“Mobage (mobile games) is now big trend in this society, with people opting out to using their phones or even iPads as their preferred method of gaming“
Ah… Mobile Otome Games… My second-first-love platform for visual novels… We had to break up, I’ll tell you that story a little further into the blog, for now, let’s talk about the mobile gaming scene. You see, mobile games have become world wide and vast over the years, created for those who needed entertainment while waiting for friends or a phone call. In recent years, mobile gaming has transformed into a formidable platform for pro-gamers and casual players alike, making it one of the major areas of game play today.
Mobage (mobile games) is now a common media in this society, with people opting out to using their phones or even iPads as their preferred method of gaming. As odd as that may sound for some, it’s not all that odd any longer considering everyone likes small, and handy items that they can carry with them everywhere… including into the bathroom…
Above is a graph from Statista, that did a survey with over 131 people on regards to their preferred gaming platform back in 2016. Unfortunately, I am unable to access the “Show Sources” of who they polled, however, the data is fairly interesting but not something surprising to me. Considering how I started to game on my cellphone back in 2014 due to my work, and also preferred release platform of visual novels being more exclusive to mobile phones.
“This is where my personal experience with mobile otome games comes in, as these games are more accessible, and were cheaper than buying a full game at the time”
Back in early 2014, otome games were not well known here in the states, and there was only a small fraction of people who did talk about this type of media on forums and Tumblr. However, while there were a few otome games for other platforms like the PSP and the Nintendo DS, those games were limited and also weren’t well received by the a certain faction of gamers at the time… This is where my personal experience with mobile otome games comes in, as these games are more accessible, and were cheaper than buying a full game at the time.
Here’s an example, when you buy a visual novel from a game store or online, usually it comes as a ‘complete set’ that equals to maybe 19.99-59.99 (Complete set meaning you get a character’s Main Story, Epilogue, Sequel, Second Epilogue, and Final Ending etc…). However, with a mobile version, a player can just buy ‘main story‘ route for the price of 2.99-3.99, and they can be selective of if they want to purchase the sequels and side stories for additional money.
So when you think about it, buying through mobile catered to customization for the players giving them liberty to pick and choose the character(s) routes that they wanted to play for a certain price. Mobile otome games gave control to the player on who they can romance, and not have to romance the whole entire cast to get to a “secret ending” of some sort. Most of these routes being a true ending in themselves, rather than being alternate endings. You get your happy ending, with the character you wanted, and don’t need to pay for the others. That’s basically it.
“So when you think about it, buying through mobile catered to customization for the players giving them liberty to pick and choose the character(s) routes that they wanted to play for a minimal price.”
However, if you purchased only through mobile, you would end up paying more money for game routes individually versus buying a game at full price. Take Code Realize: Bouquet of Rainbows, this game consists of the main game story, and also the fandisc story which includes several alternate routes and side stories, including hidden extra content for the price of $39.99. You get all the stories, sequels, hidden content, and extra bonus content up front for a very decent price.
This might not be for everyone, especially if you don’t want to play for long periods of time and just want to see one ending in particular. This is where mobile otome gaming comes in handy, especially if you are not interested in purchasing every character in the game series, the money is easy on your pocket, and you can finish the route in a short time. Also, you’re not lugging around a huge console everywhere, and getting the stink eye from co-workers about your console making too much noise at your desk.
“With several different gaming companies out there, including indie developers, mobile otome gaming/visual novel casual fun is more easier to consume.”
Mobile Otomes are cheaper (depending on the person), easily accessible, and most of all, convenient for someone who has to travel on the bus, airplane, and heck–Even waiting in line at the grocery store. You can take the game anywhere with you, and even if you get a text or phone call, your game won’t freeze or restart itself like certain other gaming platforms. With several different gaming companies out there, including indie developers, mobile otome gaming/visual novel casual fun is more easier to consume. Yet, there is a few flaws to the mobile gaming system that can irk a person and or stop them from using mobile game platforms altogether.
“To which you’re once again, having to wait for a long bit for money to either be refunded or they don’t refund you at all and instead they give you more coins.“
In recent years, certain visual novel gaming companies have started to make their players purchase game coins, rubies, or “otome currency.” Thus shouldn’t pose much of a problem except, if you don’t look at the fine print… You may be paying more money to buy these coins.
For example, let’s say you go into the Love 365 App, and you notice there is a voiced episode of one of your favorite characters for the price of $5.99. When you go into the coin purchase store for Love 365, there isn’t an option to buy 600 coins, instead you have to make the purchase of buying either the $7.99 coin set, or combining two other coin sets to make your purchase amount. This is usually how it starts with the overspending, especially when in a week or two later… the game may have a sale and or be released at a much cheaper price on another platform less than the amount you paid (this does happen quite often…).
“Other times, a ‘purchase’ button won’t work and you’ll frown and click it again, to only find out on your Apple/Google receipt that you just bought double/triple the amount of coins by accident.“
Another thing that has happened to me personally and others is… well… Have you ever went and purchased ‘gold coins’ that total to about… let’s say $10.00 USD, then click the button, and the purchase goes through but then the app crashes… To which, you restart the app, and the money you spent is charged on your card but your ‘otome currency’ doesn’t reflect in the app’s purchase screen?
I’ve had multiple games do this to me, and it can take several days sometimes for a game company’s representative to finally reach out to you. Other times, a ‘purchase’ button won’t work and you’ll frown and click it again, to only find out on your Apple/Google receipt that you just bought double/triple the amount of coins by accident. To which you’re once again, you have to wait for money to either be refunded, or they don’t refund you at all and give you coins.
“…forget that they too–have a limited capacity of what content they can post to the server they are being hosted on…”
Another issue that tends to happen as of late with mobile games is that they will mass produce their games, and translate it for their audience, but then forget that they too–have a limited capacity of what content they can post to the server they are being hosted on.
Back in 2016ish, there was a notice sent out to a lot of gamers about how certain otome apps we love and adored would be erased. The reasoning was because the server that which the game creators had “rented” space from was now filled, and they couldn’t put in more content unless they paid more money for a bigger amount of “space” to rent. So came the Otome Armageddon, where many otome apps disappeared off the App Stores and left many of us both enraged, some confused, and sad.
“You have now loss all the content you just bought, including the money you invested into the game.“
The reason why I was so mad and feeling a sense of betrayal, was my lack of not reading the fine print on ‘purchasing‘ these mobile otome games. A lot of times, because we are excited, we tend to not read the fine print on something… So let’s say you just bought $30 worth of routes in an otome app, but the app suddenly closes down. You have now loss all the content you just bought (Alice in the Country of Hearts by Quinrose is a GREAT EXAMPLE), including the money you invested into the game. Which is what happened to a lot of us back in the Otome Armageddon times, to which, a lot of us complained about how we wasted our money. Well, when the otome apocalypse happened, I finally read the fine print about the mobile games I had been supporting and nearly rubbed holes into my skull from feeling like such a moron.
“We don’t technically own the game copy even if we purchased them from a store.“
Unlike when you purchase a full physical copy of a game, or a digital purchase from a game store online in which the copy of the game key is now yours to keep. Mobile games act on different rules, remember how I told you that the game creators were paying rent to a bigger corporation to house their games? Just like how they are paying rent, we are paying for a lease to play their games.
We don’t technically own the game copy even if we purchased them from a store. For example (NTT SOLMARE IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF WHAT I’M ABOUT TO TALK ABOUT) if the company feels like revoking all the games off it’s store, to put out only five games out versus the twenty games they had previously. You lose all the game content, and investment money you put into the game, and you can’t ever play the game again. Unlike how you can always return to your game and have it like a physical purchased copy or a digital key.
This is a major downfall about mobile otome games, where if you choose to invest in the games you buy on these apps. You are gambling with your money, so be wise when purchasing your games as you may end up seeing your favorite game disappear for good. The other issue that can occur, such as game company, Shall We Date? has done, is create a library app, but instead of giving the option to transfer your previous purchases from their standalone apps. You have to repurchase all their games, but at a higher fee…
“I stopped investing my time and money into them“
While other game companies were good with transferring their user’s data, and salvaging what they could for game players to still spend money on them. Others were not so good, and reformatted their apps to take more money rather than what their previous standalone apps would do, thus… making them lose their original following.
It was after this issue, that I stopped investing my time and money into buying mobile otome games. For me, after reading the User Agreement Terms in more finer detail, I opted to step away from mobile games altogether and started focusing back to console and PC games instead. Since I’ll always know that I will have a physical or digital copy of the game and never have to worry about it disappearing, unless I misplace it myself.
This is just my personal experience with mobages, and honestly, the most vital take away I got from them is to read the FINE PRINT. I guess in my mind when I first started to purchase these games, I had thought that because I bought the routes or the entire game on mobile, that they were mine to keep just like as if I bought a physical or digital copy of it. WRONG. To be honest, I really should of read the long contract and not have been a lazy asshole, because then I would of saved myself the trouble, and heartache of seeing the games I’ve purchased being erased and unable for me to play.
“I’ll always hold a special place for some of the otome games that I’ve found over the years on mobile”
From my overall experience of playing otome games on mobile, it was a fun ride, but now, I’m looking elsewhere for better pastures. I’ll always hold a special place for some of the otome games that I’ve found over the years on mobile, and play the ones I bought that are still available for me to play–until the ‘lease’ is up. In any case, I’ve slowly switched myself back to consoles and my PC for my visual novel and gaming entertainment, and I have yet to run into any problems–except that I can’t lug my computer everywhere with me. Good thing I have a Switch! LMAO.
As always, thanks for stopping by in my little corner of the blogosphere, and see you on the gaming side~!