Bloomberg: Like many Japanese young women, Takako Suzuki says the first thing she does most days is think about who her next boyfriend should be. Her choices: a cute millionaire, a butler or a samurai.
Whether playing the role of a teenager who fantasizes about her five rich housemates or flirting with a civil-war warrior, Suzuki says she can’t get enough of “otome” Japanese romance games geared toward women. Suzuki, who says she once played 10 different titles concurrently, buys credit from Gree Inc. (3632) to pamper her avatar with virtual clothes or shoes and purchase tickets for additional game chapters.
Suzuki and other female gamers are helping reshape the $10.6 billion video-game market in Japan, where the popularity of Gree’s social network is luring developers typically focused on making titles for Sony Corp. (6758) and Nintendo Co. Women will help sales of games played on social networks triple in the next five years, according to estimates by BNP Paribas SA in Tokyo.