Something tongue-in-cheek like the Rivals of Aether VN is at least cute and harmless. Big corporations advertising via a medium that’s primarily been the domain of small creators making intimate works, is always very gross.
It’s one of those things where I’d prefer if major outlets just refused to give it coverage, because the point of this thing is to travel via bemused conversation about its inherent absurdity.
Props to KFC for finding something worse than when brands discovered twitter and were committed to alt humor and memes six years ago or whatever. I do hope some small development team got grossly overpaid for this.
It’s not necessarily pushback against irony VNs as a whole. It’s specifically pushback against VNs, ironic or not, made by big corporations versus smaller teams or individuals doing personal, intimate works.
Can’t really gatekeep against a corporation anyway. They just buy their way in.
There has been an argument against games like Doki Doki Literature Club alleging that they’re created in a mindset of “ew look at these cloying relationship games with superficial characters, I’ll create one but make it twisted and darksided”.
I don’t think that’s the situation here, it’s entirely the fact that this game is another instance of sleazy corporations trying to muscle their way into existing online community spaces.
No, there really is a pushback against irony VNs because they’ve become the only VNs that get coverage and are actually choking out the EVN market for queer developers who have already been struggling with Steam’s bullshit making it questionable if they can even put a game up on the store anymore.
The worst part of your average irony VN is that they are all cribbing from the same stuff, other irony VNs, and almost none of these development groups have ever even played any actual VNs or dating sims (which they seem to think all VNs are and have ever been), not to mention the smearing of low key racism with the perpetual “OH THOSE WACKY JAPANESE” mindset.
I’m one of those who will actually defend Doki Doki because it feels like the developer understood what dating sims where and why people gravitated to them, and the true enduing suggests they have a real respect for the genre.
HOWEVER , whenever I find a work clearly inspired by Doki Doki, I want to die because it’s just the tricks and none of the substance. That’s not even getting into everyone who’s been ripping off Hatoful Boyfriend for nearly a decade now without bothering to play its true route or understand its gags were informed by the team actually having experience with normal otome games.
These games are so endlessly frustrating because there are so many sincere EVN developers out there trying to get their name out, but now the market is getting crowded with vapid garbage that sucks all attention with empty hooks like the worst top 40 trash, and thanks to conservative laws getting pushed in several western countries, getting any games with sexual or queer content on store shelves in stores a significant amount of people use is becoming near impossible, especially when Steam won’t even make clear what the rules are.
Like, things are EXTREMELY bad in the EVN scene right now, industry destroying bad. There is a genuine fear that these repetitive joke games where you can date supreme court judges or magical girls BUT FUCKED (god I hate that one very much in particular) are going to be the ONLY type of VN you can play - one joke junk made by people trying to satirize VNs without having any idea what VNs are besides what they learned from other games satirizing VNs, most that also have no idea what VNs are.
That KFC nonsense is just the most naked and open version of this horrible, awful phenomenon.