Special: Where are they now? ~A look at the status of defunct otome game companies~

blding

Alright so we know Quin Rose and Otomate are pumping out stuff monthly but that’s not what this post is about. I’ve reviewed a lot of games on this blog from all sorts of companies…but now that I think about it….what ever happened to company XYZ? I played their game ABC but haven’t heard of them since. Some of these companies were 1 hit wonders who vanished after their terrible first and only release. And so this post is dedicated to those companies who have gone MIA or simply vanished from existence.

MIRAI

With such classics as Jingi Naki Otome and Tsundere S Otome, their last release was Rapist of the Opera in 2012.  They released a renewal package for Sumire no Rape (yes I will never stop putting that word into their titles because that’s all their games are about) and Tsundere S Otome to be compatible with Windows 7 and 8 in April 2013. Since then there has been no other activity from the brand.

MEAD

With their 1 hit wonder of Sakuragatari they’ve been quiet since 2013. Didn’t help that the original release was really buggy and the UI was crap. The game itself wasn’t too bad, what a shame honestly. It seems like if they brush up their UI and programming and just make all ages stuff they might be more successful.

Calamelia

With their one hit wonder Riddle Garden, they decided there wasn’t enough rape and so they left that name and rebranded as:

Calamelia Torte

With their 1 hit wonder of Akazukin to Rape no Mori, they kinda vanished into the same black hole all the other R-18 companies seem to go to :lol: They released a drama CD and a patch for Windows 8 in 2012 and have been quiet ever since. It seems like basically the entire staff is now working at Kalmia8 though with a new game coming out this week. This is now the 3rd time they are renaming themselves…not sure why they keep doing it either :lol:

Little Cheese

With their flagship hit Kuro to Kin no Akanai Kagi which they have ported a non-R-18 version to iOS & Android, they went on to release their 2nd game about Alice in Wonderland. I decided to avoid it like the plague and good thing I did since apparently it was more rape and NTR. Seems like they still update the site with some illustrations and goods but no news of any upcoming games.

Sugar Beans

Ah Sugar Beans, you will always have that special place in my heart for being the first otome game company whose otome game I played. I guess ever since Hiyo left them (to a company who renames themselves for every game they release), they haven’t been the same. After taking nearly 2 years to release Vampire Shitty, which ended up being shitty, they’ve had no activity since 2012.

AMEDEO

Alright I enjoyed Pet Detective Y’s, and Kare to Kare (And the otaku guy in STEP lol) but Dare Ura …left much to be desired. The fandisk was even more dull and frankly it basically faded from my memory. They seem like they still draw some calendars and wallpapers every once in a while but no news of any new games.

Strawberry Maiden

With their  one hit wonder Pretty Witch Academy (which was a massive copy pasta fest) they basically faded away out of everyone’s heads. Their site no longer even loads for me so I’m guessing they’re gone for good.

 Snapdragon

With the disaster that was Tsubasa no Oka no Hime and lots of unfinished and undeveloped routes and characters….they basically followed the same path as the other makers. Last update was in 2013 with a patch for Windows 8. Definitely a game I remember that had gorgeous art that was paired with someone who couldn’t even write a self insert fanfic.

 Tiaramode/Ribbon Magic

Ribbon Magic was actually eaten by Tiara Mode a while back and their only release was that terrible childhood friend gang rape game bleh. Tiaramode, famous for all those Brothers, Butlers, Princes whatevers that you visit in a house and then by downloading a patch you could have extra rape endings. Their last update was in 2012 for patches to their old games and their last release was Crazy Rapists, in which the entire story was in all the horrible drug/gang rape bad endings and if you skipped them (like I did) it felt like nothing actually happened.

DATAM/Polystar

If you were looking for a game with QUARITEE before Quin Rose, this is it. Sprites drawn by pro, CGs drawn by some guy off the street with misleading cover art! Also they’re infamous for that otome game that’s really just a yaoi game. In fact they just gave up hiding it and released an R-18 yaoi patch addon! There hasn’t been any activity since 2009.

 Dimple

The company who ported all those R-18 Sugar Beans games to PS2….is no longer in existance. The site was offline even when I played the Love Drops port. The extra Cgs were pretty terrible as well as the “additional contents” they added to replace the pr0n so I’m frankly not the least bit surprised.

Russel Pure

With their only otome game release being Hakarena Heart, they ported it to PS2 and we never heard from them again. Seems like their parent brand Russel mostly released ports/translations of Amerishit war games and Tomb Raider.

Primavera

This company has a BL and an Otome side, but their only otome release was Happy Cure which will happily cure your brain cells away as you rage at RNG fortune telling. No shocker that there’s been no activity from them in years.

Profitrolle

With their  one hit wonder Hitofuta Kitan which got horrid reviews, the game now sells dirt cheap on Amazon. There’s been no activity since April 2012.

Icing Candy

With a successful release of Bloody Call, unfortunately Kago no Naka no Alicis wasn’t such a hot commodity.  After a terrible port of BC (lol dem sprites) the company’s been pretty quiet with no updates since 2012.

Anxious

With Hush-a-Bye, Baby being their only release the company basically vanished before it could shine. It’s a pity because while short, the game was actually well written and enjoyable. I wonder if the staff went off to work elsewhere?

Spica

With Garnet Cradle and its FD being their only releases, the company hasn’t had any activity since 2012. On top of this, they no longer provide support for either product so if ain’t working for ya, you’re SOL.

Two Five

With their hilarious writing in Hotokenser making it an awesome game, I wanted to check out their older game Koigig Devil x Angel. They’re also known for bringing over the English release of Yojinbo. Sadly the games are super old and probably won’t work on my Windows 7 pc so I have since given up. The company seems to be active with their CDs and iphone apps but no signs of real otome game releases on the horizon.

Pony Canyon

What happens when a mostly anime/movie/music based company tries to make an otome game? Crappy Magic! Garbage game with garbage art and really good seiyuu was possibly the worst PC game I’ve ever played. I think PC releazied what a piece of crap it was though and they scrapped all remains of the release. Unfortunately for them, the stain of their disaster will forever remain on this blog ( ゚∀゚)ァハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ \ / \/ \ .

Madoka Games

Mirai’s “non pr0n” spinoff brand with Asuka being their only release. Needless to say I think Mirai realized that  the only people who buy their games are rape enthusiasts and an all ages game just ain’t gonna work. Although Asuka did have a yandere rapist with off screen rape so I guess in the end they just can’t get away even in their all ages brand!

 Blue Moon

I know you’re thinking hey what the heck Blue Moon is active! Well let me shed some light on their “activity”. After the terrible port of Bloody Call, they decided to start over and create the Double Score series. The CDs seemed successful so they continued with releasing the 2 route games. Okay so the first game wasn’t stellar but it wasn’t too bad. Second game the art quality dropped but fine let’s roll with it. However prior to releasing the 3rd game, Blue Moon went and fired the writer, director and artist for the entire Double Score series.  All other games have been delayed indefinitely and well at this point Double Score is basically dead in my head. Needless to say I expect them to vanish into oblivion sooner rather than later.Is this how asgard treats all their companies? The disaster with honeybee and seishun, the disaster of the Butterfly Lip/Rouge/Gloss series and the artist running away… Makes me really side eye anything under the asgard japan umbrella at this point.

Tiramisuvilla

While I played their Desert Love, I sadly couldn’t play any of their other games because they were not compatible with my Windows 7. They are one of the few rare companies were the R-18 in their games is actually consensual and just “happens after a romantic scene” rather than being an unwanted rapefest. Their last update was in 2011 and they mentioned they will not be releasing patches for any new windows versions which pretty much tells me they’re out of business for good.

Chocolatier

Anyone who was watching my broadcasts back in the day remembers MEMORIES and the endless 20 question sessions with sensei in his car. Well that game was also their one hit wonder and there haven’t been any updates since 2010. I vaguely recall that they spent a lot of money on PR for the game but the writing and artists were all a bunch of outsourced randoms which is why the end result was a piece of crap.

___________________________________________

cleanup

And well that’s all I got for now. After finishing the post I was actually surprised at how many names I was able to dig up. I’m certain there are other companies whose games I haven’t played that probably vanished out of existence too, but this alone is a pretty big list. On the other hand companies that are still fairly active are:

  • Otomate
  • Quin Rose
  • Karin Entertainment
  • Takuyo
  • honeybee
  • Rejet
  • D3Publisher

There are other still active companies like Daisy x Daisy but I don’t include them because they only have 1-2 games in their inventory so who knows how long they will “last”.

So what are your thoughts on all these companies? Is there a company that’s not listed here that you know? Feel free to chime in the comments below.

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About Hinano

Patiently waiting for high res otome games on the Vita!

Posted on April 23, 2014, in Otome Games and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. um did you forget to add Rejet into the active list? xD;
    and wow you are a true otome gamer. I mean the only companies I know is the active ones, I probably know some games you’ve mentioned like Garnet Cradle and so but not the companies. ok maybe I know Little Cheese for the shittey Alice in Wonderland crap lol

  2. Can you fill me in on the artist running away from the Butterfly series?

    • yea I think in 2012 or 2013 they announced that they had to change artists for the series.
      On the site it now said that the original artist did the “designs” but the actual Cgs were done by “black butterfly” aka copypaste artist.
      It happened sometime before the first game got released which is why it was delayed so much.

  3. Haha just the other day I was wondering what was Mirai up to, but I guess they finally kicked the bucket. Other dead companies that come to mind are Tiramisu villa and the guys who made that awful Memories game, i don’t even remember wtf they were called lol. And I know Bandai isn’t dead, but I wish they’d make a new otome game! I never played Drastic Killer but I had a lot of fun poking bishies in Duel Love. :lol:
    .

    • lol for some reason I though Phantom came out last year but I guess it was 2 years ago! Man does time fly!
      Oh right Tiramisu Villa! I knew I forgot someone, I gotta add them in lol I did play Desert Love after all xD
      oh right Memories! I’ll have to look them up as well thanks for the heads up!

  4. Oh god, you got me. Usually when I read you at work I’m able to hide my snickering and grinning but this time I just started laughing out loud like a hyena at all the rape rape rape everywhere XD

    Seriously though, it really makes me wonder about the market works. Like is it because releasing one bad game sinks a newborn company? Or because the market now has such ”big names” like Otomate and co. who can back up their releases with tons of money that it’s difficult to have a successful hit amidst the competition?

    (btw thanks for the shopping guide with the link for surugaya. So much games for half the price. I was finally able to purchase Musketeers *_*).

    • It’s only funny because it’s true :P lolol

      I guess new companies figure releasing porn will bring them all teh moneyz but it’s completely not true.
      Maybe it works for eroge but I’m pretty sure most otome gamers wanna see moe/romance stuff rather than straight up porn (which is why companies like Otomate are so successful with their Cero C games). And glad the guide helped you!

      • Arg, surugaya doesn’t ship overseas anymore…at least not for the time being. T_T Their email said “We are very sorry to inform that we stopped the acceptation of overseas orders temporarily.We would like you to wait for a time being.The date that we resume our service is still uncertain.We would like to resume it as soon as possible”.

        I fully understand but I wish they could have changed their shop policies/description to reflect the temporary stop? Anyway, let’s just hope they resume soon^_^

        • thanks for the heads up I updated my guide.
          they were kind of annoying with “your home address must match your shipping address” so I never liked them much to begin with.
          I think you can just find used games on Amazon and just use baggage forward to import them that way.

  5. Very interesting, thanks for the article. :)

    I’m not a big fan of Mirai. Hoshi no Oujo was rubbish, Tsundere was largely bland, Opera-za no Kaijin was very disappointing with baffling turns of events… and I haven’t played Jingi Naki Otome or Yume wo Mou Ichido (I hear both are just okay). The only Mirai game I actually enjoyed was Sumire no Tsubomi, even if it had obvious, notable flaws. Maybe Mirai is preparing to die? I think they could be squeezing the last bits of cash they can by bundling a ton of games together for a low price and then bowing out.

    About Mead- I agree. The system was atrocious, even after that mammoth 300~400mb patch was applied. Sakuragatari was decent overall, but not memorable. Even so, I didn’t regret buying it and I hope they get an opportunity to make a second game. It’s still too early to tell where they’re headed.

    little cheese is working on an anime adaptation of Trick or Alice under the AnDerCen (spl?) brand. Sheesh, ToA is one of Hiyo’s better works, but the writing is a mess in the final third of the game. The OVAs will just make everything even more confusing.

    Screw Sugar Beans and Tiramisu and their subsidiaries, no big losses there. Brothers still holds a place in my heart as having the worst OP video of all time.

    As for updates about other companies I know:

    Gekka Hyoujin’s last activity was creating a downloadable version of their (apparently) only decent game, Oukyuu Yasoukyoku… that was in 2009. Their last website update was in 2007! Anyway, I decided to get Oukyuu, seeing as it’s half price on DL Site Professional and the reviews are positive (on Amazon, personal blogs and DL Site itself).

    Their second game was an absolute mess, to put it politely. No exaggeration, Toiro Komachi is amongst THE WORST otome games, hell, VNs I’ve ever played. You can get secondhand copies for as little as 890 yen!

    Sorry for the long post! >_<

    • Yume mou Ichido had like the worst ending ever for the main guy. I just sat there baffled like wow really this is the GOOD end? :?

      Tsundere S was only funny in the S routes where she dominated the guys otherwise rape fest sigh.

      I thought Trick or Alice is gonna just be another OVA like KuroKin. In that case it basically just goes unnoticed by the masses so I don’t even count it. I don’t remember the Brothers OP cause it’s been so long but surely there have been worse ones! (Like Miyano’s horrible singing for Hakarena Heart :lol:)

      Never heard of Gekka Hyoujin so I’m not sure about them!

  6. Omg, Spica, Pony Canyon, Blue Moon…
    That’s so true. Where’re they? D:
    There’re some new BL companies too.

    • yea I don’t really follow BL companies but seems like there’s a lot more than there used to be

      • There are WAY fewer BL companies than there used to be in the genre’s heyday.

        The overall quality has vastly improved, though.

  7. Hi,
    Great post! I guess I’m still not “well-read” enough into otome games yet since the only company that I have actually heard of from above is Mirai xD
    Now you have mentioned it, I just noticed that it seems like the R-18 business has bloomed in these few years, so many new companies joining in the rush of R-18. It’s a shame that Operetta Due isn’t more active since their Akai Hana is pretty much one of the better one out there.

    • Didn’t Operetta just announce another game, though? I remember seeing it in Cool-B.

      I think they’re going at a good pace. If they release too many games, they probably won’t be able to keep their current quality. R-18 market is a delicate market, chase the money too much and you end up making crap and go broke, be too highbrow and nobody notices you.

    • yea as ET mentioned Operetta just announced some new game so that’s why I didn’t include them in the list. I was never an Operetta person due to the nature of their games but at least they are consistent with the “types” of games they release so I could safely avoid them.

  8. Looks like many R-18 otome game companies are deader than dead. Guess there’s no temporary winning formula for them, unlike eroge where adding huger tits and lewder porn can save you from bankruptcy. Or maybe lewder porn does work, but no one can into lewd porn for women.

    • yea cause most women don’t care about seeing the “actual ero scene”. It’s the “implied part” that’s nice but when they just show full on screwing it’s usually so blah, especially for some odd reason in otome games the anatomy is always terrible lmao

  9. You’d be surprised at all the old shit that would work with 7 and 8 with only a few tweaks. A game released for Windows 98 works on them, for god’s sake (although I actually had to run a Virtual PC with Windows 98 JP on it to get it to patch new extra routes from the append disk in successfully lol).

    Sometimes I wonder at the technical aptitude of the PC gaming crowd in Japan, seeing how they keep lapping up all those ‘Vista compatible’ ‘Windows 7 compatible’ ‘Windows 8 compatible’ releases as if it works like console ports and not for a PC that you can tweak to your heart’s contents. Yeah, some of these will require a patch, but a lot of them that gets Something-Taiou releases would work just fine if the players would just click the goddamned compatibility tap.

    • Oh yeah, and Russell also did another otome game : Kazeiro Surf, which was actually great (the heroine is an airplane mechanic! In WWI!) and a bit of a cult hit IIRC. IDK if it was under the Pure brand, though.

      • You know I tried to run an emulator for WinXP on my Windows 7 once but it wouldn’t show the Japanese characters and then told me I needed to insert Windows XP CD to download them blah. The emulator was actually an official Microsoft one too but guess they wouldn’t let you emulate japanese characters. So after that I pretty much gave up. (And doing the compatibility thing definitely did not work for Tiramisu villas games.

        I heard of Kazeiiro surf but it wasn’t listed under the Pure site so I’m guessing it was Russel on its own.

        • Don’t bother with the official Microsoft emulator, it’s made for business users using legacy programs on this side of the pond. I keep Windows XP on a virtual PC for those recalcitrant games that won’t run, but they are relatively few. Some games require specialized patches and .dlls, (looking at you, customized Kirikiri engine games) on the transition from 7->8, but I generally don’t have many problems. It’s not a problem with how old the game is, it’s a problem with how customized and not-future-proof the game’s programming was. Which I suppose Tiramisu Villa stuff are lol.

  10. Wow there are so many game companies here that I don’t even know of I’m really that new! Well I don’t really play R-18 games cuz i cant stand too much rape and abuse and blahblahblah so I try to stay far far away from them, although some wouldn’t hurt to try anyway. Also this causes problems for me since with my windows I probably cant open much old PC games at cuz of my windows.

    Although, I was wondering on what versions of windows does Karin games work on? I have Windows 8 Pro so I’m not sure whether can play those, since Karin seems to be the one of the better companies who dont poop out crap.

    • A lot of them are super old and the reason I played a lot of these games was because I didn’t have a PS2/PSP at the time so I was desperate for anything on the PC and sadly that meant the majority of this garbage lol

      Danzai no Maria worked fine on my windows 7 so I’m sure it works fine on windows 8. Anything released prior to 2009 though you might run into issues.

  11. I think Snapdragon has been inactive because the producer is mostly busy with their drama CD brand (called Jinna or something, which is pretty active from what I’ve seen). They’re also currently busying themselves being one of the directors for Torikago No Marriage along with Hiyo.

    As for Spica, I think a lot of their staffs have moved onto working for BL games if I’m not wrong?? Idk, but I recognized some of the staffs’ names on newer BL releases so I’m guessing they moved on from Spica or something. I’m not surprised if Tiaramode actually ran out of business tbh. Their games were mostly really mediocre (the monstrosity that was Brothers still burns my mind).

    • oh really? I guess it’s kinda like TwoFive then. Oh god director of Tsubasa + Hiyo??? LOOOL I can’t wait to read all the horrid reviews on Amazon! /

      Didn’t know the Spica staff is doing BL stuff now since I don’t follow BL.What a shame since the art for GC was gorgeous. Lol Brothers…

      • Carnelian WAS doing a BL game, but it’s been in limbo since forever. I don’t think it’s still in development, to be honest…..so no, GC’s gorgeous art isn’t gracing the BL scene either, sadly. (Though there already were a couple of BL games with Carnelian art and Kataoka scenario coming out YEARS before Garnet Cradle. It was…….er, not exactly my cup of tea.)

        GC’s writer has always been a scenario writer for hire. She’s written BL games before, and she just basically went back to it, and she’ll write otome again if someone hires her to. If you’re looking for her latest otome work, I believe she wrote Princess Arthur.

        So no, Spica’s staff didn’t go to do BL. The company just stopped working (there’s a notice about it on the site page) and they went their separate ways in the visual novel industry, that’s all.

        • I follow Carnelian on pixiv and it’s always awesome when she draws some doujin/fanart of my favorite series/pairing (I loved the Asuka/Shinji one lol)

          If its the same writer as Princess Arthur it means she’s now writing Senjou no Waltz! Exciting I can’t wait :D

  12. you forgot to mention Mio and incidently, they have announced a new game… where u can date gijinka books lolololwhat http://www.mi-o.jp/product/clover_library/index.html

    • oh no I didn’t forget ;)

      I actually was going to mention them until I saw the library game and figured they’re no longer “defunct” lol. It’s actually really cheap too (though looks like only 3 dateable guys) so I might consider getting it.

  13. How about Doublescore ? :D

  14. Most of these companies I don’t care if they went bankrupt, but I hope TwoFive and Spica make more stuff again though I doubt Spica will be coming back. The whole brand including their eroge branch closed like a year after the tsunami and since Carnelian is working on one of the Muv Luv spin-offs which just had a visual novel announced, chances are low.
    Takuyo and Karin are the only companies I look forward to all of their releases. I got burned so bad by how bad Princess Arthur was I haven’t bought an Otomate game
    since.:/

    • oh I had no idea that happened to Spica D: That’s too bad.
      Was PA that bad? A friend played it and really enjoyed it

      • It might have been because I was expecting like decent fight scenes and politics, but I personally was really disappointed. The protag is fine but not treated as a king (like some knights calling her by お前, like what she is your king) so no politics at all. She never runs her country. Writer uses the excuse of oh no she wants to still be viewed as a normal girl and she’s going to run the country in her own way by reaching to the people, but I seriously doubt a country can function just like that. All ideals, ideals, ideals and little to no action actually taken. Her little trips into the city to reach out to the people were just used as small scenario branches to interact with the character whose route you want to go on. Arl standing around like “…!” or “…[hero name here]…” so much. Inconsistency in final bosses and lame+boring battles were probably what bugged me the most. The romance was fine, but overall it felt like normal otomate with some generic battles in between. Not to say it was completely bad because I did like Lancelot and I thought Galahad’s route was pretty good, but I thought a lot of things other than the romance had a lot of problems.

        • oh and here I was worried it was something serious :lol:
          I’m not sure why you expected anything else from Otomate (or an otome game in general)
          I’ve come to realize basically the goal of each otome game is to romance the guys. If the story is nice that just becomes a bonus.
          Ultimately though, with the power of love you get the good ending/save the world/jump through time/heal the bishie’s wounded heart.

          That’s basically what the core of otome games, especially Otomate’s games is. So while you are disappointed, I just see this as “oh okay”.
          I guess I must be jaded to Otomate’s crap or maybe because I’ve seen worse (hit & run battles in 10 hour routes in Hiiro no Kakera, the unfinished garbage that is Edel Blume) so that this doesn’t even come close. XD

          • I learned my lesson…T_T But a good plot and writing can make or break characters why is it treated like bonus points for writers?? A character is so much more interesting and appealing when the story is good. Have all the romantic dates/lines/seiyuu whispering sweet things in your ear via dummyhead mic as you want but it doesn’t really make me like the character or game. I’ve played a lot of eroges where I’m like move over heroines let me date the protag or male side characters because they got so much spotlight in the story so I don’t see why otome games have to basically boil down to raburabu. My key to happiness is probably just not expecting anything and just being all kyunkyun for the guys and their seiyuu.:((

            • Seeing how drama CDs are basically driving the otome game industry right now that’s probably a safe bet :lol:

              and on the topic of ikemen protags -> this is why I bought that vita galge. he won me over in the demo ;) I’ll be reviewing it so I’ll report on my findings! lol

  15. neoromance? lol though I don’t mind them to release their games with 1-3 years interval

    • does KOEI games in general count as neo romance though? Since they released a game FD recently I didn’t consider them as inactive.

  16. Nice article
    So many unknown companies
    And i was planning to play trick or alice by little cheese but i totally forgot bout it since i just started playing otome games for less than a year
    T^T
    then i found kuro to kin no akanai kagi
    it was shocking to find out that it was full of rape when i only start a bit of the common route on ipad
    But Hinano’s reviews are still nice
    I have to agree that some otome games are really crap or full of crappy stuff and stuff that makes u want to flip a table
    thank you for all the reviews and articles XD

  17. Hehehe, reading this post made me feel a bit nostalgic. Memories of when I was but an innocent lass who understood not a lick of Japanese word. Now, I’m…ah those were the days. Ribbon Magic was the first R18 otome game company I encountered, followed by Karin and then Sugar Beans. Up to now, I kinda feel bad that Ribbon Magic didn’t release it’s supposed 3rd game whose title I’ve now forgotten.

    • wait they had another game? lol I think I only ever played their game after they got absorbed by Tiara Mode

      • Yeah, Ribbon Magic released an all-ages title in 2008 called “Clepsydra ~Hikari to Kage no Jujika~”. It got surprisingly positive reviews on Amazon. Sadly, Amazon is not a great indicator of game quality. Yet, I’m not interested nor brave enough to try the game for myself.

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