Dating sims broaden appeal

Kimiteru Tsuruta on the increasing popularity of dating sims among Japanese women:

The video game industry has always had a strong male following, but it seems to have found a way to finally capitalize on female users. The sector based on such love simulation games grew by 30.4% with 14.6 billion yen ($177.3 million) in sales in 2011, according to Yano Research Institute..

Smartphones seem to be the game changer, opening up a traditionally male-oriented genre to more female interest. One interesting coda: when translated to English, the love interests in games such as Pirates in Love are "tweaked to appeal more to local women", a new twist on a legendarily lame trend in videogame westernization. Personally, I'll be sticking with pigeon romance Hatoful Boyfriend.


  1. Looking at the screenshot, I thought the guy behind the “restore purchases” button was the player’s avatar. This assumption led me to believe that it was an entirely different sort of broadening the game’s appeal — until I read the article.

  2. There’s been female-oriented dating sims (and related genres, like nurturing games) for something like 10-15 years…

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