For those who enjoy adult themed gaming, the recent news that Japanese developer Illusion Software will be closing its doors in the coming month hits hard. A post on Steam suggests that all activity will end on August 18, 2023 at 10:00 (Japan time). This means gems such as VR Kanojo and Honey Select will no longer be available to purchase in the West, via Steam or otherwise. Illusion’s games have also been compatible with Steam VR, so it will be a shame for these to no-longer be available.
What is the reason for this then? Aside from being in the know during Illusion board meetings, there are several potential reasons. Namely, changing attitudes in Japan, potential development costs being too high, or a general lack of interest from consumers with few new projects in the works. As you can see from the above screen-grab. Illusion games never go on sale on Steam, no lower price after years of being available, and for what they are remain quite expensive. This not only deters people, but encourages piracy. Many developers have seen a resurgence in the PC market compared to the past, and is now seen as lucrative regardless of how many PC players play games illegally. With competitive pricing and price reductions, this has somewhat mitigated some of the damage caused by piracy making PC profitable.
Another cause could be the fact there are more adult themed games releasing now than ever before, and a number of neat titles from Chinese and western based developers filling the void. We still believe VR Kanojo to be one of the best adult themed VR titles (see video below). With no updates and a failed sequel from a different developer, Summer Vacation (which removed all the adult themes), the lack of new titles has allowed other developers to step-up and progress the genre.
We’re still not entirely sure if Illusion will rebrand and continue to produce and sell games in its native Japan only. It seems for now, the games will no longer be available aside from the versions that appear on illegal torrent sites which is a bit ironic based on our conclusions. Illusion will be missed, but we’re not crying too much because there are a slew of alternatives where some even surpass what Illusion offered. Adult VR gaming remains niche but there are many games to play as of July 2023.