The game’s overall rating is 82% Positive and its current score is 4.67 with a total of 63,539 users who have rated the game. The latest version has 6,446 downloads.
The game was released on May 22, 2009 as a freeware version for Windows. On July 31st 2009 it was released on App Store free of charge and with in-app purchases.
The game’s original developer, Love Nikki, was shut down in 2014. A new studio called WeMade Entertainment took over publishing of the game and continued to develop the game through various updates.
A few months after launch Love Nikki reached 1 million downloads worldwide and had its first collaboration event with William’s Wish dress up dolls.
Love Nikki has always had a strong male audience form as early as 2010; however, due to cultural concepts of gender identity in South Korea, this male audience was kept silenced and anonymous. This silence allowed for a market of “dressing girl” games to develop which featured a large female audience base but no male audience base at all.
In 2015, the game’s developers released a collaboration with the male fashion line Just Men Clothing. The event, “Just Men & Nikki” was a campaign to create awareness towards male representation in the game particularly in the western theme of paintings and illustrations. After this release, many Korean games addressing issues of gender identity and representation saw their number of female players begin to increase.
In 2016, an official Korean company working on a Love Nikki-branded video game (“Love Nikki: Western Style”), announced that it expected it would make international release sometime in 2017. It is not yet known if this new Love Nikki-branded video game will be localized into English or not.
In March 2016, the developers announced that they would be bringing the game to Steam. The new Steam version was released in November 2016.
In December of 2017, WeMade Entertainment released and updated Love Nikki for iOS devices on the App Store. This was done after a two-year absence from Apple’s App Store and is now running on iOS 8 or higher devices.
Love Nikki has received much praise as well as backlash due to its depiction of gender identity and representation.
Although critics praised all aspects of the game in terms of its storytelling, gameplay mechanics, graphics and overall creativity, they expressed concerns about ‘little girls dressing up like boys’ for male audiences as a form of fetishization by other players.