The creator of Needy Streamer Overload shared some insight into the passing of the era of “mainstream eroge”.
Taking part in an interview, Nyalra discussed the topic of eroge and how the genre has seemingly been “passed down” to the doujin community.
The discussion came about with the arrival of a minor crossover between anime 16-bit Sensation: Another Layer and Needy Streamer Overload.
Here’s the discussion on mainstream eroge:
Nyalra, Needy Streamer Overload creator: I don’t really have much to speak out on [regarding 16-bit Sensation], considering mangaka Wakaki Tamiki actually helped work on those games at the time. If I had to state something though, I wish 16-bit Sensation (including the original) touched more upon the humiliation genre games prolific during the limited color palette era.
4Gamer: The era where games like like Yakin Byoutou and Shuusaku were popular.
Nyalra: Games like Suki Suki Daisuki!! too – the genre isn’t one where you must create a mainstream work, and I feel that these types of games are still fun in an artistic sense nowadays.
4Gamer: Nowadays, doujin games like places like DLsite are the successor to such genre elements.
Nyalra: When you think about it, that sort of gameplay is actually ‘the real type where you deepen your relationship with the heroine’. 16-bit depicted this too, but when you look at text boards back then, people trashed games like Kanon and ToHeart for progressing the game with just choosing text options, and not being very fappable. When I saw that acknowledged in the anime, I was really happy. (laughs)
4Gamer: There was a big debate back then on how eroge should or shouldn’t be like.
Nyalra: This is a fact that should be passed down the generations. Eroticism in these games are made “to be fapped to”, the gameplay is there to service the erotic scenes, and the players are only able to be emotionally invested because of the gameplay. I want to tell people this through the interview.
This is true of Needy Girl as well, but I really like games where you have to manage status bars. That sort of gameplay system is the same as engaging with the girls… no, humans as a whole.
4Gamer: (…) The reason why eroge became more widespread in the 1990s was because of how popular novel games got, increasing the density of the game while keeping development costs down.
Nyalra: Of course, but the responsibility for the fact eroge was unable to break out from that after the 2010s lies on the heads of those leading the industry. Developers stopped challenging new conventions, and passion for the genre died down.
Amidst all this Nitroplus, and Aquaplus tried to bring back gameplay (eg. the Dungeon Travelers series), so the remaining big names in the industry did end up doing what they needed to do. Just like action games, bishoujo games also have to evolve.
Hololive’s Minato Aqua released a game called Aquarium. I don’t follow them much, but Vtubers releasing bishoujo games, letting fans ‘capture the hearts of their oshi characters’ is a good start for a new movement.