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.