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  #1  
Old 2006-10-06, 07:02
jaybeear jaybeear is offline
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Default Market research

Hi all,

I've been lurking around here for a little while and I've been repeatedly impressed with the level of support and knowledge everyone provides - it's a pretty solid group!

I'm currently assessing the potential market for truly western 'visual novels' of varying types, and I need to start by learning more about the current and historical Japanese market environment for these titles.

Could anyone please either pass on reports they might have or even just point me in the right direction (please bear in mind I unfortunately don't read Japanese), since all I can find so far are basic reviews of VN's as curiosities. I need hard facts and figures!

Perhaps my searching abilities aren't up to scratch but this seems to be the place to ask a serious question and get a serious answer.

Any help greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 2006-10-06, 07:42
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Misu Misu is offline
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Unfortunately, being a fan base, its hard to gauge "hard" facts.

It all really depends on what you need the information for. If its for educational purposes or for creating a market report, you may be able to convince some of the US visual novel licensors to give you some statistics (Hirameki International and/or JList).

If you want to see how many times a certain fan-translated demo/doujin/patch has been downloaded, you can contact the group who did the original translation, get statistics from them, then request the mirror statistics from VisualNews and added them together to get a general feel of how many times something has been downloaded.

If your looking for the "largest" group of visual novel/hcg fanatics in one place, even though the majority of them are piraters (so if your looking at VN's from a commercial side, this place wouldnt give you a good market), you can visit Hongfire. They also have, well you can probably figure it out, but the statistics from those might be able to aid you too.

How willing people will be in giving you data is really up to what you want to do with it and who your asking.

I can tell you one thing I know though. Hirameki International, the primary licensor/distributor of non-H visual novels states quite often then they've misjudged the market to be a lot smaller then it is and are trying their best to expand the market's knoweldge of visual novels.

Hope that helps.

[Edit: Woops... didnt notice the part that you were looking for information on the Japanese marketshare right now and not the US ><. Well, maybe my info will help later.]
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  #3  
Old 2006-10-06, 07:44
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Shii Shii is offline
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Youkai~

Otaku as a market group (岡田斗司夫の遺贈)
http://www.nri.co.jp/english/news/2005/051006.html
http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai...dm015000c.html

Interesting links I found while looking for a visual novel market analysis (Japanese speakers please take a look):
http://willowick.seesaa.net/article/17920709.html
http://willowick.seesaa.net/article/20356477.html
http://www.senakablog.com/archives/2.../post_667.html

Wikipedia sez:
Quote:
 アドベンチャーゲームの黄金期は、80年代前半のマイコンブームとほぼ同時期であり、それ以降コンピュータゲームの主役にはなっていない。
(Highlight was in the 1980s.)

 現在は、かつてのように謎解きや言葉探しを主眼としたものよりも、物語の表現形式の一つとして作成されることが多い。そのような作品では、基本的にプレーヤーは画面に表示されるメッセージを小説のように読むことを期待されており、コマンド選択はそのままシナリオ分岐と直結している。概要でのべた「ビジュアルノベル」「サウンドノベル」との区別はますますあいまいになりつつある。この傾向は、アダルト色の強い作品や同人作品で特に顕著である。そのため往年のプレーヤーには、現状を否定的に捉える傾向もある。
(More adult games these days. More visual novels. Returning ADV gamers might be upset by ero-games. [Thanks for the editorial, Wikipedia.])

 一方で、携帯電話上でいわゆる堀井三部作がプレイできるようになるなど、過去の名作をリメイクする動きも見受けられる。旧来のアドベンチャーゲームに近い作品も、散発的にではあるものが携帯電話市場で開発されており、固定ファン層の存在も窺わせる。またコンシューマー機においては、和製ホラー映画的な作品が時折リリースされている。
(There is an emerging cell-phone market.)
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  #4  
Old 2006-10-08, 23:27
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I wonder if there are any sites that report sales figures...
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  #5  
Old 2006-10-09, 00:06
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I seem to recall a figure of around 102,000 for Air (PC version). Fate/Stay Night and Fate/hollow ataraxia enjoyed even brisker sales. Nonetheless, the genre remains a niche (albeit somewhat sizable) even in Japan.

Regarding Hirameki, I don't quite understand why they continually market their games as "otaku" product. If the goal is to pioneer a new (non-H) market in the US, there's less need to reinforce the Japanese perception of visual novels (with that kind of image, the products are immediately branded niche. Only this time they don't have the advantage of broad cultural appeal). Rather than limiting the audience from the start, there could be more effort in targeting as broad an audience as possible.

With Ever17 and Piece of Wonder (neither of which resemble the stereotypical visual novel), I think it'd pay off if they tried to reach out to the core console RPG community (press releases to fansites, maybe preview materials if possible - RPGFan already has a reviewer who enjoys and covers these things, etc.). The dedicated anime/manga crowd is important too, but I think they're selling themselves short by only looking in that direction.
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  #6  
Old 2006-10-09, 00:13
AstCd2 AstCd2 is offline
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つ http://jbbs.livedoor.jp/bbs/read.cgi...97/1098155368/

(From http://pie.bbspink.com/test/read.cgi/erog/1143198264/)
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  #7  
Old 2006-10-09, 05:55
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PyTom PyTom is offline
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ISTR reading an interview with Peter Payne (of the J-List Zaibatsu) in which he mentioned that their game deals are structured to break even when 2,000 - 3,000 copies are sold.
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Old 2006-10-10, 14:06
Asmadi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G005-a
I seem to recall a figure of around 102,000 for Air (PC version). Fate/Stay Night and Fate/hollow ataraxia enjoyed even brisker sales. Nonetheless, the genre remains a niche (albeit somewhat sizable) even in Japan.
I agree, but I was thinking more along the lines of actual sales numbers for each game sold. It'd be interesting to see which games generate the numbers and how the type affects it. On the other hand, looking on the console port side of things, you see games that have a huge PC fanbase making good sales (in the 40K) with most games selling around 12K.
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  #9  
Old 2006-10-12, 03:00
jaybeear jaybeear is offline
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Default Many thanks

Thanks very much to all who've replied, it all helps!

To be clear, the purpose of my research is to estimate the potential for a Western/ English speaking market, for non-manga mainstream 'visual novels'.

Personally I think they could eventually be huge, but management always need the numbers during a greenlight presentations =)

If anyone finds anything more, please post it - the more weight I can get behind the argument the more chance this has of taking off, at least internally for now.

Again, huge thanks to all!
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  #10  
Old 2006-10-12, 08:31
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Shii Shii is offline
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Make sure you see the Atlantic article I quoted here about innovation in the computer game industry: http://forums.haeleth.net/viewtopic.php?t=839&start=26
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  #11  
Old 2006-10-13, 11:52
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feeling_the_heart feeling_the_heart is offline
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