On ANN there is an article where they interview the developers of Hakuoki, Norihisa Kochiwa and Tsunekiyo Fujisawa. I’ve picked out the choice bits:
Q: It’s rare to see a visual-novel "otome" game like Hakuōki released in North America. How do you think the game has done in the U.S.?
Kochiwa: Up until now, visual novel games in the U.S. were not accepted as “games.” The reason why we were able to release Hakuōki in the U.S. is because we had Aksys Games who understood Hakuōki and fans outside of Japan who supported it. As a result, our beautiful illustrations and story got into the users’ hands correctly, and we’ve received great reviews. I would like to express my thanks to those involved, along with the fans.
Q: Looking at Idea Factory’s website, it seems as though games on the Otomate label make up a lot of the company’s current lineup. How do you think the Japanese game market has changed in recent years with regard to female players?
Kochiwa: It’s not just our company, but rather the overall count of the otome game titles as a whole has increased, and I feel like there is a lot of hype in the otome market. There are announcements of new releases almost every month and every title has various themes and they are all so attractive. We strive to respond to the user’s demands and create games that exceed expectations, thus stimulating and creating more hype in the otome game market.
On that note, how do you think the market in North America is changing for Japanese visual novels? Will you consider releasing similar games in North America, such as Norn 9?
Kochiwa: Hakuōki was the first time we released an otome title in the U.S. However, the market is still very small, and I do not think it will be an easy path. For Norn 9, I believe the quality of the art and the story will satisfy U.S. consumers. If there are enough voices that request it, we would like to make your wishes come true. Please continue to support us!
You can support by picking up Bakudan Handan/Sweet Fuse (otome game) on PSP. Like I always say to people, do what your heart tells you to do. And that’s pretty much enough to get people to pull out their wallets. If there is demand for localization, then it is possible for the supply side to provide. $$$ for localization (not for copies). Pretty simple.