Datesims have a rather creepy reputation in the US. The ones we see from Japan often contain questionable content. By questionable of course I mean soul-searing horror that would make Cthulu call for his mommy and curl up in a blanket. Yes I know there are Datesims that don't have objectionable content, you just don't hear about them that much.
Except I'm thinking Datesims may have more of a future. I'm not talking that people will begin playing them instead of Modern Warfare 2. But I'm thinking that the time may be right for more of them in . . . well places that aren't Japan. Oh, and datesims that aren't of a prurient nature.
Before you get scared, let me explain my logic.
- Datesims are casual games. Casual gaming has obviously been on the increase.
- Their relatively simple nature would let them take advantage of the increased use of Downloadable content – reducing the cost, reducing the investment.
- Let's be honest, the standard Datesim is not overly complex as a piece of technology.
- Romance is always a big genre, and companies doing romance novels (Hey, Harlequin, want ANOTHER initiative?) could jump on the bandwagon.
- Their multimedia nature may tie-in well to people's interests.
So the reason I think Datesims have a future could be summed up as, I think they're viable because you can deliver them fast and cheap, they'd have good appeal, and you have audiences that would be interested in them. If anything, I see the marketing being a bit troublesome – you'd probably have to call them "interactive romance novels" or something.
I don't see them as being big business (though I see the "interactive novel" idea having more of a future), but I think they may be a viable product for some companies, and a valuable addition to publishers of romance novels and products. After all, if you got a modern anime-style artist to do a Datesim/romance with hunky vampires, and it cost $10 with the purchase of a novel, and maybe had unlockable desktops and themes – yeah, I think it'd sell.
– Steven Savage