Chinese mobile game attracts millions of young women
Poster of Love and Producer Photo: Weibo
A Chinese mobile game which engages gamers into simulated dating and romantic situations with virtual boy characters has recently gone viral and garnered millions of players, in particular young women across the country, within a month since its launch.
The game called Love and Producer, or Lian Yu Zhi Zuo Ren in Mandarin Chinese, which can be downloaded from iOS and Android app stores, let players develop “romantic” relationship with several anime male characters with various backgrounds and personalities. 
In the game which obviously targets women, the female protagonist is a television producer who must save her father’s film studio from bankruptcy by reviving a hit show. And as she goes about her work, she comes into contact with male characters, followed by a series of plots which would finally lead the players to a happy ending with the male character.
The game has also developed a virtual mobile phone system which allows the female protagonist to interact with the male characters through Chinese messaging apps like WeChat, Weibo, Chinese version of Twitter, or by sending texts and making phone calls. 
Those male characters are Li Zeyan, a 28-year-old CEO of an enterprise, Xu Mo, a 26-year-old genius scientist, Bai Qi, a 24-year-old policeman, and Zhou Qiluo, a 22-year-old superstar. 
With “delicate drawings” and “great voices” of those male characters, the game is a so called “otome” game, or literally “maiden game”, which originated in Japan in 1994 and became popular in China nearly 20 years later. 
For those who are obsessed with good-looking faces and great voices, love role plays, simulations, interested in surreal stories, and want to experience what it is like to be a boss, this would be the right game, according to an introduction of the game. 
Like other “otome” games, an engaging story and some charming characters are also key to the popularity of Love and Producer among Chinese young women. 
“Although many game players have complained about the illogicality of the game, it has created a strong sense of emersion and interaction by implanting real life elements into the game, and inviting top voice actors to voice the game’s male characters,” The Beijing News said recently. “The success of Love and Producer not only lies in the rising of female game market in China, but also is because the game’s developer knows exactly female gamers’ appetite, despite the philistine plots and characters.”
According to Chinese media, the game’s developer Diezhi, a company based in Suzhou in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, invited Chinese actors like Bian Jiang, A Jiang, and Xia Lei to voice the game’s leading men. 
Love and Producer’s explosive popularity among Chinese young females to some extent should also be attributed to the company’s past experience in making games for women. In 2015, it created Miracle Nikki, an outfit-changing mobile game which was reportedly the first game in China in which most players are women. A TV show adapted from Miracle Nikki reportedly began filming last year. 
On January 13, the birthday of one of the characters in Love and Producer, Li Zeyan, female players who self-proclaimed to be Li’s girlfriends even rented a gigantic digital billboard in south China’s Shenzhen to send wishes to their virtual boyfriend. 
According to GameLook, a Chinese gaming news website, Love and Producer which was launched in December made roughly 20 million yuan on its peak day. According to Jiguang, a big data analysis platform, the game has been downloaded for over 7 million times as of January 7, while the number of daily active users reached over 2 million on January 7. It also shows that while women accounted 94.2 % of the total players, 57.9% are at the age of 20-24 and 15.7% younger than 19 years old.
The South China Morning Post cited an industry analyst as saying that while there are still about three times as many male online game players as women in China, there had been a steadily rising trend toward games produced for females. Women accounted for 24 per cent of all gamers in mainland China in 2016. 


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