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-   -   Interview with Hirameki Int's Shinichi Shimura (http://forums.novelnews.net/showthread.php?t=7093)

2006-04-04 16:35

Interview with Hirameki Int's Shinichi Shimura
 
Some of the more interesting bits

Quote:

Anime Advanced: There have been recent rumors that Hirameki has acquired Air, a visual novel title developed by Key, can you confirm or deny this rumor?

Shinichi Shimura: Unfortunately, that is only a rumor. Of course, we would like to put out famous games that are well-known even in America – including, but not limited to, Air. But to be honest, until we gain enough fans that the visual novel is established as a valid game genre in America, it will be difficult to convince the people who hold the rights to these games to let us release them overseas.
Quote:

Shinichi Shimura: ...although this only my personal wish, I would at some point like to release a fully voiced PC version of Phantom of Inferno.
Quote:

Shinichi Shimura: ...we are currently negotiating with quite a few game makers, so look forward to big things in the future.
http://anime.advancedmn.com/article.php?artid=2536

2006-04-04 19:08

I guess typing A*R wasn't enough censoring to stop the rumor mill...

Anyways, he said that Ai Yori Aoshi and Ever 17 weren't selling well...
Well, I'd buy them, but I just don't know where to do it, besides online.

Leo_Otaku 2006-04-04 20:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by rodan
I guess typing A*R wasn't enough censoring to stop the rumor mill...

Anyways, he said that Ai Yori Aoshi and Ever 17 weren't selling well...
Well, I'd buy them, but I just don't know where to do it, besides online.

I was at an amercian store called "Sam Goody" and saw a couple there. You can probably order to or check out what they got.

If you live in Canada maybe HMV or an anime DVD selling place.

2006-04-04 20:47

Stores under the Sam Goody or Suncoast flag in America are being closed down. FYE - a large chain (just like Sam Goody and Suncoast, which were owned by the same company previously), bought the parent company for Sam Goody and Suncoast, and are closing them all. Really annoys me actually - got some nice people at out local Suncoast.

Carl 2006-04-04 22:06

Quote:

We ourselves are otaku
Not something you hear everyday from a Japanese person. ^_^

Vatina 2006-04-04 22:23

Hmm to bad they if they aren't selling well....

I would have bought Ever17 this month, but then I found out that even Amazon won't ship it here T_T I'll have to see if I can try sending them a mail then... *sigh*

GreatSaintLouis 2006-04-04 23:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by inuyasha9854
Stores under the Sam Goody or Suncoast flag in America are being closed down. FYE - a large chain (just like Sam Goody and Suncoast, which were owned by the same company previously), bought the parent company for Sam Goody and Suncoast, and are closing them all. Really annoys me actually - got some nice people at out local Suncoast.

All Suncoast or Sam Goody stores aren't being closed, just the underperforming ones. The parent company for the two has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was purchased by FYE's parent company; as part of the restructuring process they will be closing 341 San Goody and Suncoast locations across the US. Obviously, the ones to be closed are going to be the stores not turning a healthy profit, or the ones where operating costs (i.e. mall rent) don't justify the income. There may still be hope for your local stores yet.

2006-04-05 04:58

Yeah, I got Hourglass of Summer from Suncoast last year...
But the one at our mall closed down.

So, who sells the PC games?

2006-04-05 07:47

No hope at all - the closing signs are already up.

Spiritsnare 2006-04-05 08:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by inuyasha9854
Stores under the Sam Goody or Suncoast flag in America are being closed down. FYE - a large chain (just like Sam Goody and Suncoast, which were owned by the same company previously), bought the parent company for Sam Goody and Suncoast, and are closing them all. Really annoys me actually - got some nice people at out local Suncoast.

Media Play, who also used to be partnered with Sam Goody and Suncoast, has had all of its stores shut down.

procyon 2006-04-05 10:15

Its unfortunate that their latest titles are underperforming. I just picked up Ever17 from them at a convention, and have been slowly going through it. Its a surprisingly good read.

Asmadi 2006-04-05 12:40

I would place it as more of a market problem than anything. The more conventions they go to bringing in copies to sell, the bettter they should do.

idofgrahf 2006-04-06 00:39

they need to spend more money to advertise it and strike deals with stores such as Walmart, if you can get them to selve your item its pretty much guranteed to sell good. I mean I know of them because I check say jast often but your averge joe probably doesn't even know of its existance. Personally I would like to see Sakura wars translated and ported since its got game play as well as story and several licensced anime here it might do better.

Kefit 2006-04-06 01:36

Yes, they need to put more effort into advertising, but not into places like Walmart.

I've had interest in this type of game for some time, but I had no idea who these guys were or what they were putting out until quite recently. I had seen a few of their products in Suncoast before, but had always been turned off by the DVD player format (in fact, this format confused me, as it made me have no idea what I was actually looking at - I figured it was a renai game, but weren't those for the PC or PS2?). Back in January I happened to read about Ever17 on this forum. I decided to give it a shot, and I absolutely loved it. Thanks to that I am now playing Hourglass of Summer, and enjoying it quite a bit.

Anyway, I guess they are hoping for casual anime buyers to pick up their product on an impulse off the shelves of Suncoast and the like, but that is never going to happen when Joe animefan sees stuff like Samurai Champloo or GITS on the shelves. These games are created for the same audience that enjoys moe/romance anime, and unfortunately those sorts of shows simply don't do very well at retail in the US. If those anime series cannot drive sales simply from being on store shelves, then these games sure as hell can't.

What I am getting at is that these guys need to make more effort to reach out to the more hardcore anime fan. As I said before, I had no idea that these guys existed until recently, and I consider myself quite knowledgable about both the US retail and online digisub anime scene. I know there are a good ammount of other people like me out there, and at this rate they will probably never even hear about Hirameki outside of fluke incidents like my own. If this keeps up, then their sales will never improve - they aren't going to have an audience for their games unless they takes steps to reach out and help create it. Presence at anime conventions is a good start (although their Sakuracon panel was rather...jumbled), but they are going to need to do more than that.

For instance, I've been thinking that somehow obtaining a KimiNozo license and then crosspromoting it with Funi's release of the anime later this year would do worlds of good for their sales, but unfortunately this idea is probably incredibly unrealistic.

procyon 2006-04-06 11:47

At this point, I think word of mouth is probably their best bet. They seem to be showing up at the dealers room at anime cons the past couple years, which is a good start in getting the word out. Actually getting in contact with convention staff and offering to put on a couple panels, Q&A sessions, etc. about the genre itself would also be a good idea. It shouldn't be too hard either; conventions are always desperate for more content. They have their own community site, which is good, but they should have a staff person (or get some fan reps or something) on other boards (like this one), not to pimp their products, but to answer questions/do outreach.

Finding their stuff at retail is pretty hard, but with convention appearences and mail order (through themselves, and rightstuf and others), I don't think availability is a huge issue.


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