To: The Game Industry|
From: Gen Katz, Editor
Topic: Game Guys -- You've Lost the Girls
Date: Dec 2004
Game Guys -- you've lost the girls. Remember all those sessions "What is it that women want?", "How to tap into the Girls Market". Well 'ferget about it.
The index of how important games were to girls was -- would they spend their own money on them -- you know, like boys do. Girls never did. But now girls are saving up and spending their own money on the shojo anime serial novels from Japan. The genre is especially appealing to girls. It offers romantic involvement, school locals, at least two men for every girl. The drawings range from the anime pixie bug-eyed look to out and out sexy. The covers of books are graced with lithe females with diaphanous garments reaching skyward in thrall of something or other. Ten dollars each, some are up to 40 volumes. At four you have already reached the price of a game. Rama, a character who changes from male to female depending upon hot or cold water, has sold over 49 million copies in Japan and over 350 thousand in the States. Girls buy these novelettes and often share them. They are considered suitable for inclusion in the public libraries. Just as boys know Tom Clancy, girls have their favorite writers and favorite illustrators -- even sometimes sending them fan letters.
Anime, video or movie animation of that style is considerably more expensive but still highly desired by girls. Cost is about the same as games -- $40.00. Often they are compilation of the manga stories. Currently two major outlets provide manga and anime in the States, Viz, LLC and Tokyo Pop.
The anime form offers involvement in modest time chunks -- girls don't play for 40 hours straight. The subjects are topical -- mostly involving school situations. And they deal with relationships, and that includes romance. This is not Purple Moon's lumpy Rockette. And the girls really dig it.
Eat your hearts out guys!