China-only mobile dating sim Love and Producer has taken the country by storm and generated an estimated $32 million in revenues in January 2018.
As reported by Quartz, the game launched in December 2017 and has accumulated over two million DAUs since. The majority of these players are reportedly women in their early 20s.
Love and Producer monetises with IAPs, selling a hard currency of "purple diamonds". This currency can be spent to take characters out on dates in-game and can be earned normally in-game, though it is earned faster if players pay real money.
It has proven popular both in terms of revenues and fan engagement. One group of dedicated fans recently paid $39,000 for an LED banner on a skyscraper in Shenzen to celebrate their favourite character's birthday.
Love and Producer is developed by Pape Games, the original developer behind Love Nikki – Dress UP Queen. The dress-up game is capable of generating similar revenues thanks to its deep mechanics and monetisation.
Dating sims have proven to be big business for mobile in the past. South Korea-developed dating sim Mystic Messenger was one of Tumblr's top games of 2016, and the developer donated $100,000 to three charities following its success.