In the game Armor Blitz, players assemble an army of anime “tank girls.” When the game debuted on Google Play in November 2016, it grossed just $23,400 in six months, less than half its production cost. Then the same game relaunched on the adult-gaming platform Nutaku—now with the notable addition of hentai cartoon porn. Blitz went on to bank more than $160,000 in six months.
The thriving erotic-gaming industry that originated in Japan is now going global. Backed by porn giant MindGeek (owner of Pornhub, YouPorn, RedTube, et al.), Nutaku has become a megaplatform of titillating gaming, offering a mix of imports and indie releases. With 10 million registered users—40 percent of whom play daily—and 70 million monthly pageviews, the platform’s output of single-player kink has exploded more than 800 percent since 2015.
Porn-to-play is trending on indie platforms too, largely via mobile. Lewd gaming site Eroges.com has gained 250,000 subscribers since November; 65 percent of its traffic comes from Android. And game downloads on the porn app store MiKandi have spiked 81 percent since 2016. “Japanese companies are reaching out to us to help them bring their games to the US market,” says Mikandi cofounder Jen McEwen, motivated by a boom in developer crowdfunding on Patreon and Kickstarter, as well as partnerships with Japanese game studios.
The next erogenous zone is VR. The virtual world Red Light Center claims 220,000 active members, and “VR” recently became the most searched term on MiKandi. Time to boot up your Xboxxx.
This article appears in the June issue. Subscribe now.