Aksys Chats About Sweet Fuse And The State Of The Otome Market

By Spencer . March 15, 2013 . 6:18pm

SF-_0007

Otome games or girls romance games are a niche genre in Japan dominated by Idea Factory, Konami, and Tecmo Koei. For the most part, otome titles have been ignored, which is why we’re interested in Aksys who has been localizing romance games for the West. They picked up Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, which is tied to an anime series. Sweet Fuse: At Your Side is also from Idea Factory, but it has a modern day setting and Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune as one of the characters. We spoke with Ben Bateman, the editor at Aksys who worked on Hakuoki and Virtue’s Last Reward, to talk about Sweet Fuse and the state of the otome market.

 

It’s neat that Aksys is building the girls romance genre in the West. How did Hakuoki as a series do with respect to Aksys’ expectations?

 

Ben Bateman, Editor: I don’t actually know the answer to this, so I’m going to say it totally blew them away. We’re literally swimming in piles of Hakuoki money over here. In all seriousness, though, it must have done pretty well since we’re still on the otome train.

 

I can tell you that it’s paid huge dividends in terms of fan good will. We got a bunch of fan mail for it, and different people brought us cupcakes and chocolates. So when I advocate for more otome games I am of course doing it for the fans! And not because I want more free treats. Not at all. In any way.

 

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How do you evaluate otome games and say ah, this game is ripe for localization?

 

Personally, at least, I try to have at least part of my ear (usually I can only manage a lobe or so) to the otome fan ground, so I can have some idea of what people over here in the West like, and would like to see more of. A lot of the games we’ve been looking at have been out for a while, so oftentimes I can look them up on the internet and find very in-depth…I hesitate to call them “summaries” since that implies that they leave something out. Since I can’t read Japanese and hence can’t really…play the games myself, this sort of thing is invaluable, at least to me. Beyond that, we usually go through the first part of the game as an office, and try to get a sense of the characters, setting, etc. Then we slaughter a chicken and consult its entrails to see if the gods favor this particular title. It’s a complex process.

 

Why did you want to pick up Sweet Fuse as the next otome title? Did puzzles give the game a broader appeal?

 

I think a possibly broader appeal was part of the reason we chose Sweet Fuse. A modern-day setting makes it a little more inclusive than, say, Hakuoki. A little bit more gameplay makes it more attractive to people who might be nervous about playing a straight-up VN [visual novel]. Personally, I voted for it because I liked Saki, the heroine.

 

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What are the puzzles like in the game and did you have to change any of them for the US version?

 

“Puzzles” might be a bit of a misnomer. Apart from the standard “Pick option A or B” that you’d find in a VN, Sweet Fuse has two unique mechanics: What’s Wrong With You?! and Explosive Insight. The former pops up when someone does something especially idiotic or frustrating, and it involves being given the chance to either get mad, or keep your mouth shut. It’s kind of like the other choices, but with more spice! And it’s got a little graphic that plays, kind of like in Phoenix Wright. Explosive Insight is the more game-like of the two.

 

Several times during Sweet Fuse, you’ll run into situations that the characters are having trouble figuring out. If Saki feels like she might have the answer, you go into Explosive Insight mode, where she talks through what’s going on and highlights a couple key words or phrases. Your job is to pick three of the keywords. If one of the three you pick is the right one, you pass! If you blew it, it’s usually game over. Given the nature of these things, though, we didn’t really have to change anything big for the US release.

 

How does video game creator Keiji Inafune fit into this? What kind of game references are in Sweet Fuse?

 

Keiji Inafune is/plays Saki’s uncle. He’s kidnapped at the beginning of the story, but you get to communicate with him via text messages at certain points during the game. There are a few pretty oblique references (i.e., the first attraction is called “Samurai Fantasy VII”), but nothing particularly specific.

 

SF-_0002

 

Can you tell us about the characters in Sweet Fuse? Which guy do you like the most and which one is so annoying you can’t stand him.

 

I love all of my boys equally, but if you’re going to twist my arm I’d probably have to go with Mitarashi or Shidou as my favs. They’re pretty much the Red Oni, Blue Oni trope (they even made sure to give Mitarashi red hair, in case it wasn’t clear enough already), which is a dynamic I really enjoy. They’ve also got a bromance going on that’s nearly as compelling as the main romance, at least in some of the routes.

 

As for who I can’t stand, I can’t really tell you because that would be a spoiler.

 

I remember the Trauma Center localizing team used House and ER as inspiration for the US scripts. Where do you get ideas for otome games?

 

I don’t think I used anything specific. As anyone will tell you, I’m naturally an incredibly romantic guy—I bought my girlfriend some tea once—and I watched Moulin Rouge a bunch of times in high school, so I’ve got a pretty good intuitive sense of what ladies are looking for in a relationship.

 

In all seriousness, though, I usually draw from a lot of different sources for inspiration. Sweet Fuse doesn’t map to existing media quite as nicely as Trauma Team, but my extensive knowledge of Law & Order informed Shidou’s characterization, and there’s a little bit of Johnny Depp’s Hunter S. Thompson in Shirabe.

 

SF-_0001 SF-_0011

 

Has the otome market grown since Hakuoki was released last year? And how do you think you can expand the genre even further?

 

Whether or not the market has grown is hard to say. To me, at least, it seems like there’s a little more stuff going on, but the truth is I didn’t really pay much attention to it before Hakuoki, so it’s possible that all that’s really changed is my perception.

 

I do think that Hakuoki illustrated to us (and, I imagine, to other publishers and developers) that there is a market for otome games. From what I’ve seen, fans of otome games are just as devoted and excited about their games as fans of any other genre. I don’t think there are a ton of them yet, since most have to learn Japanese or rely on fan translations and the like, but as more games come out, I think the otome fanbase will grow a lot.

 

As far as expanding the genre further, I think the most important things anyone can do are pay attention to what people are asking for, and treat the genre and its fans with the same respect anything else gets. I think there’s sometimes a tendency to dismiss otome games as just “Oh ha ha pretty boys”—which, to be fair, is something I’m probably guilty of from time to time—but a lot of them have plot and character depth that put other games to shame. They get pushed to the side or made fun of a lot, likely because gaming is still kind of a boys club, but my hope is that as they become more and more common otome games will get the same treatment in terms of coverage, marketing, and discourse that our other story-heavy games like 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward do. There are likely limits to how large the market is going to get—VNs and VN-ish games are still a bit of a shaky proposition here in the West, but I think they definitely have the potential to find a home over here.

 

Are there any otome games that you personally want to localize?

 

Does Duel Love count?

 

I’m honestly a little reluctant to drop any names here, because I don’t know that much about most of the games I know of, but bearing that in mind: The Black Wolves Saga games look kind of interesting, because it seems like they’re all about weird supernatural lycanthrope power politics—which sounds awesome—and I’d kind of like to do Toki no Kizuna, since it’s about demons which are also awesome. Unfortunately those are both PSP titles, and even if I started on them tomorrow, they probably wouldn’t be out until next year, at which point the PSP will be…long past its “sell by date.” But you never know!


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  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Hopefully they hear us begging for Uta no Prince Sama and Arcana Famiglia…

    Interesting interview, hope more come out eventually….day one for sweet fuse.

    • http://twitter.com/goldensneer swagaguchi ☆彡

      The licensing fees for the songs alone in Price-sama would probably be insane.

      • landlock

        The problem is both of the games they done have been by Idea Factory who seem to be a company trying to get there games released worldwide. Dealing with anyone else might be more difficult.

  • Nyandroid

    I would definitely get Black Wolves Saga and Toki no Kizuna if those came out!

  • Muddied_Waters

    I like this guy’s sense of humor. Though despite being glad Hakuouki got localized and hoping that the otome game market spreads more into the west, I…didn’t do my part and buy the game myself. Not super big on games set in historical Japan, plus I prefer the simulation side of otome/romance games (e.g. TokiMemo), as opposed to visual novels. Maybe one day I’ll pick it up.

    Sweet Fuse seems a little more in line with my tastes though, so I might check that one out.

    • puchinri

      Same here. I may pick up Hakouki eventually just to have supported them and otome here, but I have a hard time getting into games set in feudal/ancient Japan. Hoping for more modern titles~.

      I will pick up Sweet Fuse for sure though.

      • Muddied_Waters

        Yeah, I’m actually surprised that their first endeavor wasn’t a game set in modern times, to be a little more accessible. But then again, as someone else said, that a Hakuouki anime had come out recently and gained popularity probably helped them decide on that title over others.

        Iunno what it is about feudal Japan settings. I just have a really hard time getting into them…with the exception of stuff like say, Gintama, but that hardly counts.

        • puchinri

          Definitely. I wonder if they would have went with Hakouki actually if it weren’t for the immense popularity it had/was gaining.

          Yeahhh. Sometimes if I watch or read about them, I may be able to stay interested, but it takes something special and I certainly can barely play in them.

    • Maria Francisca Mena

      My dream would be a Tokimemo, but maybe, because it’s so popular and with famous seiyuus, isn’t posible u.u

      • Muddied_Waters

        I thought I read somewhere that Konami didn’t want to release TokiMemo to the west mainly because it’s “too Japanese” or something, and that’s one reason why they came up with that Brooktown High game idea…that bombed, terribly. Though I don’t doubt licensing costs for the series would probably be too high for what’ll always be a niche genre.

  • Tooru

    I love the people at Aksys! The fact that they’re bringing over visual novels-ones on the PSP, even-shows that they’re not afraid to take the risks that other niche publishers can’t bear to do. I hope that they’ll end up localizing Fate/Extra CCC as well, even if it ends up as a download only title.

  • Justin Graham

    I really enjoyed Aksys’s localization of Hakuoki. Looking forward to Sweet Fuse. (And kind of hoping they maybe take a look at Princess Arthur. Game sounds crazy/interesting.)

    • puchinri

      This to each point~.

    • ScintillatingStar

      yes yes princess arthur~ xD

  • XyzzySqrl

    Well, suddenly I am very interested in Black Wolves Saga.

    I do kind of wonder though… Does the PSP being “past its sell-by date” matter, in terms of these games?

    I understand that it might be trouble in the sense that Sony might not -support- games being translated and released at this late date, but… The Dreamcast has a series of 2D shooters being released even now. Fans of a genre that’s this starved for content probably won’t reject a title just because it’s on a platform that’s a couple years out of date.

    The Sony thing might be way more of an issue though.

    • Göran Isacson

      I guess the real question would be “what devices do our customers own?” If they release Otome games on the PSP and it sells, I suppose they can fairly assume that they can still make money off of the platform.

      • gaiajobagaia

        Thing is, Hakuoki was already popular and well known in the west as an anime, it’s also one of the top 3 selling Otomes in japan, so it was kind of a safe bet for them, other than that, we’ll just have to wait and see.

        • XyzzySqrl

          I had never heard of Hakuoki (although I’m looking into it now), but then the only otome I had followed previously was the Kuni no Alice/Wonderful Wonder World series. Looks pretty good to be, and being on the PSP doesn’t really affect my feelings one way or the other.

          After some research, I had a good feeling! Hakuoki went straight on the Amazon wishlist. Nothing to do with popularity here or in Japan, just pleased to find a treasure I’d never seen before. Nothing more to report.

        • http://twitter.com/confectionally Loren

          Anyone who’s into the otome genre already is just about guaranteed to have a PSP, as nearly all major new titles for the genre are released for it these days (yes, in 2013) as they have been for the last few years. There is definitely a core hardcore audience who will snap up any English PSP games released; the real question is how being on an older platform will affect the ability to attract new people.

      • http://www.benspants.com/ Belisarius

        Even if customers have the systems, you have to get retailers (i. e. Amazon, GameStop) to stock it. The ease of digital sales can mitigate that somewhat, but it’s still a concern.

    • EmmyG

      Black Wolves Saga is creepy as fuck. If you’re into horribly abusive relationships in which everyone dies (and some people are), it’s right up your alley.

  • http://watercrown.info/ Ryusui

    DANGAN RONPA NOW PLEASE T_T

    • MCoelho

      Well, the fan translation patch for the first game is almost done, but it will be a problem, seeing that they’ve already teased DR for the Vita. So i hope Aksys or XSeed picks DR up, and release it as a PSN title

      • http://twitter.com/sakura_candy Lumi

        I think that would depend on if the Vita game is DR3 or a remake? If it’s DR3, they’ll be in the awkward position where they are officially localizing the third iteration of a franchise that had its previous iterations fan translated.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Ng/100000854638739 Dylan Ng

        XS is out of the qtn due to them doesn’t have enough of fund for tht. Still hope some1 will pick DR up :)

  • Strain42

    Who does the art in this game? It seems very Ace Attorney-ish

    • rurin

      I think the Ace Attorney artist is the artist for this game

    • Aoshi00

      Yep, the char design is by none other than Iwamoto Tatsurou of the AA series fame. Who else would make chars w/ a flowing crystal ball or in a straitjacket :)

      I couldn’t wait and imported the game the other day. I just got past the first puzzle though.. so far all the chars are pretty likable and fun, Saki is cute.. I haven’t got to her “What’s wrong w/ you?” yet :) All the voice acting are pretty good (Inafune is not voiced by Inafune lol) except the pig villain who sounds kinda amateurish and annoying… I bet the game would look so much better being played on the Vita…

  • http://twitter.com/goldensneer swagaguchi ☆彡

    >Unfortunately those are both PSP titles

    Actually, BWS’ sequel is the one on the PSP. Its prequel was released for the PC. Nitpicks aside, the franchise is honestly, a very well thought out title with some thoroughly fascinating characters. If you’re looking for an otoge with a little more meat to it (no pun intended), you can’t go wrong.

  • Elvick

    I’m interested in this kind of game, my only issue is waiting for one that’s localized that really interests me. So far I haven’t been interested in the ones we have gotten.

  • gaiajobagaia

    what i understood from this, is that they might localize more otome games, but no promises as the PSP is already dying in the west, and otome games are mostly released on the PSP in japan as other consoles are for the wider audiences and a genre as niche as Otome games on a next gen console is one big risk.

    All in all, we might see two or three more Otome games in the future, if Aksys decides to take the risks.

    • 07thCrow

      They could also include digital copies on the PSN; that way both Vita users and PSP owners are included. :)

  • Göran Isacson

    I guess that’s why we’ve seen so few otome games… if they have to sacrifice a chicken every time they plan on it, no wonder: have you ever tried getting chicken blood out of, heck, anything? It is not something you subject yourself to more than once.

    Have to admit that I enjoy the sound of those mechanics in Sweet Fuse. A literal “slap sense into someone” mini game? I do like the sound of that.

    • puchinri

      Maybe they learned to cut it open over a turkey dish or something though. Or at least lay down some kind of tarp/plastic mat?

      • Göran Isacson

        You’d think that helps. But then it comes to the smell… my Satan.

        It just. Won’t. go away.

        • puchinri

          Ahh. Yeah, that’s definitely true.

  • 07thCrow

    I just looked up BBWS and TnK… PLEASE localize them Aksys!!! I loved their localization of Hakuoki; pre-ordered it and Warriors of the Shinsengumi the day Aksys announced them. I’ll be pre-ordering Sweet Fuse too! I’m glad the VN and Otome market is getting some attention; there are some really awesome games with great story and character depth, like Mr. Bateman was saying. It really is a shame that these games get brushed aside for being labeled as “girly”. Thank you Aksys for giving us niche fans this opportunity! :)

  • rurin

    I’m so looking forward to this release! Very glad that otome games are getting more attention (?) now in the West :) Sweet Fuse wasn’t what I actually thought would get released, but I’m still definitely up for pre-ordering and playing it (it was an interesting choice). Even though Clock Zero is really, really old now, I kind of wish they’d localize that at some point…

    In any case, I can’t wait ’til this comes out :)

  • Testsubject909

    I hope the chicken they use as sacrifice is then well marinated, cooked and eaten.

  • psycho_bandaid

    Not an otome fan but this game sounds interesting.

  • MangaTherapy

    I would be interested to see AMNESIA come out here….

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      Oh man, Amnesia! I’d be happy even if Aksys could get permission to release it untranslated on the PlayStation Store as a PSP Import.

  • http://amc9988.deviantart.com/ amc99

    even if I started on them tomorrow, they probably wouldn’t be out until
    next year, at which point the PSP will be…long past its “sell by date.”

    Fate extra ccc’s future looks pretty grim here…

    • xzeldax3

      But the Vita can play digital copies of PSP games, so that shouldn’t kill all possibilities.

  • komiko12

    Otome fans should now know what to send to Aksys… chickens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Ng/100000854638739 Dylan Ng

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Black Wolves Saga (even though its a bit too much for my taste), Arcana Famiglia or AMNESIA to cross the sea. Looking forward to sweet Fuse too!

    And if AMNESIA ever cross the sea, I will be naming the heroine Deer-chan XD

    • komiko12

      Arcana Famiglia seems to be a good one.. anime is not that good though.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Ng/100000854638739 Dylan Ng

        The VN is defin good. Its just the anime screwed up.

  • Lester Paredes

    Okay! The interviewee is awesome. Big appreciation for being candid, Ben, and not spouting the usual PR crap. Secondly, I wouldn’t mind playing these kind sof games if they offered a bit more to the game play. I like to think that Harvest Moon: Back to Nature was kind of an otome game. You ‘flirted’ (IE: Gave gifts) with certain eligible bachelorettes around town while trying to keep your farm up and running during the few short moments of daylight. Now, if only someone would make a Harvest Moon like game with townspeople with more robust personalities, who’s relationships with you change as you answer questions or perform actions within the game… that’d be amazing. Or you could do a Professor Layton puzzle fest. Or a Zero Escape type of thriller. But, since I am already married, I’d honestly need more than just talking to ladies to truly get into the game (I apparently already won the most important dating sim there is). Like amazing writing, at the very least. Gameplay at the very best, because then I’ll play regardless of how little else there is. Now I want to play Harvest Moon and marry Mary all over again…

  • Heidenroslein

    Oh my god Aksys if you bring over Black Wolves Saga I will love you 5ever. (I already love you 4ever for bringing over Hakuouki)

    Also the first Black Wolves Saga game (BWS: Bloody
    Nightmare) is actually for PC! Only its sequel BWS: Last Hope is for PSP

    • Julia

      It´s not a sequel, is the same universe with a different plot =)

  • Wait what

    The whole otome thing is great, but I really wish they would give VNs for all genders a try. Fate/stay night has a huge fanbase of both males and females and the new Vita version is ripe for localization. They’ve also had people on their forums begging them for Umineko for years now. I love them for taking the risk on otome games, but I don’t see why they take that risk when they could bring over more widely appealing VNs.

    • Ladius

      They’ve done that with Jake Hunter, 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward, and one could argue Hakuoki was a game that trascended its otome target due to its interesting setting and plot. Also, I fear licensing costs could very well be an issue with some of the most well known visual novels.

    • LynxAmali

      Fate, because its an established franchise, would probably have a somewhat large licensing cost. I think it might be a) stigma of VNs in the general public/gaming industry and (b) they’re scared they might not make the return.

      • Wait what

        Fate wouldn’t have a huge licensing cost at all. Especially since they’ve already brought over Fate/Extra. I seriously doubt any VN would have some huge licensing cost, why do people assume that?

        • TiredOfMyOldUsername

          Actually VN cost a lot to license, i heard before from a staff of mangagamer that licensing VN can cost up to 1m to license.

          • Armane

            That makes sense when you factor in voice acting and such. I’m guessing Fate/Stay Night would be up there as well; I suppose I can stop holding out on a Réalta Nua port and get the jackhammering fan translation.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Because Peach Princess, MG and other companies have been very upfront in explaining the responses from the JP licensors. Some have requested far more than could ever be viable here or have even declined requests to license.

        • LynxAmali

          Fate Extra = / = Fate Stay Night. Different licenses.

          -I seriously doubt any VN would have some huge licensing cost, why do people assume that?

          They do. Especially if they’re a large franchise.

  • brian

    I was actually thinking Black Wolves Saga looked really neat, glad he mentioned that and Toki no Kizuna.
    Have they ever advertised on Gaia Online?
    I’ve met a few people there that really like otome.
    I haven’t really noticed any ads for Aksys stuff because I rarely pay attention to them, and recently got adblock.

  • Kittymimiko

    I would love them forever if they bring Black Wolves Saga over, but the problem would be that one of its game is PC release. Thought I don’t see it as a huge problem if they shift to localize PC or iOS otome games. I would believe it’ll be as surprising good business as PSP release, consider that many do own pc and the fact that many otome fans are loyal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Altin-Bujupaj/1157167838 Altin Bujupaj

    Here’s hoping they are planning on bringing some PC-Otome Games like the upcoming Ken Ga Kimi. That’d be neat.

  • Kristina Wright

    Woo hoo, thanks for everything Aksys! Glad to see the otome fan base is putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak. I definitely am considering picking up Sweet Fuse, especially since they referenced Phoenix Wright!

  • devilmaycare34

    You should make the psp games anyway and just release them digitally. But do what corpse party did and release in europe too. I like that I can import the psp games but I don’t understand why we didn’t get hakuoki in the uk. If more vn released I would literally buy all of them.

  • Juli

    this is awsome im looking forward to it! sweet fuse seems cool and its another otome so im definetly getting it hands down, i’m hoping for more otome to come out and i really wish that aksys can go on ahead and grab the new hakuoki game coming out for japan when its released

  • Alexandra Cordes

    I am all for any visual novels with great stories being brought to the West.
    …But I’m still going to continue my study of the Japanese language, because I doubt they’re going to bring the vast amount of them that I want to play over. XD

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 水木

    Never tried one of these but I’ll check this out

  • Solomon_Kano

    Bateman’s a funny guy. It’s nice to see Aksys supporting such an exceedingly niche genre, so I’ll support their support for the simple sake of, well, supporting their efforts. Good work, Aksys.

    It’s a pity that some of the more prevalent VNs have such high licensing costs relative to the position of our niche publishers. I mean, I’d love to see some T-M and Mages stuff cross the sea, but that’s a price nobody around can pay. One day, maybe. One day.

  • Julia

    I would get Black Wolves Saga, OF COURSE!!!! It´s too awesome. Thanks for your work Askys´ people!

  • Roses4Aria

    I’m just happy that someone from Aksys finally addressed Hakuoki’s sales performance. Everybody was so close-mouthed about it that I was thinking the worst. Glad to know it did relatively well. Sweet Fuse is definitely on my pre-order list and I’m so grateful to Aksys that they are continuing to support the otome genre! Of course, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for Hiiro no Kakera, Amnesia, or Clock Zero someday. :)

  • piichan

    I will throw money and sweets at Aksys for every otome game they localize. I’ll throw additional chickens for limited editions.

  • Sheimi12

    Guys I am new to this kinda stuff, and I was wondering this whole thing works….
    kinda looking for answers from people who have tried this before and like it.

    where do I get a live chicken?how do I kill it so its in the least pain? what signs am I looking for? from what gods? How well does it work?

    thanks in advance

    • puchinri

      It depends on if you want to get the chicken legally or not. As far killing it?

      I watched a depressing documentary about how animals were treated and slaughtered for the food industry. I would guess, if you want to indulge yourself but be as nice as possible? Hang it upside down and slit its throat.

      The signs. . . I could only guess with the signs. Maybe the blood forms a pattern like a star or a magic circle. I bet it works well though~!

  • Haunting Horror

    Oh my! I am so happy that he just mentioned Black Wolves Saga and Toki no Kizuna (yes, my avi is of Shin from this game)! Whoo! Just mentioning those two my love for them have grown. And it would reach new heights if they localized Amnesia (it now has an anime & getting a 3rd game, so Aksys you should know it has to be good!) and Hiiro no Kakera! There are many other otomes I like of course, but these are my tops. Whoo!

  • Olivia G

    Extremely happy about this! Ben Bateman sounds like such a funny guy too :) Super excited for the possibility of more otome games being localized in the future (especially black wolves saga and perhaps amnesia!) Thank you!

  • Maria Francisca Mena

    Duel Love?? FUCK YES, PLEASE DO IT! Otome games are so few, that I’m really gratefull with Aksys, and make me want to buy every otome that they can localize

  • ScintillatingStar

    ahaha I love aksys xD I laughed/smiled more than a couple times at their answers xD I hope they do keep localizing more otome games :D

  • http://twitter.com/caranic Cara

    Please localize Princess Arthur, Aksys. You’re my only hope.

  • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

    Have I mentioned how much I love Aksys? Because I love them so much. I still wish for Princess Arthur and Beastmaster and Prince, but also hold out hope that maybe Aksys would pick up a Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3DS or Vita game if one were made.

    EDIT: Oh man. Imagine if Aksys picked up those DSiWare games where you root out the cheating boyfriends?!!

  • http://backloggery.com/alice3ify alice3ify

    Localizing otome games to the west is pretty much a gamble for me, and since Hakuouki actually sells quite good, I just hope that Aksys could localize other titles. Personally pick, I would want Norn9. It serves a big potential. Good luck to Aksys.

  • Shin

    Yes Aksys! You are all amazing, thank you for supporting the otome genre. Sending fan mail… now! As for my top requests: AMNESIA, Starry*Sky, Princess Arthur, English Detective Mysteria and Toki no Kizuna are at the top of a very (very) long list. We’ll have to see how well the otome market does here, but I for one am a fan…. Thanks again Aksys!

  • http://www.facebook.com/buutan Brynn Handwerker

    He seems like a really swell guy, and the interview was entertaining to read as well!

    I think that Tiny x Machinegun is coming out rather soon too, and the drama CDs were really great for that, so that’s the game I’m exited about. Black Wolves Saga is also really excellent (I just pray they stay the hell away from Diabolik Lovers).

    I also wonder if the Hetalia games would actually fare well, speaking of the huge reception it had here a couple years ago.

  • Estellise

    Hakuoki was great, and I’m really excited for Sweet Fuse. I’m really glad Aksys is deciding to bring these types of games to the west.

    As for games I’d love to see here, I’d really love for Amnesia to be localized; the art is amazing and it got 3 games already not to mention an anime. It’s got a great story too, the anime doesn’t indulge in the story as much as the game does.

    Norn9 looks really good too, it’d be nice to see either of these games come to the west.

  • Christian Paulo Villaflor

    Hey AKSYS, why don’t you try localizing VN for boys and not just otome games … I think there are still a lot of fan boys out there who don’t understand Japanese … And not just in the west, there are some Asian fans who only understand English , like me for example :D

    • http://twitter.com/goldensneer swagaguchi ☆彡

      Every other company dabbling in VNs save for Aksys localizes titles obviously aimed at men, such as JAST and Mangagamer. Let the girls have their fun. Two, three otoge is nothing compared to various nukige getting pushed out every couple of weeks.

    • http://kazriko2.tumblr.com Kazriko Redclaw

      The more they can broaden the audience, the more we might see more games in the VN genre in general. They have brought others with broader appeal over as well though. Primarily the Zero Escape series. They may eventually bring over “Brotome” games too. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500202753 Melissa D. Johnson

    Great interview with Ben! I still would love to see UtaPri, Hiiro no Kakera, and of course Toki no Kizuna…just release them on PSN for the Vita, silly goose!

  • http://www.facebook.com/buutan Brynn Handwerker

    Scared Rider Xechs really deserves an English version. It’s got kamen rider flare, hip lil boy bands and a really solid heroine and character set to fill up its solid storyline.

  • Alena Ipatyeva

    Hakuoki is pretty meh. There are much better otome games, but it’s better than nothing. It also can be a good start for bringing even more otome games to the west. I’m surely will buy Sweet Fuse.

  • http://deathsangel.webs.com/ undeadangel

    I would love to see QuinRose games adapted for the West, especially Alice in the Country of Hearts. <3

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