mind testing out in the future at some point to see if there really is a market for it or not.”

Some Otome games aimed at the female gaming audience have been launched on Steam. However, the titles haven’t been the most popular. The free Otome game Seduce Me managed to rack up 230,000 downloads, but the paid one, Seduce Me 2, only managed 9,000 sales.

It’s a difficult market to break into and there’s no real easy way to get the word out to the kind of gamers who might be interested in the title, unless of course it’s advertised on Tumblr.

The Otome market is a tough market to crack. It’s mostly aimed at female gamers who are usually classified as casuals, and casuals don’t usually visit enthusiast gaming websites where the Otome titles might be advertised.

The other issue a company like XSeed would have to deal with is that larger gaming websites – like Polygon and Kotaku – could just as well help them get the word out as they could diminish interest by attacking the games for not being politically correct or “progressive” enough.

It makes sense why XSeed would be leery about porting over very niche games that could be labeled as “problematic” by Western media.

Marvelous Entertainment, XSeed’s parent company, has released Otome games in the past for various platforms, but they’ve all been relegated to being released in Asia. But who knows? Maybe we’ll see more Otome games make their way westward if enough gamers demand them.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • TT

    I’m not a fan of otome games, or dating sims in general, but I will always appreciate the efforts of xseed as I truly feel they are the best example of bringing games over with consistent quality translations. That being said, with the games media being shit right, it really does make it difficult to gauge the interest for these kinds of titles.

    • with the games media being shit right, it really does make it difficult to gauge the interest for these kinds of titles.

      At this point, I don’t even know how a company would gauge interest without the results being tainted in someway. Online polls would be brigaded by one side or the other; they would have to find forums that were overtaken by SJWs; and they couldn’t rely on media given that they’re all ideologically driven with their own biases.

      I feel really bad for a lot of niche publishers in today’s climate.

      • Nina Storm

        whats SJW?

        • SJWs are Social Justice Warriors. They’re moral busybodies who tell people they can’t have fun in gaming, and they’re more concerned with the rights of anime chicks than they are real women with real, actual issues in places where equal rights still aren’t mandated.

          Essentially, Social Justice Warriors pretend to care about social issues plaguing our society, but the most they ever do is virtue signal online through social media and take part in outrage culture by digitally shouting and pointing but doing nothing of any significance to actually help solve real-world problems.

  • Disqusted

    Ironic that the West goes on and on about equality and promoting feminism, but for whatever reason, doesn’t bother porting games aimed at female gamers. Says a lot, I think. Goes well with how they’re literally trying to make Western women into men.

    • Ironic that the West goes on and on about equality and promoting feminism, but doesn’t bother porting games aimed at female gamers, regardless of the reason.

      That’s how you know the SJW-feminists are all full of bull crap. If it was really about female gamers they would be advocating for more Otome games. But sales haven’t been that high for those titles in the West and it’s likely because a lot of people don’t know that they exist. And the media does a darn fine job of ignoring said games so they can keep attacking AAA titles.

  • Dreiko

    As long as they don’t get localized to make the female protagonist “more empowered” and “less of a doormat” and as long as they don’t change the way the story goes to make it seem “more consentual” then I’m all for this.

    (yes, if you were wondering, the guy handling the Hakuoki localization did all of those quoted things to the heroine of the game because his personal morality and tastes mattered more than the original story)

    Like a normal person, the boobs and asses, while nice, are not why I play visual novels, I just like the stories. Otomege like Hakuoki can have amazing stories, so as someone secure in their sexuality, I can enjoy those just fine. If anything, more otome games being released would shut up all those people who claim anime or VNs are sexist. This is why Yaoi has always been a help for the community, it shows them that there’s nothing sexist about anime and that everyone can enjoy themselves.

    • Disqusted

      Hakuoki localization guy sounds like a piece of shit.

    • If anything, more otome games being released would shut up all those people who claim anime or VNs are sexist

      lol, if you honestly think these people are going to shut up just because more otome games are released then you’re mistaken

      These people are complete hypocrites and do not even try to hide it

      They’ll continue to shit on the boobs whilst ignoring or praising and glorifying otome games at the same time

      • Dreiko

        Look, I may be idealistic but I think a good chunk of them are just thinking they’re doing the “right thing” so when they see this hypocrisy they will wake up and realize what they’re doing.

        It won’t be all of them, I’m not dumb enough to think it’s gonna be most of em, but anyone at all waking up is a good thing and it at the very least doesn’t harm. The ones doing this just for personal gain of course will try to find something else to whine about (such as the heroine not being feministy enough) but I do have hope in this being overall a step forward. A small one but a step forward nonetheless.

      • Nina Storm

        I am a feminist and I really do not care. Games are games. Let guys have their anime babes and let us girls have our anime guy hunks xD 😉 no harm in fiction man.

    • mikebrand83

      Referring to this interview, right?

      That would actually explain quite a lot. It’s been a long time since I played Hakuoki on the PSP, but I do vaguely recall feeling something of a disconnect between Chizuru’s inner monologues and her actions.

      Thinking about it in hindsight, if her relatively passive personality (and the fact that she was in waaay over her head) was a lot more consistent, then when she does act, both the significance and impact of her action would have been that much greater… Sort of like the difference between someone who was staying silent (or only talking quietly) suddenly shouting, versus somebody who was already chattering at a normal voice shouting at the same volume.

      • Dreiko

        Right, that thing right there. Looking over it makes my blood boil and makes me thank my 16 year old self for deciding to study Japanese such that I don’t need to deal with localizations any more lol.

        Instead, now I just take my time to point out BS such as this to other people and let them know what is actually ongoing in their favorite stories.

        • Red

          I appreciate people like you who point out these type of things 👍

    • Red

      Are u talking about the upcoming Hakuoki localization?

      • Dreiko

        I’m unsure if the new hakuoki is just a remake with a few new stuff or a brand new story but if it’s just an enhanced re-release my instinct would say that they would reuse at least parts of it because it’s such a huge task (like 5 books worth of text or something) so redoing it would be highly inefficient, even if it’s not up to the standards we would wish it to be.

        The game’s story is just solid all around and a really epic samurai/demon tale in the vein of Rurouni Kenshin so even those kinds of changes won’t come close at actually ruining the experience (especially since most people don’t know these things were done and don’t speak Japanese, so they won’t take a step back and go “did they really translate this that way…?” when Chizuru says something entirely contrary to the subs) so they have little financial incentive to redo their mostly successful work.

  • Tumbleweed from the SJW/feminist side of course

  • I openly support doing this. I once argued with a guy who believes otome games should be censored or banned just because it happens to male-targeted games – but that line of thinking is complete bullshit, and honestly unfair toward women who don’t buy into SJW crap at all.

    • No idea why otome games would need be to censored or banned. If chicks dig those games, then let ’em have at it.

      • They’re highly misandrist and contribute to the sexualization of men…

        …said nobody ever.

      • Smug

        Kenka Bacho otome should have never existed

        • Zufield

          Truer words have never been spoken.

        • Red

          I disagree

        • free market is a thing u know

      • He argued that to fight authoritarianism, you have be be authoritarian back at them, to “deter them” and “teach them a lesson”.

        The guy had serious issues, to say the least.

        • That’s a bullcrap argument. Once you become the monsters you fight, you’ve already lost.

          • Disqusted

            I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Sometimes it takes a monster to beat a monster. And most people won’t complain about something until they’ve become a victim of it themselves. They just can’t imagine it otherwise.

            But I think this is one of those cases where nobody would give a shit either way. It wouldn’t stop censorship in general.

          • Sometimes it takes a monster to beat a monster. And most people won’t
            complain about something until they’ve become a victim of it themselves.

            This is exactly it.

            I’m going to sound like an asshole now (oh who cares, I do most of the time anyway), but female gamers who are into male fanservice have NEVER had to suffer censorship nor banning of their material. They also never have to see or hear the mainstream games media shit on their medium. And if the media does bring their medium up, it’s praised and never criticized.

            Yuri On Ice, a faggotry Yaoi anime, got absolutely praised through the roof like it was the 7th wonder of the world by the Western SJW anime media. Yet Keijo!!!!!!!!, an anime (released and ended last year) where females attack each other with their boobs, was labelled as “sexist”.

            I can absolutely 100% guarantee you that if Keijo!!!!!!!! featured males instead, the same media will praise it as if it’s the best thing since sliced bread and say things like “it’s just a bit of fun”, “this empowers women”, etc.

            And like a decade ago when I used to go onto anime forums, a lot of Yaoi fangirls (not all, but a LOT) have always made it clear that they want Yuri to “cease existing” (I remember one particular person saying those exact words) because they hated it. You can argue it’s the same the other way round but it’s female characters that are getting censored here, not male characters.

            Throughout my 5-6 years following GamerGate (I was there even before GG was a thing), aside from a few such as mombot, Liberal Lunacy, etc. there were hardly any female gamers that stood up for us when Anita Sarkeesian and her Twitter mob was ploughing through the video games industry and murdering the sexy female characters. The fight was always down to male gamers. Yes, you can argue that there aren’t as many female gamers as there is male gamers, but my point still stands, because the anti-SJW females were very quiet on the matter as well.

            Like Disqusted said, most people (in this case, females who play fanservice games) won’t complain about something until they’ve become a victim of it themselves. The vast majority of them don’t give a shit about the boobs and tits getting censored/banned. I bet you it will be a different story if otome games start getting censored or banned, THEN SUDDENLY they will be concerned with the issue of censorship.

            Therefore I am very reluctant to support otome games for the reasons I mentioned above. But I will wish the genre the best of luck.

          • Waifu Engineering

            As an aside, I practically gave up on believing in the concept of the “fairer sex” once I read a bit on history. A few weeks ago someone on /pol/ who unironically declared women shouldn’t be allowed to vote gave an almost-dissertation showing how Suffragettes — aside from conducting terrorist bombing activites — when they were coming into power actually helped the vote in favor of World War I. And of course one Great War isn’t enough a Second must follow. Once in full voting bloc they also helped pass Prohibition, so it was pretty clear that they would always be in favor of suffering and no fun
            allowed. I should have screencapped the thread it even had annotations.

            So never expect women to stand up for what is REALLY right, just let them parrot when it’s safe to virtue signal. Stalwart females archetypes such as Athena are actually a fiction, conjured up when we think of anima (unconscious female versions of ourselves).

            Alright, that’s enough from this resident misanthrope

            On your earlier comment, can you quantify how much Yaoi industry dwarfs the Yuri?

          • Once in full voting bloc they also helped pass Prohibition, so it was pretty clear that they would always be in favor of suffering and no fun allowed.

            Giving the women the vote was the noble thing to do and I have no problems with it. Equality and all.

            But the problem now is that seeing as they’ve become the majority of voters (51% female – 49% male), they clearly have and still are “abusing” this majority power to vote for things purely of their own self-interests, and this mainly consists of anything that is pro-woman and anti-men. All you have to do is look at how the Western law courts, academia, education, workplace, etc. is so blatantly biased against boys/men as evidence of this.

            Western politics and government are only listening to the 51% of women voters and completely ignoring and dismissing the 49% of male voters.

            And for the last 20-30 years, women and feminists have had no interest in genuine equality. They’re the ones with the voting power so why aren’t they voting for laws and practices to make it fairer for men?

            There’s a YouTuber called Turd Flinging Monkey who gets this stuff spot-on. 1-2 years I used to watch his channel, but since then I haven’t, so I cannot comment on his material after that.

            So never expect women to stand up for what is REALLY right, just let them parrot when it’s safe to virtue signal.

            They will only stand up for their own self-interests and whatever affects them.

            So in the case of fan-service in games, manga, anime, etc., do not and never expect straight females to stand up against censorship of the boobs. From my experience when interacting with them on those forums years ago, the vast majority of them hate female ecchi, hentai, yuri because it’s “perverted” and “creepy”… BUT yet, two men sticking their dicks into each other is suddenly “cute” and “dreamy” to them. Fuck off with these double-standards.

            So if anything, females will actually be in favour of the boobs and vagina getting censored.

            It’s going to be down to us privileged straight males to make the fight against censorship and make a difference.

            On your earlier comment, can you quantify how much Yaoi industry dwarfs the Yuri?

            No I do not have any citations, but from I see myself and what people have told me, Yaoi is far more dominant in the manga comics sector. For Visual Novels, it’s probably 60-40 in favour of Yuri perhaps? Yaoi is high in the manga comic areas because girls/young women love all that romance/dating crap.

            What I remember from a decade ago during my arguments discussions on several well-known Anime forums was that a few people did post some statistics regarding the manga comics industry… from what I remember the ratio was something like 4-to-1 in favour of Yaoi. But this was a more than a decade ago, the statistic may be different now.

            Also ironically, due to SJWs and feminists, straight female hatred of Yuri may have lessened in the Western manga/anime climate because those SJW LGBTQ spacks are always promoting and glorifying lesbian stuff (as long as it’s not designed to appeal to men).

            Finally, I need to stress that these are based on what I see in the trends, what people have told me, my past interactions with the manga/anime community and what I remember. So take my comments with a grain of salt.

          • The problem with doing it back to SJWs is that 1) they never actually learn from their mistakes, and 2) you’ll validate their victim complex by actually victimizing them, thereby giving them actual evidence that they’re being unfairly persecuted. I refuse to give them that leverage.

        • Nina Storm

          No way, otomes should not be banned! I mean, geez just because a small handful of games are targeting another audience people get salty like really? I for one and supporting it with my monies in hopes we receive more.

      • Alistair

        Well as long xseed still dip its toes with echhi titles for the males too.

        Then it okay by me unfortunately others won’t be as happy.

        • Yeah at this point, my whole thing is that so long as they aren’t censoring games that SJWs don’t play, they can make whatever they want.

    • Alistair

      I’m all for otome games, after all it a free market after all.

      It such a pity though, only one type of games is allow but everything else is a no.

      I also don’t think otome games should be censored only uncensored.