Earlier this week, Bandai Namco Entertainment unveiled a new Idolmaster spin-off portraying the massively popular Korean pop industry, titled THE SL@VEM@STER.
From recruitment to training, players will be given absolute control over every aspect of their idols’ lives, such as their daily schedule, personality and behaviors, physical appearance, and even what they eat.
Players are also incentivized to treat their idols with “thorough discipline” — idols can be both verbally and physically punished for any shortcomings, such as: messing up during recitals, not following diet routines, or having a boyfriend. In addition, bonuses are awarded if an idol manages to collapse on stage from exhaustion. Players will have the option at any time and for any reason to retire an idol, permanently deleting them from the game.
“I believe the game is an accurate depiction of the industry”, says director Akihara Ishihiro. His team conducted extensive insider research to ensure “the most realistic experience”, and adds that “K-pop fans will be especially pleased”.
The SLAVEM@STER is a drastic departure from the cute and cheerful portrayal of idols that is typical of the genre. While reactions from long-time iDOLM@STER fans have been mixed, others have welcomed the realism the game offers.
“They’re just jealous that J-pop is not nearly as popular”, said an anonymous K-pop fan. “Sorry nobody likes your manchild hobbies, but leave us out of it!”
“It’s not as exciting as stalking Jungkook-oppa, but it still looks pretty fun”, commented another.