This was originally posted on QueueTimes on 11 April 2016. It is being re-posted here to archive the work I have done in case the original website ever shuts down.
Seduce Me 2: The Demon War is an otome game looking for members of the gaming community to greenlight the game for release on Steam. The game itself had a successful Kickstarter and will be releasing in May 2016. You’re probably asking, “Why should I Greenlight this?”. There are a number of reasons, but first, let’s cover some background information.
— Michaela Laws (@VAMichaelaLaws) March 28, 2016
Update – April 11, 2016 6:30PM PST
YES!!! STEAM SAID YES!! WAAAHAHAHOOOOO!!! EVERYBODY MAMBO!!! (Seduce Me 2 Got Greenlit! Thank you EVERYONE! <3) pic.twitter.com/eFjo5ZUTpB
— Michaela Laws (@VAMichaelaLaws) April 11, 2016
As of April 11, 2016, the game has been greenlit on Steam! However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t valid points to be applied to other otome games, so give it a read anyway. Who knows, you may end up being interested in the game!
A Quick Otome 101
For those not in-the-know, the Wikipedia definition of an otome game is:
…a story based video game that is targeted towards the female market. Generally one of the goals, besides the main plot goal, is to develop a romantic relationship between the female player character and one of several male, or occasionally female characters. This genre is most established in Japan, and is mostly made up of visual novels and simulation games (particularly dating sims).
There is a lingo to otomes which could be an article in itself, but instead I want to cover just the few I’ll mention in this article.
- Route: This is a way to denote a branch of plot for a specific character. Some characters can have multiple routes (and therefore, multiple endings). These are usually determined by choices you make throughout the course of the story.
- CG: Literally “Computer Generated [Illustrations]”, it is a short-hand for the beautifully illustrated and detailed stills that accompany otome plots after triggering a scene via a specific choice. These are artwork outside of the typical cutouts on a background.
Seduce Me: The Otome
Seduce Me 2 is a sequel game to the free-to-play Seduce Me: The Otome, available on Steam. The original game is a Western-based PG-16 otome written, directed, and programmed by Michaela Laws. The plot revolves around Mika, a high school senior who inherits her grandfather’s estate. Upon arriving at the estate, Mika finds five injured gentlemen in the foyer, whom have been attacked by some mysterious and dangerous people. Mika soon discovers that the gentlemen are incubi, and out of sympathy for their current situation offers them a home. The question then becomes, does she want them to leave.
Seduce Me makes it a point to offer both human and supernatural routes, as well as same-sex and opposite-sex relationship routes—something that is severely lacking in the otome world. Laws also makes it a point to provide the route’s Happy ending to players regardless of whether they decide to pursue or forego a sexual encounter with the character-of-choice—an extremely positive message missing in many modes of media.
The art is also drawn in more of a mesh between Western and Eastern styles, making it easier for Western audiences to enjoy the CGs and connect with the characters.
Seduce Me 2: The Demon War
Michaela Laws is back for the sequel to the original game, expanding the story and taking us to the world of the incubi (the Abyssal Plains), and pursuing story that was only briefly touched upon in the first game.
The game includes six romanceable routes—five opposite-sex and one same-sex, and this time around includes more variation of endings, including some Bad ones. It is fully voiced in English, and the script is longer than the original game script with less routes. In short, it’s a whopper of a game!
Why It’s Important to Greenlight Seduce Me 2
There has been some talk on why kickstarting and funding otomes is important to the genre. In short, it comes down to an argument that is familiar to anime fans from the 90s. If Eastern companies see that there is a Western audience willing to pay for these to be localized, they are more likely to release them, thus increasing exposure for the genre, allowing more people to join in the fun. That means fans are going to need to vote with their wallets.
However, in this case, there is no wallet necessary to vote to see this particular game on Steam. In fact, it’s a Western-created otome, which can help open the doors to more people becoming interested in Eastern-created otomes. If the player-base for otome games can grow by introducing players to them through Western-developed themes and stories, we can help to bridge the gap in understanding of Eastern cultures (which can be a huge turn-off if you don’t know anything about them).
Not only that, you’ll be supporting a game and development team that strives to bring equal representation of sexual preferences and protagonist genders to the otome world, which will in turn bring more players to the genre, as well as helping to pave the way for other games to seek equal representation. A demo of the gameis available for play for any whom would care to experience what the game is like before Greenlighting.
All it takes to Greenlight is a simple click of your mouse. Whether or not you yourself plan on playing this game, it is an important step toward bringing more otome games to the West, and it’s not something otome fans can do alone.