Dating-Sims See 83% Growth In 2009 According To Research Firm

By Ishaan . October 16, 2010 . 10:31am


The Yano Research Institute is a research firm founded in 1958 and was Japan’s very first private marketing research company. Every year, Yano publishes annual reports on various demographics, including the “otaku” market in Japan. This year’s otaku report has been translated by Anime News Network.


Something we tend to try and cover on Siliconera as often as we can is the visual novel genre. Visual novels come in all shapes and forms, and one of them is the dating-sim. Yano report that the dating-sim market saw a growth of 83% at approximately $106 million in 2009.


This growth was fueled to a great extent by the success of Konami’s LovePlus on the Nintendo DS, which won two awards in Japan this year for its accomplishments in various fields. Growth in the dating-sim market was also driven by the success of otomé (targeted at women) games on mobile phones.


Note that this category doesn’t include hentai (adult) games, which tend to focus far more on erotic themes.


According to Yano, the dating-sim market is set to see further growth in 2010. Unfortunately, we don’t know whether or not Yano accounted for Project LovePlus while coming up with their 2010 estimates.


The largest category in the otaku sector was doujinshi, which refers to fan-made or “indie” products spanning across manga, videogames and other products. At $788 million, doujinshi handily beat out every other category, with adult videos coming closest and the Japanese idol business in third place.


Digital manga, you’ll notice, is seeing growth, too.


Category 2009 (in USD) 2010 (Estimate)
Electronic Comics (digital manga) $520 million $616 million
Doujinshi $788 million $815 million
Plastic Models $314 million $323 million
Figures US$349 million US$361 million
Dolls $166 million $168 million
Railroad Models (Including Dioramas and Related Products) $197 million $197 million
Idols $668 million $681 million
Cosplay Outfits $500 million $527 million
Maid-, Cosplay-Related Services $103 million $102 million
Online Games $2.625 billion $3.015 billion
Adult Games $367 million $339 million
Adult Videos (Including Adult Video Tapes, DVDs, Downloaded Content) $727 million $713 million
Dating Simulation Games $106 million $126 million
Boys-Love $262 million $262 million

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  • In anime… most of the new stuff i see released are just ecchi related stuff… this is getting crazy

    • yeah but i still give them the benefit of the doubt before calling them crap

      i tried out Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai thinking it would be a shitty anime and it’s actually quite good

      • But most of them are crap… Have you seen the world only god knows? that one is pretty good :P

    • holyPaladin

      Index II is good although it’s not “new”
      Oreimo is loveable too

      • Yeah I always liked index, it has some ecchi stuff, but its not ABOUT ecchi stuff -.-, and that my friend, is the problem, there are not many series with a decent story now

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    I weep for Japan.


    The fact these even sell is beyond me.

  • Roses4Aria

    Well, I for one am glad to see that my feeling was correct and there actually has been some growth in the dating-sim market. I thought it seemed like they were turning out more and more of these lately, especially on PSP. I’m not a hentai or BL fan, but I AM an otome game fan and any step forward in that arena is good news to me. Just another reason for me to hope that the recent Akys survey was a good sign and they might bring some of these over here. :)

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