Anyone who’s tried to download Kantai Collection knows that there are lots of copycats out there. And we mean lots. Fortunately, they tend to out themselves with bad gameplay before too long.
But there’s one ship-girl game out of China that not only passes muster… it’s fighting KanColle for popularity! Azur Lane is growing in popularity in both China and Japan… and it’s doing so with a surprisingly tiny team.
Azur Lane is fairly obviously riding the coattails of KanColle based on one key point: you collect boat girls. Then again, many of the most popular recent gacha games are based on a variant of “collect cute boys/girls based on things that are traditionally not cute boys/girls.” And, of course, these two titles are not the only boat-themed gacha out there.
For those suspicious of a direct ripoff, don’t worry — Azur Lane is absolutely its own game. Many of the concepts are the same, but gameplay is more of a bullet hell style than anything else. Plus, your girls get their own cute little dorm rooms to live in!
Oh, right. And you can marry them. That’s another way it’s similar to KanColle. The new marriage system is expected to roll out in an upcoming update, including special art of your boat girl in her own specially designed wedding gown.
A Tiny Team
Actually, no… the entire Japanese-side Azur Lane crew is ten people strong. Yostar specializes in helping Chinese-produced games find life in Japan, and so far Azur Lane has been one of their biggest successes. Everything is handled by the ten-person office, including Japanese localization!
It must be working, because Azur Lane is fast gaining on Fate/Grand Order in the app store. No small feat!
There’s no word on whether the game will be coming to the West anytime soon. But if it continues to grow in popularity, maybe we can hope to see it soon!
Would you play Azur Lane if it were localized in the West? Or is KanColle still your one and only? Let us know in the comments!
(Image Source: QooApp.com, YouTube / AzurLane)