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Games Gone Wild - The Rise Of The Adult Title?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the shake-your-bon-mots dept.

Toys 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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Adult videogame definition (5, Insightful)

thesp (307649) | more than 10 years ago | (#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 (4, Interesting)

rixstep (611236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210935)

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.

Re:Larry Laffer (1)

Xentor (600436) | more than 10 years ago | (#8212355)

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.

Re:Larry Laffer (2, Informative)

Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) | more than 10 years ago | (#8214245)

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

Coming soon (heh heh) Leisure Suit Larry(TM) Magna Cum Laude [sierra.com]

If you go to the downloads section, there's a trailer.

Re:Larry Laffer (1)

hammerofnight (746981) | more than 10 years ago | (#8212838)

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 (4, Interesting)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210952)

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 (4, Informative)

Isbiten (597220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8212410)

Yes SomethingAwful has a long tradition of making review of these games. Though they all get negative scores :p


Re:Japanese H-Games (3, Insightful)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8214186)

Yes, of the english translated games. Those games are those with less story and more hardcore action.

The games that are very popular in japan don't get translated cuz the licensing fees are too high, and the US market won't really buy them as much as they sell in Japan.

Re:Japanese H-Games (1)

chendo (678767) | more than 10 years ago | (#8213519)

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 the game (Yes! It's still playable without the adult scenes)

Both have been translated to English, hence the reason that I've played them.

Re:Japanese H-Games (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#8213726)

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.


Re:Japanese H-Games (1)

chendo (678767) | more than 10 years ago | (#8213641)

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' scenes. Yet.

Re:Japanese H-Games (2, Informative)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8214243)

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 like that guy... in the start it's cute and simply shows some standard life scenes... later on it becomes moodier and more interesting.

Re:Japanese H-Games (1)

chendo (678767) | more than 10 years ago | (#8217786)

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 ;)

Re:Japanese H-Games (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8218326)

"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.

Re:Japanese H-Games (1)

cyrax777 (633996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8227434)

some examples of H games turned anime Hell, Tsukihime had a bad ass story. not to mention alot of the H games turned anime are in the "visual Novel" genre.

God I hate tabloid headlines (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210969)

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 (3, Insightful)

metroid composite (710698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211194)

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....

Re:I agree (0, Troll)

billcopc (196330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211769)

The reason why Nintendo's adult-rated games don't sell is because most of the time Nintendo consoles are bought by mothers for their kids, because every other console is marketed to the teen/young adult market with violence and skin. Let's say 80% of Cubes are used by young kids, of the remainder, another 60% are used by 'adults' who have yet to get laid, and whose best friends are "The Guy At The Video Store" and "That Blond Dude On Tech TV's X-Play". YOu know, the 25 year old types who still receive an allowance and use it on strategy guides and posters of the Final Fantasy girls (or guys!?)

So the few true 'adults' left with gamecubes, well we might buy that one M-rated game hidden under dozens of stupid Pokemon/YuGiOh sequels just for the hell of it.

So the stats suck. Meanwhile the PC crowd (and recently I learned, the PS2 crowd) are going jap-crazy for their soft porn 'games'. One that was recently demonstrated is called "Moving Gravure" and it's just a bunch of swimsuit pics morphing into one another to simulate full motion; of course with those wacky japanese girls performing various stupidly suggestive acts like eating fruit and stuff.

But then you realize that for the same 50$ you could just waltz down to the local strip club and have about as much play time with a real hunk of flesh.. and then you realize why the H-game industry is doomed from the get go here in north america.

Re:I agree (0, Flamebait)

Hedonist123 (681091) | more than 10 years ago | (#8213195)

I cannot believe that this piece of stereotypical BS was labelled as insightful. First of all, how about some facts to back up the sales market of the gamecube. I know that many of them are bought for younger children, but I highly doubt that many. The insinuation that most adults who own gamecubes have never gotten laid, blah blah blah. Honestly, I thought the slashdot system was designed to troll this kind of crap down immediately.


Re:I agree (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8245699)

Ok so I exaggerate, sarcasm is good for the laughter. I don't have stats but ask anyone, even your own mother, and she'll tell you that Nintendo stuff is marketed for kids. I know a few adults who enjoy Zelda, and I'm guilty of renting Metroid Prime to play on the kids' cube for a few hours, but look at the game selection: pokemon 1 to infinity, super smash bros 1-2-3-4, mario party 1-2-3-4, yugioh etc.. kids stuff! Easy games with little depth.

And for the record the few young adults I know that own gamecubes have yet to grow out of their parents' basement. So maybe I live in a small town, heck i dunno. If I ever find 200-300$ and don't know what to do with it, I might grab a Cube for the 3-4 games that interest me out of the lot, but it's still not going to displace my beloved Xbox.

"Adult" gaming (4, Insightful)

aanand (705284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210971)

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? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211240)

What's the European Space Agency have to do with adult video games?

Re:ESA huh? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211653)

they search uranus

Ever heard about... (1)

Lord Graga (696091) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211529)

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.

Looking vs. buying: buying loses (5, Insightful)

Mirkon (618432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211824)

...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?

Re:Looking vs. buying: buying loses (3, Interesting)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 10 years ago | (#8216620)

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.

DOAXBV also sold really well... (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8217249)

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...

its all been downhill (4, Funny)

zephc (225327) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211895)

since Custer's Revenge was released

Definition of maturity? (3, Interesting)

sofakingl (690140) | more than 10 years ago | (#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 (2, Interesting)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 10 years ago | (#8212169)

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 (3, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8212261)

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.

Adult Games ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8214090)

They've been around on the web for a while, (like this one: www.jizzmoppa.com) and it's interesting that they've now gone to charging for play, instead of free thrills.

Here's a taste what this stuff is like... (2, Informative)

UltimaL337Star (641853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8214446)

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...

The Bar for Mature games is higher (3, Insightful)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.


50% of the population has less than average, Duh? (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8226838)

"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 like "the guy game" and the ones they mentioned are not "mature games" they are porn games pure and simple and those have never had great sales in the first place.

75% below average, oh no! (1)

raygundan (16760) | more than 10 years ago | (#8230879)


"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 where more or less than half are below average.

Re:75% below average, oh no! (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8253831)

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) more posibilities to be selected than one that is restricted to a part of the gaming community. btw. the quote "50% of the population is grading less that average" is an actual presidential quote (by Henry Ford I think) . I got it from a quote site a few years ago.
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