http://www.gamesetwatch.com/sb2.jpg Thanks to the v.mysterious V.Miller for writing in to point out a blip on his 'blog radar': "...an artist under the pseudonym JC Barnett has been writing about the realities of working as a Westerner in the Japanese game industry."

He notes: "The recent post about how game companies make a quick mint by releasing hentai games under different labels is interesting", and indeed it is: "I can guarantee you have played regular games by a large company that have under a different banner cashed in on the easy hentai market, or the “sticky yen” as I call it."

Barnett continues: "And why not? It is very easy money. I was once shown, by a lamenting boss, a new release of a hentai mahjongg game. Imagine it: a simple mahjongg structure would require one or two programmers at most... One such game, for PC, retails for as much as 8,000 Yen (approx. US$70, 55EU). Considering handheld games are about 3 to 4 thousand (US$25-35, 20-25EU) and console games 5 to 6 thousand (US$45-50, 35-40EU) that is a pretty decent profit margin considering the vastly lower budgets and shorter schedules compared to “real” games."

(Hey, if non-pr0n indie games cost that much here, we'd have a much more vibrant indie scene - though, to play devil's advocate to Barnett, a few Japanese hentai titles are actually quite technically advanced, such as the randomly pictured Sexy Beach 2, which G4 has previous lavished attention creepily on. Mainly, though - not so much.)