Romantic casual video games have been gaining ground for years. Now they are breaking stock market records
Anna and Mizuki Nakajima, twin sisters, have been developing video games for seven years. They have created several mobile titles, but two have been taking the cake, especially in the last two years: Stand My Heroes and Promise of Wizard. This month, they decided to take the plunge and make an IPO (initial public offering) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
At the close of trading on Tuesday, and as reflected by Bloomberg, their shares increased by 33.75% in one day, the best market debut so far this year, increasing their company’s budget and demonstrating a trend that was already being perceived among industry experts, that romantic visual novels or otomes are the great video game hobby that could conquer the market.
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Otome: or “maiden game” (in the sense of virgin woman), originating in Japan and governed by its narrative and aesthetic codes, and heirs to the tradition of female shojo manga. The basic formula (although it may vary) is, so that we understand, a Twilight, a young female protagonist who is courted by a multitude of attractive young men and whose mechanics, more conversational than anything else, allow the player to explore their own romantic adventure without getting entirely erotic. They are the great female fantasy, the light and decent version of the male porn interactive dating video games.
Female opportunity: the case of the Nakajima sisters is peculiar in the Japanese business ecosystem. There, only 8% of women run a company, mostly through inheritance from a parent, and theirs is an example of self-made managers employing 200 workers, three-quarters of whom are women. Women entrepreneurs saw an opportunity in an area where perhaps most men would not have seen possibilities. It is, again, the evolution of the shojo era, where, despite the fact that manga creation was also a very masculinized environment, a number of female cartoonists and scriptwriters eventually rose through the ranks because they saw that there was an important thematic niche that was being ignored in the 60s and 70s.
These novelettes already move there 640 million euros per year at the exchange rate within a sector of video game purchases that move 10 billion euros. Its market share is 6%, which is not much, but it is one of the most seductive from a business point of view: its players tend to be much more fanatical, to spend more hours and to spend, on average, more money.
Casual vs. hardcore, female vs. male. Last year, right at the start of the global confinements, two major releases were synchronized: Nintendo released Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Bethesda released Doom: Eternal for multiplatform. While not aesthetically coded as “for girls,” the impact of the game’s domestic-centric, prosocial behavior, which was all about cleaning up your vegetable garden and picking turnips, was far greater than that of the killer-killer.
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In this case Animal Crossing is just the paradigmatic case, but relaxed games are gradually conquering the spot of interest to the gamer world, just as the case of the Nakajima reminds us, once again, of the cultural romance that the West is living in these times with Asian leisure.
According to a neuroscientific study by UCLA, there are at least 150 ways to achieve the video game entertainment flow that depart from the classic model of “increasing stress from easy to difficult goal attainment”, which is only one and is the one on which the vast majority of known games are based, from Tetris to GTA. In other words, the video game design model has been constrained for decades to a very limited variety of satisfactions, that of winning and being the best, when there are others that most human beings would also like to explore, such as “the desire to care, connect and find solutions that work for everyone” or, well, romance.
Resident Evil Village already has its first XXX mod
Resident Evil Village has already released its first porn mod on PC. And well, did anyone really expect the opposite?
For the curious, this mod can be downloaded from the well-known “Nexus Mod” platform where several modders take advantage of the opportunity to upload their craziest creations. Contrary to what you might believe, this XXX mod is not dedicated to Lady Dimistrecu (at least for now…).
The protagonists of this mod are the daughters of Alina Dimistrecu where they will exhibit their front area. As of this writing, the mod has already been downloaded by 1,880 people and was viewed by 158,854 including myself (unfortunately…).
With the RE8 demo, we have already seen how far modders can go. From barney the dinosaur as a villain to replacing the Duke with the Huckster.
Resident Evil Village: A successful release
Resident Evil Village mod porn
The new installment of this iconic franchise has come to position itself as one of the most played games on Steam. It also garnered more than 600,000 viewers on Twitch.
Capcom has been on a roll with the most recent installments of the series. The remakes of Resident Evil 2 & 3 proved that there is an audience interested in reliving the old glories of the franchise. Until last year, there were rumors of a possible RE4 remake, but with the upcoming release of RE4: VR, the theories have evaporated.
RE7: Biohazard was not a huge sales success according to Capcom. However, the return to the roots of the series once again allowed the Japanese company to get closer to its fans, who since RE6 and other controversial games like Operation Racoon City or Umbrella Corps, no longer held out hope for the franchise.
RE: Village is now available in physical and digital format. You can find it on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series X and PS5. If you want to know our opinion of the game, be sure to read our review.
Steam bans sexually explicit virtual reality game for the third time and its creators regret it
Holodexxx, an erotic and nudity game, will not be released on Valve’s platform.
Video games come in all types and with many different themes, including sexual ones. Some developers are launching to develop these games, but sometimes that brings some problems, since not all platforms accept them, something that happens with Steam. Valve’s platform is very careful about publishing sexual games and sometimes bans them, something that has happened to Holodexxx.
The developers of the game have shared a lengthy post in which they have reported that the game will not be released on Steam because the platform refuses to publish the game. The title has been rejected up to three times due to its explicit content. Holodexxx is a virtual reality video game “for adults that creates unique experiences with photorealistic porn stars.”
Of course, the game is very explicit, something you can see on the video game’s Twitter account. If we look at Steam’s publishing rules, what Holodexxx offers violates those guidelines, since for example Valve’s platform does not allow sexually explicit images of real people, something that this video game has in a very obvious and uncensored way.
The creators have lamented this decision, as they consider that Steam’s stance is not fair to these creations. The studio has argued that when Steam announced that they would allow adult content, they doubled the efforts and invested more in the game, and that now they do not accept it is a big problem for them. They have asked Valve to change their thinking on this issue.
A bunch of you have asked why Holodexxx isn’t on Steam. Steam will not allow IP featuring real adult entertainers on their platform, regardless of nudity. Someone explain it to us, because Steam won’t. https://t.co/Lhl3DMcJYH
— Holodexxx VR (@holodexxxvr) May 8, 2021
Something curious is that the creators of Holodexxx have indicated that they believe that now, with the MetaHuman tool (it allows to make models of people in a simple and realistic way), many developers will make characters with a great physical resemblance to a real person and that sometimes they will be naked. They have wondered if Steam will ban games that have such modeling. Be that as it may, Holodexxx is not the only game banned in recent weeks: Super Seducer 3 was also banned by Valve.