Nintendo's president recently indicated that the company's fashion game "Girls Mode" is going to have a major impact outside of Japan, possibly in the U.S and Europe. Time to figure out what it is!
As regular readers know from stories we ran last week, Nintendo recently held a meeting with investors to report the company's third quarter earnings, offering some interesting tidbits of company info along the way.
Earlier today the company published an English transcript of the Q&A that company president Satoru Iwata had with investors as part of the event. Kotaku spotted it and published Iwata's remarks about the coolly-received "Wii Music."
There were other interesting details in that Q&A, including a sign of a significant push for a DS game I'd never heard of before: "Girls Mode."
The full name of the game is "Wagamama Fashion Girls Mode." It's published by Nintendo and developed by syn Sophia, the company formerly known as Aki and which is better known to American gamers for making pro wrestling games in the N64 days.
Answering an investor's question about that game's appeal, Iwata discussed the release of the game in Japan and then mentioned this:
Overseas subsidiaries are looking forward to the launch of "Girls Mode" and "Rhythm Heaven" as strategically important products in the next fiscal year.
The subsidiaries Iwata mentions are probably Nintendo of America and/or Nintendo of Europe. And the "Rhythm Heaven" reference is to a title that has had two iterations in Japan, the latter DS version ranking as a 2008 sales blockbuster. It's a rhythm game made by the creators of "WarioWare" that requires players to tap through very basic mini-games to the beat of catchy songs.
But what is "Girls Mode"?
Here's a description of the Japanese game via IGN:
Girls Mode is a simulation in which you attempt to become the charismatic manager of a clothing shop. Selecting from over 10,000 items, you coordinate clothing for your customers. If the customers like what they see, you rise in rank and are able to expand your store. Your ultimate goal appears to be to show your fashion skills off in a fashion contest that's held in the town's contest area. Take top prize in these contests, and you'll find yourself with rare items.
There's plenty of customization in Girls Mode. You can set up your very own outfit and head to your town's beauty salon to get a makeover and new hair style. You also have full freedom over your shop, and can decorate the inside to your liking and even select background music. Your customer base will change based off the choices you make.
And here's Iwata talking about its appeal:
The reason why we have seen the results that we’ve had with the “Girls Mode” software you just mentioned must partially be because we were just fortunate to some extent, and also because the consumers were there where we thought they might be, responded to it, and received our message. Plus, a number of fans were able to enjoy a very unique and unprecedented experience for them where they are able to operate their own shops on the Internet, have people visit their shops, and purchase products there. Such an extra note of surprise appears to have acted as a trigger to let the fans enjoy the whole experience.
If you speak Japanese you can read more about the game at its official site.
Th game isn't announced for U.S. release, but Iwata's comments strongly suggest it's en route. I think I know what my 10-year-old sister-in-law will be asking for this Christmas.