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Games Gone Wild - The Rise Of The Adult Title? 37

Thanks to GameSpot for its article discussing the alleged rise of the adult videogame, despite recent statistics that revealed "sales of Mature-rated titles were on the decline." The writer notes that the ESA "may be spinning the market-share shift as an overall decline in M-rated games demand", but goes on to mention: "The same week the ESA was saying interest in M-rated games was waning, the most-searched-for game on GameSpot was [previously covered M-rated title] The Guy Game." Elsewhere, Game Girl Advance has an article talking about new German-developed PC title Singles: Flirt Up Your Life!, in which "2 out of 12 possible archetypal characters (the eponymous 'Singles') wind up living in the same apartment... Your job is to make them get it on."
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Games Gone Wild - The Rise Of The Adult Title?

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  • by thesp ( 307649 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @08:00AM (#8210930)
    It's relly important, when talking about anything 'Adult', to really understand what you mean. Enjoyable by adult, adult themes, realism, complexity, or the usual 'undesirable content' label.

    Age-stratification is essential to product targetting, and as today's first few generations of 'adults' have grown up with the presence of videogames, we should expect this market to be on the increase.
  • Larry Laffer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rixstep ( 611236 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @08:01AM (#8210935) Homepage
    The all-time best game has still got to be Larry Laffer. The first episode, but even the later one where he wins the hand of the chieftain's daughter by inventing Unix.

    • Ah, yes, good ol' Al Lowe...

      Leisure Suit Larry was the ORIGINAL adult game, and on top of that, it was FUN. The bad (But funny) jokes were a bit grating after a while, though.

      For a while, they were going to make a 3D version of it... Unfortunately that never made it...

      Damn, now I have a sudden urge to replay the whole series... Except, of course, for LSL4: The missing Floppies.
    • I started replaying the Larry series this week when I got my CGW aand it had it ranked as one of the all time funniest games ever. My personal favorite was LSL6. I loved LaCosta Lotta Resort.
  • Japanese H-Games (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Soul-Burn666 ( 574119 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @08:13AM (#8210952) Journal
    In Japan, the market for adult games is huge. Games where you play the role of, usually, some dude and meet many pretty girls. Obviously, if you play well you eventually get it on with them, but many of the games are much deeper than that and actually have immersive stories and the adult aspect of it is nice but not a main selling point.
    It would seem though, that usually the Hgames that get translated aren't those with the immersive stories, but rather the best adult action parts, to fit the US culture. (regardless that many of the games include things that are on the boundry of illegal in the US, such as teens and younger)
    Not only that, but some games are so popular that a TV anime series is produced and usually very successful, even if it isn't adult oriented.
    • Re:Japanese H-Games (Score:5, Informative)

      by Isbiten ( 597220 ) <isbiten@@@gmail...com> on Saturday February 07, 2004 @01:56PM (#8212410) Homepage
      Yes SomethingAwful has a long tradition of making review of these games. Though they all get negative scores :p

    • Few of the more deep hgames that I've played will most likely have to include Dividead, for it's excellent plot, great use of sound, and of course, the excellent graphics ;)

      One of the first things you must do with Dividead, is play it at night, after you send the kids to bed, with the lights off, your speakers turned all the way up...

      Another good hgame is Private Nurse, for it's plot and voice acting, along with it's excellent music. A version has been released for PS2 that removes the 'H' factor from
      • Another good hgame is Private Nurse, for it's plot and voice acting, along with it's excellent music.

        My God, that game was boring. So was Kana Little Sister, which was probably made by the same people. I hope they figure out that people don't play hentai games for the plot.

    • Some non-hentai anime series that are based off hgames include Kanon, To Heart, Yumeria, Comic Party, Popotan, Green Green, KGNE, Happy Lesson, Tsukihime and Da Capo.

      I'm only following Yumeria at the moment, and I can only tell you most of the action is based in a dream world, where all the female characters are dressed in skimpy outfits and undergo one of those Sailor Moon-style transformation (I think, anyway. Never watched SM in my whole life). Bounce is exaggerated a bit, but there is no actual 'H' sc
      • I've watched Popotan, KGNE (kimi ga nozomu eien), Shingetsutan Tsukihime and Da Capo.

        * Popotan is very cute with lots of ecchi scenes, not X rated tho...
        * KGNE is drama and has some very strong dramatic scenes, very good. Again the originating H source isn't noticed.
        * Tsukihime is a very nice and intense story about vampires. If I wouldn't have known it's based on an h-game, I could never have guessed.
        * Da Capo is a nice bishoujo (pretty girl) anime, with a guy or two and many pretty girls and all of them
        • Well, since I've never personally watched any of those I listed above (seen people talk about it), it's sorta hard to believe (to Westerners) that it's possible to get a story out of most hentai games. It's like... porn that can have the porn stripped out of it and made into a normal story. I can't see anyone making a PG-rated movie out of Debbie Does Dallas anytime soon ;)
          • "out of most hentai games"... not out of most, but out of a significant number of them.
            And it's "getting a story out of the game", the game was made with a story, the H parts are there just to please the appetite.

            Ofcourse you won't see a TV show or movie based on PORN, but you might see a movie based on a show that has story and once in a while has sex scenes.

            It's like movies, that have stories, have sex scenes in them even if they aren't explicit.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @08:24AM (#8210969) Journal
    Two "adult" games and the author declares a rise of adult games. Whee. How many cutsey cartoon gameboy games been released? This week?

    The Sims has long been perverted/liberated for those who think there is nothing wrong with a bit of nudity. Morrowind has nude skins and missions wich add a bit of spice. Nevewinternights has some sex laden extensions.

    So there is enough out there however the main market for games is japan and america. Most of us can not use games made for japan were adult themed games are an established market and so we mostly see games made in america or at least expecting to make most of their sales in the america.

    This means games must be censored to be sold on the shelf. Don't like it? Though. Game developers want to make money and not being able to sell it in walmart or whatever hurts their bottomline.

    You will note that many developers even go to the trouble of releasing two versions. One for the free world and one for american :P Vietcong comes in clean cut american pie mode and swear mode.

    So I doubt we will be seeing more "adult" games. Although I did read that The Sims 2 will again have the potential for gay relationships. Since this was an accident in the originals sims they now seem to have made a conscious decision to leave it in. If the idea survives in the american release then perhaps their is hope after all.

    • I agree (Score:4, Insightful)

      by metroid composite ( 710698 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @10:02AM (#8211194) Homepage Journal
      I agree. Will these games even sell? I know DoA Beach Volleyball bombed comapratively speaking, and there was supposedly some even more overdone volleyball game (Outlaw Volleyball? Frankly I can't remember) which just plain missed the radar alltogether.

      "The Guy Game"...well it's telling that it was IGNCube that reported it; which makes me wonder if this is just another cheap image push for Nintendo. Remember "Conker's Bad Fur Day"? Pathetic sales; we're talking ~1/10 that of Perfect Dark, which in turn is a rather far cry from Goldeneye. However CBFD had a large community of praisers, and gained respect around the Internet. Whether or not all these people had ever played the game was immaterial; it still produced the requisite "good publicity" for Nintendo.

      As for this random game made in Germany that's a PC-only release well...first it sounds very obscure, and second I'm kind of surprised this hadn't been done already; PC+hackers with no life+Sims fan = that. All you'd need is for someone to leak the Sims source....

  • "Adult" gaming (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aanand ( 705284 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @08:27AM (#8210971) Homepage
    Edge commented in their last issue that games set in 'gritty', 'realistic' environments (crime underworlds, more crime underworlds, etc) - Max Payne 2, GTA: Vice City, True Crime - sold far more copies than fantasy games this year (barring LOTR games, but then that was inevitable).

    It seems Max Payne 2 et al are Joe Twentysomething's idea of a "mature" game. I find that quite sad. The creators of Lula: Virtual Babe though, strangely enough, seem to want to appeal to people half his age.
  • ESA huh? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What's the European Space Agency have to do with adult video games?
  • Ever heard about japanese interactive storybooks where you have to get laid by anime chicks (hentai-style)?
    This IS the same, it's just not in japanese. Also there where AGI games like "Fuck Quest", etc, that had the exact same theme.
  • by Mirkon ( 618432 ) <mirkon@gmaiREDHATl.com minus distro> on Saturday February 07, 2004 @12:30PM (#8211824) Homepage
    ...the most-searched-for game on GameSpot was [previously covered M-rated title] The Guy Game.

    That's all well and good. I'm sure that when news of them first broke, and upon their releases, games like BMX XXX and DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball were highly-searched items too. But to my recollection, it wasn't reflected in their sales figures.

    An actual adult doesn't have to worry about getting a ride to the store from his parents, or hiding a dubious game from them. Conversely, anyone of any age can (and usually will) snoop around for information, screenshots, and videos on said game.

    Plus, in many one-dimensional 'adult' games (like the ones mentioned above), the only motivation to buy or even see them is for the dirty bits. When you can find these online for free, why bother with the rest of the game?
    • Not to be too much of a priss, but DOA Volleyball, despite popular belief, isn't a one-dimesional adult game. It has decent volleyball mechanics, and probably the best variety of charactor costumes of any game I've played (Yes, it beats out FF X-2 by a long shot in that department, despite that game's misconceptions). Also, there's about as much nudity in DOA Volleyball as there is on prime-time TV. Definately doesn't deserve a 'M' rating. Ok, I am being too much of a priss. Oh well.
      • And I agree, it does seem to be a little underrated by many 'serious gamers'. It is a great choice for when I just want to relax and have a little fun with no real pressure. The relationship mechanics can get pretty sophisticated, too...
  • by zephc ( 225327 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @12:42PM (#8211895)
    since Custer's Revenge was released
  • by sofakingl ( 690140 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @01:14PM (#8212106)
    Who says M rated games are "adult"? Just because the ESRB calls them "Mature" doesn't mean they are mature in the real sense of the word. A several of the games that get the M rating are quite immature, relying on sex, violence, or toilet humor to make them enjoyable. Personally, I wish that the ESRB would change the name of the M rating to something more fitting. A truely mature game would have a literary quality to it, not a sophmoric quality.

    And why isn't the AO rating used more? Surely Manhunt deserved it. I think one of the weaknesses of the rating system as it stands is that it allows companies to skip out on using the highest rating as they wish.
  • Leather (Score:2, Interesting)

    A brilliant mature game is Infocom's text adventure "Leather Goddesses of Phobos". Well-written, fun to play, and full of spicy humor. Loads of bad movie references too.

    Of course, when they created a sequel it was with graphics, and this game was actually very bad. Although the graphics were pretty tame.

  • Gamespot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @01:39PM (#8212261) Homepage
    Gamespot counts articles that make the front page as searches. Therefore, having posted The Guy Game to the front page as the cover story, it should be no surprise that it was the most clicked link.

  • http://www.newgrounds.com/collections/datingsims.h tml Thought I've seen translated real japanese hentai games and I find they're 100x more perverted. For some reason they have a strange fascination with incest and rape...
  • by LordZardoz ( 155141 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @11:48PM (#8216143)
    I dont think its a case of mature games not being in demand. I think its more an indication that Mature games are typically paid by the person who pays for them.

    If you buy a shitty game for you kid, you probably dont care too much that its shitty. But you do care if the game you bought for your self is Shitty.

  • "Im truly worried than 50% of American Students are grading less than the national average" think about that one for a second.

    Isnt obvious than games which are targetted just for a part of the gaming audience will always have less sales than games that are intended for everyone?

    Anyway the most important mature titles for this year were delayed Doom 3, halo 2 and half life 2 (not in order of importance) it was a much better year for games for all audiences.

    Besides lets call things by their name, games
    • ---------

      "Im truly worried than 50% of American Students are grading less than the national average" think about that one for a second.


      I know what you're thinking. In a *normally distributed* set of people, you get 50% below the average. Not everything is normally distributed. For a really simple example, consider four people's test scores:

      Person 1: 20%
      Person 2: 20%
      Person 3: 20%
      Person 4: 100%

      The mean score is 40%. 3/4 of these people are below the mean. It's easy to think of situations wh
      • Well yes but according to that, unless you consider the standard deviation of the population (which I dont think is happening in the afore mentioned case) you can not evaluate if 50% of the population grading less than average is a problem or not. after all if you have 90+90+90+100+100, the average is 94, meaning 60% of the population is below average.

        Anyway I must admit you have a point, what I meant was that is obvious that a game that is available and targetted at everyone has (at least numerically)

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