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Smartphone game developer creates romance in virtual world

by Shinichi Tokuda

Kyodo

Waka Yoshida, who develops story lines for smartphone games, gets her inspiration from watching dramas and movies on TV every day.

Yoshida, a 30-year-old executive officer who heads the social business unit at Voltage Inc., has been a TV drama fan since childhood.

She went to work for the Tokyo-based developer of mobile phone content seven years ago after studying music, another of her passions, in college.

At Voltage, she heads a team creating stories for smartphone game apps. “Nothing makes me happier than finding out that a game I made was enjoyed by people and cheered them up,” Yoshida said.

One of the games she wrote is “A Prince’s Proposal,” a romance title rolled out three years ago. It was a huge hit among women in their 20s and 30s.

In the story reminiscent of Cinderella, an ordinary girl encounters a prince on a street corner. The girl goes to a party wearing a beautiful dress and meets princes from six nations. “The more improbable the story and the more different from the real world a game is, the more thrilling it is for a player,” Yoshida said.

“I read a lot of books to learn what kind of life real princes in European countries live every day,” she said of how she came by her inspiration and fleshed out details of the story.

Before completing a game, Yoshida usually teams up with about 100 colleagues, including the animators, soundtrack composers and software writers.