Licensing Survey Results and Things to Come

Apologies for the wait, but the survey results are finally in! Results have been impressively consistent over the past few years. This year, we received a little over 8,000 responses and the basic demographics are quite similar overall, but we reached a few more women this year (up about 6%) and, perhaps unsurprisingly, our audience is getting older with the 18-24 segment below 50% for the first time and growth in both the 25-30 and 31-40 segments. Non-English language usage is consistent with last year, with Japanese taking the top spot followed by German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Portuguese. Digital download continues to be the overwhelming preference, accounting for over three quarters of respondents. We saw a slight drop in people looking for more yuri titles and an increase in interest in otome and adult otome titles, but moege and gameplay focused titles continue to dominate preferences––perhaps some things really are eternal.

And now for the part you’ve all been waiting for, the license request ranking!

  1. Evenicle 2 NEW!
  2. A Kiss for the Petals Series
  3. Yoshiwara Higanbana ↑15
  4. Rance Series ↓1
  5. White Album 2 ↓3
  6. Sakura no Uta
  7. Fate/stay Night ↓4
  8. Diabolik Lovers
  9. Mahoutsukai no Yoru ↑12
  10. Soukou Akki Muramasa ↓9
  11. Youkoso! Sukebe Elf no Mori ↓7
  12. Rose Guns Days NEW!
  13. Daiteikoku
  14. Jooubachi no Oubou ↑16
  15. Kannagi no Mori NEW!
  16. Omega Vampire NEW!
  17. Chou no Doku Hana NEW!
  18. Ken ga Kimi ↓10
  19. Bunny Black series ↓17
  20. TRianThology NEW!

If you included your email for a chance at winning either a copy of If You Love Me, Then Say So! or Steam Prison, check your mailbox because emails have gone out to the lucky winners!

Also, we have updated our convention schedule and announcements page, do be sure to take a look! And don’t forget to check out our April Fools sale and pick up your copy of our delightful cat calendar while you still can!

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81 Comments

  1. This is just sad, people don’t even know the best vn companies or even the new popular releases in Japan and don’t have much choices to choose from apart from the vns that got anime adaptions or sequel, prequel of existing localized vns, can’t they notice the most popular companies like(“Saga Planets”, “Essemble” “Hulotte”, “Nanawind”) as well as the rest of the already some localized vns of (“Pulltop”, Yuzusoft, “Purple Software”, “Favorite”, or many others that have such beautiful and quality visual novels to play.

    • Unfortunately, in general, people are stupid.

      • Or not everyone is so deep into Japanese VNs that they follow new Japanese releases no one who speaks English will ever get to play. It’s completely reasonable to want to play the source material for your favorite anime. Plus, there are new popular VNs, but no one knows if they’ll stand the test of time.

    • pulltop already has moenovel which brings their games over to the west but sadly moenoevel just censors the fuck out of the vn and never listens to feedback

    • Saga Planets is with key, so if anyone brings them over, it’s Sekai. But considering the state of Rewrite I wouldn’t expect anything from Visual Arts at all. Yuzu is with Nekonyan, Favorite is currently with Sekai, Purple is with anyone, and Pulltop might as well be dead as far as the English world is concerned. It’s not like titles from those companies don’t get votes, it’s that none of them stand at such a level where they attract all the votes. You don’t have a large group focusing down on any of them, so none of them end up standing out on the survey. It’s just how it is, if you can’t get a group to focus down on votes like with Rance or the elf game you aren’t going to see non anime moege’s in the survey.

    • dam you are right

    • i think for yuzusoft,purple software,pulltop,saga planet and something like just don’t match with Mangagamer image

      i already expected the voting result will something like this

    • I am disappointed that nobody heard about Aiyoku no Eustia.

    • Yeah, Saga Planets and Yuzusoft also make really great vns.

  2. didn’t thought there would be this many Otomes in top 20

  3. I did hear there were quite a few bots used to “wind up” the voices for otome games but I definitely didn’t expect THAT many titles in the top 20. They could have at least focused on one or two games, like c’mon…

    • Contrary to popular belief women enjoy different games, my dude. =)

    • I’m VERY curious where you heard about the bots considering I’m in most otome communities and I heard nothing of it. Looking at how many of them said they would vote these results are realistic. Even the titles match. There are enough of us. No need for bots lol

      • They like to think in this dumb ways cause they can’t deal with us liking some same type of thing (in this case,visual novels) or else.
        Congrats we exist and we are showing up 🙂

    • It’s hilarious that you’d immediately assume the poll was rigged. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, there’s lot of VNbro salt across the platforms you’d expect it. Happens every time.

      Like someone said in another comment, moege/galge/etc fans have a huge selection of PC titles they’re familiar with that suit each and every preference, and often vote for their individual favorites. This leads to a wider spread of voted-in titles. But notice that the post says “moege and gameplay focused titles continue to dominate preferences”. That is, they are still the majority.

      Otome fans, on the other hand, are a rapidly-growing demographic that tends to communicate with one another and rally behind a few select titles to have a better chance of visibility. In addition, a number of Japanese otome devs have either gone out of business, make console-only versions, or expressed a lack of interest in localization (though it unfortunately doesn’t seem to deter the Rejet voters), which narrows down the possible titles. MG is one of the few companies localizing PC otome games, hence the community doubling down to make sure votes aren’t too scattered (and therefore potentially wasted).

      It’s that simple.

    • im excited for all these games

      you: Boohoo! 30% of the games are otome! Thats too much! must be bots!

    • I didn’t expect to see a man so insecure but hey here we are.

    • The English Otome Community encouraging their fellow otome lovers to fill out the survey =/= bots.

    • There were no bots, you’re just butthurt that women voted.

    • I haven’t heard anything about bots rigging things for otomes. I have, however, seen otome communities posting about the survey and going, “Hey, Mangagamer’s doing their licensing survey again. They’ve done a few otome titles AND they’re giving away a copy of Steam Prison. If there’s any otomes you want to see, it can’t hurt to bring it up to them.”

      But hey, clearly bots are much more likely.

    • The only manipulation I’m aware of is that guy going around begging people to vote for Sukebe Elf no Mori. He did it last year, too.

      • Asking other people to help in voting is a perfectly valid tactic that helps Mangagamer gain visibility and ultimately gain sales in the long run. Ultimately, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink; everyone who voted for Sukebe Elf no Mori or otome games did so by their own volition. Hardly “manipulation”.

        Since this “bot” argument shitshow seems to be concerning a limited “resource” aka the limited amount of ranking slots available, a simple solution is to ask Mangagamer to increase the slots beyond 20 next year and beyond. This will address the increased spread of VNs being requested as well as those that cannot reasonably be licensed due to various reasons.

    • For what it’s worth, I personally examine the results every year for signs of manipulation and make a point to manually purge fraudulent submissions. While I can’t say with absolute certainty that I didn’t miss anything, there were no obvious signs of automated submission behavior this year. (There were a non-insubstantial number of bad-faith submissions a few years ago, but they weren’t making any suggestions and simply trying to win a free game––this, I should note, is the more typical behavior for fraudulent submissions).

      There are a couple demographic subgroups in our typical user pool who have a tendency to organize title lists or even block suggest (that is to say they have a list of specific titles that they all suggest), but this isn’t botting and is a perfectly legitimate thing to do.

      And, lastly, as I try to remind everyone every year, the licensing survey is not a contest or an election. It’s not like getting in the top 20 means automatic licensing. The submissions are examined by actual human beings and there are many other factors that go into whether a license is pursued or not.

      Despite that, if you are still concerned that your favorite titles didn’t make it, might I suggest you encourage your community to “at least focus on one or two games”.

      • @Good Haro

        Oh well, I’m only repeating what I’ve heard as it perfectly aligns with this sudden surge. Either way, I understand that this is more work for you, but survey results would definitely benefit from additional top 10/20 divided among the genres (with the number depending on the, for example, genre popularity) since there’s basically nothing to see here for the non-otome readers. The rest of the list largely consists of the usual unobtainable licenses. I understand that the survey is for the company, not for the customers, but still if it’s possible, I’m sure everyone would appreciate it.

        • I’m not really sure how 15 entries constitutes “Nothing to see here for non-otome readers”. Like I said, if you’re so concerned about titles you’re interested in making the top 20 for whatever reason, get your friends to, as you suggested for the otome community, “focus on one or two games”.

          We’re not about to manipulate the results by artificially dividing them just to you (or anyone else for that matter) happy. There are a non-trivial number of people who want to see otome games licensed (still a small minority compared to the titles aimed primarily at straight men). This is just a fact and you’re just going to have to live with that.

          • It looks like you are offended and that keeps you from actually reading my post. Please try again. I have never said anything about not revealing the overall ranks, only about additionally dividing them into categories which would give more insight into the most popular titles and would make literally EVERYONE happy, including the lovely and good natured otome fans, not just me who is now clearly an enemy for the extremely and undeniably professional staff of MangaGamer.

            And yes, there’s nothing to see here for non-otome readers, because almost everything else are the old and tired favorites like WA2, SnU, Muramasa, FSN, Mahoutsukai that you will literally never license. Add to that the usual AliceSoft galore plus the “spammed” Sukebe Elf and that’s pretty much it. I’m sure the 20-50 places would be infinitely more informative and interesting for the majority of the voters but you do you and just continue to attack me for suggestions instead of simply answering that it would be too much work for you and peacefully ending it on that note.

          • Is the “lol u mad” defense really the best you’ve got here? Honestly, if you wanna know what’s past the top 20, just look at VNDB ratings. If you think the top 20 is uninteresting, everything beyond that will be just as uninteresting. I’m not really sure how explaining that there was no evidence of automated voting fraud, asking why the top 15 non-otome titles that were suggested by the survey base are insufficiently interesting to people who participated in the survey, and elaborating that we would not be doing genre-centric breakdowns per your suggestion qualify as “attacks”. That said, I would encourage you to take your own advice and end this conversation here without further reply.

          • I see. I was just very surprised and hurt by how aggressive you are. I’m sorry.

          • “Aggressive” “offended” lol
            Fragile masculinity unable to take a normal conversation as anything else but some sort of personal attack on themselves at its finest.

            Maybe get your and your community’s shit together and organize your collective votes better next year, sweetie.

        • You just need to accept the fact that not everyone has the exact same taste as you, my dude.

        • There are literally five otome games out of twenty games, and you’re acting like they took over the list. Grow up.

        • Honestly it would be better to split the data into three to five sections based on genre and gameplay style. Along with total numbers for each title on the list and comparisons to earlier survey results such as total voters and percentage changes for formerly voted on titles for a sense of audience growth and consistency with self reported statistics. The current format blends so much data together that it doesn’t really say much worth noting.

    • SMALL DlCK DAN: Women??? voting??? in an online poll?? no!! it can’t be!! women don’t have the right to vote!! it must be bots!!!

      • Gotta love how toxic the replies here are, blowing everything out of proportion.
        Just what I expected.

      • The claim of botting was stupid on his part but why body shame? chances are the dudes got an average dick so all you’re doing is making people with small ones feel bad.

    • Sorry that us otome gamers are taking over your waifu tiddies

    • girls can like things too u dense idiot

  4. Wish there would be more eroge and not this much vanilla and decade old games. The digital art’s gotten so much better in the last years.

  5. Clearly, the italicized 3 means that Evenicle 3 is confirmed. Wait a minute…

    Jokes aside, happy to see more gameplay and yuri titles implied for the future. Rance is finally upheaved from the top spot, though Evenicle 2 taking the top isn’t surprising. Maybe Rance will disappear from the survey next year, assuming the remakes are announced. Perhaps MG has partnered up with another notable gameplay title producer this year, though I wouldn’t mind if only Alicesoft titles were announced. There aren’t a lot of notable yuri titles left from what I know, so I wonder what MG has planned. Amrilato will get a sequel, so that’s one possible announcement at least.

    6 otome titles in the survey is kind of weird, but not too suspect. I imagine that people who voted on moege had a greater variety of answers than the otome voters, which means you get a lot of moege with only a few votes on the survey and only a few otome games with plenty of votes each. Furthermore, only 2 are in the top 10 while the other 4 are in the bottom 10 along with other less well known titles like the Bunny Black series. At the very least, it warms my heart that the top otome game is an 18+ otome.

  6. Any news on Bokuten?

    It’s funny, I asked two years ago, and am still waiting.

    http://blog.mangagamer.org/2017/01/06/2016-in-review/

  7. People a keep asking for Alicesoft and Fate series, no surprise there. Interesting to see Youkoso! Sukebe Elf no Mori and Bunny Black still up there. They felt more like the dark horses of last years survey.

  8. Aww no Majikoi?

  9. Can we get a list of the publishers voted for too?

  10. I wish Mangagamer would make two lists, one with the normal results and another without Typemoon games, Nitro+ games, White Album 2 and Diabolik Lovers lol

    I want to see the other games that people want to play but these titles take too many slots, lol. T.T

    • Agreed, I’d like if in the future they presented the unedited list and then another list with titles that they have (almost) no chance of getting removed and moving up the next items on the list.

      Some people just can’t help voting for DL or FSN despite being told constantly how improbable it is.

  11. it’s nice to see lots of otome titles, tho DL always being on it bothers me a lil, if anyone wants to keep trying Rejet titles at least keep in mind the PC ones ;; nice to see Jooubachi going up since it was one of picks ^^ my poor Daisy2 choices never make it

  12. No Navel series? Been waiting for ages for the remaining Shuffle! titles….

  13. I dont say evenicle was bad, but it’s lamed compared to Rance in both art and story, even Dai series was better (but Dai had brutal content and hard gameplay, so it’s not much appeal), I dont understand why so much ppl chose evenicle??
    And am i the only one hate Nan’s art so much?? -_-
    i couldnt turn on at the H-screne art of hims -_- (the saving grace of evenicle 1 was H-scene of the sants – art of other artist)
    I feel irritated. Rance 4 remake seem to be dalayed.

    • I’d say it’s probably because while the Rance series is more fleshed out and intricate, that also means it’s more complex and convoluted. Since MangaGamer started localising the Rance series with the fifth game, newcomers aren’t going to completely understand the context of certain events without knowledge of the previous games lore and backstory, thus making the series harder to get into.

      Evenicle on the other hand was a stand alone title when MG localised it (the second game in the series was only realised this year) thus making it more accessible to newcomers.

      • well, that’s maybe the case
        I dont hate Evenicle, i can enjoy gameplay and the story, but i really hate Nan’s art -_- , it ruined my taste for an ero game
        I feel really disappointed when so many ppl was hectic about evenicle -_- so that this tyle of art continues -_-
        i wonder im strange when i hate Nan’s art that much
        and Rance 4 remake havent yet been confirmed
        f**k

    • Can’t help you if you dislike Nan’s art, but for me Evenicle was by far a stronger standalone title than any Rance game. For all the incredible lore the Rance series has that requires playing multiple games to understand, I was extremely impressed at how Evenicle could successfully tell a complete story with a completely different world from that of Rance, and no shortage of memorable characters with interesting backstories. It also is a major selling point for me that Evenicle has partial voice acting, as someone who is studying Japanese.

      And I consider myself a highly enthusiastic Rance fan. Evenicle has a lot going for it as a top quality JRPG and I as a whole enjoy it *more* than any Rance game.

      I know I want Evenicle 2 to be localized for sure.

  14. One thing that has changed with the female voting is the release of Nitro+Chiral games by Jast. That’s 5 games people would be voting for their personal favourite that have been removed from the equation. If I remember right I think Drammatical Murder was even on the list last year.

  15. Seems like women are better at gathering and deciding for a game. Men, whats up? I feel like our voices are just coincidentally the same. Whats so hard about an agreement in choices. Few more years down the line we’ll be getting releases of 1 novel for everyone, followed by 3 otome novels. Why? Because otome fans are a more united community. You nonsencical and ignorant people just push your vote hoping for the best and what happens? On a quick look all the “New” games on the list are more aimed towards women. We have the power to bring (with mgs help) the least known visual novels to the english and we waste it. Give up a choice to hear the noise you know? Voice your opinions on blogs Twitter boards forums, compromise a little. Nothing wrong with otome games on the list but im saying that we pretty much suck as a community compared to them.

    • Uh, why exactly are games with male protagonists and female love interests “for everyone” but games with female protagonists and male love interests aren’t?

  16. I think it’s time to expand the list to top 50. I’m sure there’s a lot of interesting stuff outside the usual top 20 suspects.

  17. Don’t care who votes for what as long as we get more Alicesoft games and gameplay games in general. You guys can cry about otome, Yuri, futa, or ebola as long as I get me some Rance.

  18. Really a shame that Da Capo 4 didn’t made it on this list. Suppose I will just get the japanese version first then.

    • Executive Produce

      I really want Da Capo 4, but admittedly, the only reason I didn’t vote for it was that Circus always releases an enhanced/expanded version of the mainline games later down the line. So I want to wait for them to at least announce that version before I suggest it, especially since DC4’s initial release is all ages and I figure Circus might announce an 18+ version later. I’m still disappointed we’ve never gotten D.C. II P.C., which has extra routes with Akane and other girls.

  19. Ayyy Jooubachi moving on up in the world. I own the game in Japanese already, but would love to have it translated <3

  20. It’s kinda funny that although moeges are amongst the most requested titles, not even a single one made it into the top twenty. Though I guess what Nin said is true, and the moeges have so much choice that none of them manages to gain a significant majority. Probably also explains why A Kiss for the Petals is so highly requested – there simply aren’t many yuri titles to choose from.

    Regarding the otomes, I’m a bit shocked that the protagonist of the most requested one is a prostitute. Though, considering the fact that all her ‘clients’ are probably super handsome dream boys, it’s kinda understandable.

    Not sure if people really want their dream of Evenicle 2 fullfilled. Apparently it’s so much worse than the first one that it barely reached a 7 on VNDB.

    I’m a bit surprised that no Eushully title made the list, though the votes might also be split on too many titles.

  21. I wish you guys could make a definite “NOT GOING TO TRANSLATE” list since there are quite a few publishers that are either defunct or don’t want to work with western audiences.I hate that we seem to be stuck on Rejet, Honeybee, etc. Let’s at least put games up there that have a chance.

    • Or at least expand the listing since it seems people dont even research games. Might as well make them a bit more familiar with other choices. Or make a “gems from the votes” blog series where mg staff picks 5 barely known games per week each a diferent genre and talks about them.

  22. White album 2 when

  23. I’m not sure if JAST even has the rest of Empress licenses, but I really wish we have gotten some of Sei Shoujo’s best works.

    Closed Game, P/A Potential Ability, and DominancE.

    https://youtu.be/Ve1R55x_p3k
    https://youtu.be/9qD0BbDBhBM
    https://youtu.be/M5pahigEN3U

  24. Does it mean that Evenicle 2 would have the localized version soon?

  25. I would’ve loved it if Da Capo Girl’s Symphony or D.C.4 made the list…

  26. I’m having a hard time believing that woman voted in this. It has to be a conspiracy against us moege lovas. Mangagamer don’t be tricked! There’s tons of unreleased moege waiting for us to read them. Let’s not continue to leave them be alone another minute.

    It’s bad enough I’m being deceived that woman actually go to the bathroom to release waste. Idols don’t do that so it should be the same for normal woman. The thought is inconceivable!

    • This is some kind of joke right?
      (moege games are on the top of the preferences here and there’s many released ones already lol)

  27. I just want Madou Koukaku translated but maybe in about 10 or more years i can have a translated version that I can play safely away from society lmao

  28. We need more Yuri Mangagamer! you’re one of the best companies for making this happen for us English speakers, please let it continue as such. Committing to really getting through the SonoHana series for example would really be a plus, considering the popularity and consistent fanbase around it.

  29. So much otome games! im really happy! finally girls are getting what they want
    and of course there will have manbabies who don’t believe that womans can like VN and say it’s some conspirancy that it got popularity like they say about everything,
    we don’t need bots,we just have many female fans that are showing more love to what they like.
    Hope in the future it increase more <33 (yuri and BL translations too)

  30. I’m sad I missed the survey but I’m happy to see my most favorite a kiss for the petals at #2. Yesss please more petals. I need snow white’s knight and the nurse series 🙂

  31. I am SO GLAD AND EXCITED that I see the ‘A Kiss for the Petals’ Series up there at #2! Can’t wait for Lovers of the Atelier and the ones after! <3

  32. daiteikoku still at rank 13 smh

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