Virtual schoolgirl courting sim Love Plus is either being subjected to the highest form of flattery or the lowest form of plagiarism.
Love Plus likely needs no introduction, but mobile phone game developer GREE’s new title “HimeKoi” (“Princess Love”) likely does.
Rather than being a virtual girlfriend on the DS it is mobile phone visual novel, but has otherwise been noted as being hauntingly similar to Love Plus.
The HimeKoi promotional material:
The 2ch-created comparisons:
There was some initial suspicion that the characters and art were merely created by the same artist responsible for the Love Plus originals, but in a Twitter updated Mino Taro himself explicitly denied any involvement with the game.
In addition to the suspected artistic plagiarism, the actual game itself appears to be a lift of Love Plus – a dating game on a mobile device with three schoolgirls, each with similar design to Love Plus, seems too much to ascribe to the low-level copying which goes on all the time in the gaming industry, 2ch reasons.
All this suggests the usual excuse of Japanese enterprises caught ripping someone off (i.e. blame it on a freelance artist and have the art replaced after being discovered) might not wash as the entire product looks to be a very deliberate and quite well made (even going so far as to have quality seiyuu) Zynga-esque remake…