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General Discussion Theres a Clannad of AIR-headed Kanon fodder being shot by the Little Busters After Tomoyo on a Planet-arian.

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  #76  
Old 2008-07-07, 08:52
OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol
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So, I went to MangaGamers' booth on Friday to ask the questions I gathered from the DSVN, Gemot and PP boards. Teo de Lange, the CEO of the Dutch company behind MangaGamers, Manga International, wasn't there -he had to go back to the Netherlands in a hurry- but I got to interview Endou Nobuhisa, the CEO of the Japanese company behind Manga International, Japan Animation Contents. The interview was conducted in English.
  1. Q. Were you the ones who approached the Japanese game makers or the opposite? How did you manage to get the deal done?
    A. At the start, you had a will from Japanese companies to look for a market overseas. So Japan Animation Contents was created for this purpose, to create a structure to export the game market overseas. As such, Manga International, the overseas structure was created from scratch by us. It means it's an initiave completely from Japan and under our supervision.
  2. Q. Which companies? circus, NEXTON, OVERDRIVE? Tarte? But its parent company, Deal, went bankrupt in 2007.
    A. circus, NEXTON and Overwrite have indeed invested in us. So far, only their games are planned, but if everything works well, everything is possible.
  3. Q. Will you accept Paypal as a payment method?
    A. Paypal doesn't accept transactions about adult materials.
  4. Q. Will the DRM method always be present?
    A. Yes, we're afterall legit so we have to protect our products. Besides, it's not uncommon to do so in Japan and many companies asked for such a system. There's no plan to implement another activation system such as the ones DLsite uses.
  5. Q. Are there plans for the other games the companies have, such as circus' MyHime?
    A. Not for the present time, but there's no will against the matter. It'll depend on how well we'll manage.
  6. Q. What about the zillions D.C. fandisks?
    A. (laughs) They're very specific to the Japanese market, but who knows?
  7. Q. Do you plan to release physical disks in the future?
    A. No, but we may release merchandise.
  8. Q. Some people were able to get a link to some of your hidden pages, order and play your games. The result was that it worked but they were horrified by the mistakes present. What is it about it?
    A. (looks at me with wide eyes for a few seconds) How was that possible? The page didn't go official for a reason, why did people want to get the games in such a way? The page was put for beta-test purposes, so the only people with access to it were supposed to be the few selected who were our beta-testers.
  9. Q. So the final games will have all the mistakes corrected?
    A. They should, yes.
  10. Q. What about the prices? They are more higher than your usual Japanese d/l games.
    A. It's because we had to uncensor them for the oversea market, giving them additional value for additional work and costs.
  11. Q. How well do you think everything will work?
    A. I hope for the best, of course, but we have good hopes in light that some series are known through the anime series and related merchandise, such as the figures.
I also learnt that, in order to avoid back-ordering, the buying system won't accept Japanese credit cards and that the display is relative to the language of the OS! As Endou Nobuhisa, it's not impossible it displays better on an English OS than a Japanese one, but it maintains a special font/display system for Dutch and French OSes as well!

At last, he gave me his card and email and I promised to send him the links to my posts in the DSVN, Gemot and PP boards, so that his people can read the threads and discuss with us and answer any other question we may have.

Note: I didn't record the interview but just took some brief notes, so it's more a retelling of what I recall the answers were. I apologize to Mr. Endou if I mistook anything. Once again, I thank him for his time and wish them the best.

Final note: on a related matter, Anima, the company that is released the Higurashi anime in France told me they bought the rights for the game (all the episodes) and it was planned for released for soon!
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  #77  
Old 2008-07-07, 10:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol View Post
Final note: on a related matter, Anima, the company that is released the Higurashi anime in France told me they bought the rights for the game (all the episodes) and it was planned for released for soon!
I really really hope for English not french release...
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  #78  
Old 2008-07-07, 10:43
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That's really interesting to see a Japanese company take the initiative on setting up the venture. In a lot of entertainment markets, there's often a very "Well, it's Japanese, so the rest of the world wouldn't be interested/wouldn't get it" attitude that's firmly held onto despite most obvious international interest. Since they're based in Japan, that certainly will help a lot in future aquisitions, as other eroge publishers might be more willing to work with them than they would an American company.
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  #79  
Old 2008-07-07, 21:55
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so basically they didn't license the games, but instead brought the Japaneses companies into the English speaking market. at least that is the way I understand the structure of their company.

well, i am for that. I view the licensing business as a limited and risky business (where the licensor have to think a lot about which game to license). The partnership business (IMHO) is the better method, it removes the risk factor, removes the license cost (i don't know how reoccurring it is), and if the title proves to be unsuccessful the loses won't be as great as if it was licensed (IMHO).
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  #80  
Old 2008-07-08, 02:22
OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol
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About the DRM system, someone sent them an email, arguing about the matter and here was the answer he got:
Quote:
Thank you for your advice.

We have discussed the issue and changed our policy. Now, you can activate 5 times and if you exceed the limit, please contact us with your "Order ID" and email address. we can activate one more time.

Please understand we need DRM for all games. That is "must" requirement from the manufacturers for us to sell their games.

Your understanding for this issue would be very much appreciated.

We are having good responses from our supporters. Trust us, we'll survive forever!!

We will try hard to keep introducing trendy Dating Sims games from Japan.

Thank you again for your support!!!
Here's their email: info@manga-corp.com

At least, they sound reactive and willing to listen to their (potential) customers.
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  #81  
Old 2008-07-08, 02:24
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Quote:
We are having good responses from our supporters. Trust us, we'll survive forever!!
Did anyone else laugh out loud on 'Trust us, we'll survive forever!!'?
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  #82  
Old 2008-07-08, 02:26
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mmm, i will wait to see actions prior to words, and OLF and zalas you guys did a great job in the interviews at AX, keep the good work!
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  #83  
Old 2008-07-08, 02:44
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Most companies that run a protection system based on "limited number of activations" allow further activations when you contact them and let them verify that you are the actual user that bought the game. So this whole activation deal should be the least of our worries regarding MangaGamer releases. They show that they are willing to help on this matter based on their response to the mail about it.
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  #84  
Old 2008-07-08, 04:30
OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol
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As I wrote, I notified Mr. Endou about my post of his interview here. Here's his reply:
Quote:
Thank you very much that you letting me know your comment on the net.
I have gone through many of the comment, and was so surprised to see that so many people were interested.

After having your input, we have change the number of Activation ID issue from 3 times to 5 times.
Also, we are working daily to improve wording of the site.

We have spent over one year to translate them. And it is true that the Translation level a year ago wasn't as good as it is today. We will keep improving our skill.

If you and your circle notice anything about translation, we are willing to hear them.

We internally investigate if we could reward to important responses and inputs from users.

Thanks and best regards
Nick
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  #85  
Old 2008-07-09, 02:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asceai View Post
Did anyone else laugh out loud on 'Trust us, we'll survive forever!!'?
I certainly did, but If circus really is behind them, I expect they'll at least last longer than Hirameki did, and hopefully have further influence on the market. I still want some discs. If they just sold a hard copy, I'd actually consider buying these things.
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  #86  
Old 2008-07-09, 03:33
OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kouryuu View Post
I certainly did, but If circus really is behind them, I expect they'll at least last longer than Hirameki did, and hopefully have further influence on the market. I still want some discs. If they just sold a hard copy, I'd actually consider buying these things.
Since you live in Japan, you won't be able to: Mr. Endou was pretty clear about the matter. No reverse import allowed.
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  #87  
Old 2008-07-09, 12:34
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it seems that they are really listening to comments, 'cause in the prices are going down, Edelweiss now cost 24 euros, and hinatabokko 19 euros, and the remains titles i haven't checked but they were delayed and now will be available in august 10.
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  #88  
Old 2008-07-09, 14:00
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Wow good job Olf, thanks a lot for your effort^^. It's really good to see that they take the opinion of their (potential) costumers into consideration. If they only would add a additional payment method now...I don't have a credit card and I will not get one in the future, maybe it's a bit old fashioned to some but I'm just not a friend of credit cards.
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  #89  
Old 2008-07-09, 14:58
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Quote:
I certainly did, but If circus really is behind them, I expect they'll at least last longer than Hirameki did
Actually, Hirameki stayed in the market much longer than I expected, despite accomplishing little - roughly six years from Phantom of Inferno to withdrawal. Conversely, some businesses with stable sources of income have hightailed it out of there (Himeya Soft, Liberty International Components/Megatech Software, Hobibox) after only a couple years.

I think it depends on how serious a company is about selling product to western customers. Too often, successful Japanese companies march into foreign markets with high expectations (and with little understanding of those customers), only to flee after having their expectations betrayed. Let's hope Circus isn't one of those.
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  #90  
Old 2008-07-09, 19:30
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two games up now, Edelweiss for €24.95, and Which girl should I choose? for €19.95
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