Otome Spotlight: Growth in the Console Market

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Posted April 20, 2015 by Kaylie Woomer in Video Games

As news site Gematsu announced yesterday, Amnesia: Memories, a Japanese otome game, is getting a Western localization and release. A trailer and screenshots have also been released by Idea Factory, and the game will be coming to PS Vita and Steam.

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Amnesia: Memories places the player as a woman who has woke up with no memories of her life, and must rely on a spirit named Orion to regain them. While they are coming back to her, the heroine is introduced to five men from her past. If any of them find out she has amnesia, her memories may be lost forever. The player must juggle affection, trust, and suspicion parameters while interacting with the love interests, and a whopping 26 endings can result from different dialogue choices.  Amnesia2

This is really great news for Otome fans everywhere, following the EU release of the popular Hakuoki earlier this year on smartphone. Otome games have had a growing presence in the West, following the success of iOS and Android games in the last three years. Few games have made the jump to consoles or computers though. Hopefully, this is indicative of a growing openness among Japanese distributors to translate more games for a Western audience.

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Following this exciting announcement, I will be kicking off a new feature here on We the Nerdy. Each week I will highlight a different Otome game available right now in English. Otome games, translating to ‘girl games’, are story driven visual novels, typically focusing primarily on romance. Players are presented with decisions throughout the novel that impact their relationships with the various love interests.

 

As previously mentioned, otome games are rarely translated into English for handhelds or consoles. There has been a thriving smartphone market that has emerged in the last couple of years, however, including both free to play and paid games. Perhaps the most prolific of English otome publishers is Voltage Inc. They offer both paid and free to play games, and consistently release new content.

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Shall We Date is another of the most prolific in the otome market. They also diversify between paid and free to play, but their updates are most infrequent and their translations can be rougher at times.

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These will be the games we will primarily focus on. Each week we will highlight one game, describing their overarching story and biographing each potential love interest. Stay tuned next week for our first Otome Spotlight!


About the Author

Kaylie Woomer