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Was 2011-2016 the "golden age" of otome games?

onorub

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(making it a blog post because i don't think this would get any activity as a thread)

I think this time period from 2011 to 2016 might have been the "golden age" of otome games because those were the years where a lot of the most notable otomeges were released. Just looking at high-rated otomes on VNDB:

2011: Amnesia Memories, Shinigami to Shoujo, Chou no Doku Hana no Kusari, Arcana Famiglia
2012: Black Wolves Saga (both parts), Dandelion, Koezaru wa Akai Hana, Cinders
2013: Ken ga Kimi, Nameless, Norn9, Arcana Famiglia 2, Getsuei no Kusari (and fandisc)
2014: Code Realize, Ayakashi Gohan
2015: Taishou x Alice, Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, Re Birthday Song, Yoshiwara Higanbana
2016: Collar x Malice, Mystic Messenger, Nightshade, Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk, Code Realize Future Blessings

I can only attest to the quality of a few of these VNs but for those that are more into this genre, i would like to raise this discussion.



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Was it, I wonder? I'm not sure if relying on vndb in this case is reliable, because the highest rated titles are obviously going to be the ones that have English translations, and the localization studios seem to be focused more on the newer titles. I know that the otome game market was pretty big even prior to that, but I don't know whether those titles were actually as good as the ones released later.

Well, I can't really add anything else, so I'm summoning @MaggieROBOT and @Mr Poltroon.

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I never really stop to actually look to the release dates, but I think the time period you mentioned it's the one the genre really grew a lot, started to look prettier in HD and started to deviate a little from the basic formula of dating sims. And if you look at it, it was right around the time the PSVita was released.

Older title tended to be either PC or PS2 games, like Kin'iro no Corda (2003). And the most popular ones, like Heart no Kuni no Alice (2007), later got ported to PSP. Maybe they grew along the mobile market? Otome fans surely love their mobiles, huh? So much that if you take only a tiny peak at google store you probably find several otome VNs and gachas. Hell, the Uta no Prince-sama VN (2010) and its sequels was never localized (because it's for the old dead PSP and it was never ported to Vita? No one would try to localize PS2 or PSP games in this day and age) but its gacha was (and it have a considerable fanbase of anime only secondaries, myself included, please don't judge >.<). And do you know Illusion's VR Kanojo? Yeah, they're planning an otome version VR Kareshi for mobiles only (at least for now).

Of course, you could argue that more games and mobile trash would lower the quality of the releases as a whole. As if. The competition seemed to got even fiercer. So much that QuinRose, an otome developer that made a lot of games during 2006~2010, suspended all business. And Rejet (of Diabolik Lovers fame) is not doing so well lately, after some generic gacha they tried to make failed. We may not look like it, but we're a picky bunch, we'll not buy any crap. :P Usually.

Outside of this range, we can't not speak about Hakuoki (2008). Probably part of the reason Otomate, that later made Code Realize, Collar x Malice and other great quality otome games, grew a looooooot.

And I do agree that VNDB is not exactly the best source to gauge popularity, because a) as Dreamysyu said the translated works are severely favored there because it's what is available to the majority; b) from what I see, the otome fandom is not as present or vocal as the galge one in VNDB. IIRC the JOPs really like Shinigami to Shoujo, and it DOES manage to have a good rate even on VNDB, so maybe our opinions aren't thaaat different (unlike say BL games, that most of the translated games have almost 2 points less in Japan).

And for an ending note, F*** me Royally looks terribad since it have absolutely nothing of what I like in otome games and I honestly think that it was made for a male audience to fap instead of a female one interested in 18+ games. But to each their own.

Edited by MaggieROBOT

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53 minutes ago, MaggieROBOT said:

I never really stop to actually look to the release dates, but I think the time period you mentioned it's the one the genre really grew a lot, started to look prettier in HD and started to deviate a little from the basic formula of dating sims. And if you look at it, it was right around the time the PSVita was released.

The deviation part was what really made me think about this time period as a golden age. I guess i got too influenced by Clephas' definition of what a golden age was and tried to apply it for otomes specifically.

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