gemot encubed  

Go Back   gemot encubed > Gemot > General Discussion

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16  
Old 2005-06-01, 02:00
Haeleth's Avatar
Haeleth Haeleth is offline
Ex-boss
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: England
Posts: 2,106
Default

...plus Leaf/Aquaplus, being kind of established and having vast catalogues of hugely popular titles, are not likely to be the sort of company to risk their reputation on a license for an apparently non-existent market, at least not for a fee anything short of extortionate.

It's not clear that Type-Moon would have a different attitude, either. And ToHeart would have been a better bet in that there are non-adult versions available, including console ports - the nature of Fate, which probably couldn't be made kid-friendly, is only going to be another turn-off to American distributors. (Except for the porn specialists like Peach Princess - but why would they bother, when they can get more sex for less money elsewhere?)
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 2005-06-01, 02:42
AstCd2 AstCd2 is offline
Addicted
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,077
Default

Which brings us to an interesting dilemma - just how much of a market would be required to support these titles?
The Japanese sales figures themselves are certainly well below those of, say, a popular novel:

(Figures vary - I've sourced these from Famitsu and versammeln)

Originals
Kanon (18+) (PC) 54,000 units
AIR (18+) (PC) 102,000 units
Mizuiro (PC) 42,767 units
Kiminozo (PC) 46,119 units
Tokimemo 3 (PS2) 130,000 units

Consumer Versions
To Heart (PS) 95,787 units
Comic Party (DC) 77,237 units
One (PS) 27,865 units
Kanon (DC) 82,612 units
Kanon (PS2) 23,000 units
AIR (DC) 50,407 units
AIR (PS2) 19,974 units
Mizuiro (PS2) 9,400 units

Assuming that the licensing fee issues could be worked out (a large ask, granted), I wouldn't be disinclined to believe that something like an all ages version of Air could sell a respectable proportion of at least the PS2 figures. Leaving giants like Aquaplus out of the equation for the moment, surely if some makers see fit to license a port into that kind of market, licensing into western markets wouldn't be out of the question?

EDIT: Now fixed
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 2005-06-01, 03:37
Haeleth's Avatar
Haeleth Haeleth is offline
Ex-boss
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: England
Posts: 2,106
Default

There are some factors I don't think you're taking into account, though.

One is that the Western press already has an opinion on AVG-type games, which it trots out every so often. It doesn't like them. Even when talking about games with no H content, like that Silent Hill AVG, the standard take is to marvel at those crazy Japanese. No matter how good the title chosen may be - even if it were AIR itself - the US press would either ignore the release or take great delight in giving it 0% scores ("the characters look deformed and if I wanted to read I'd buy a book and it's all porn anyway even if this IS the all-age version").

Another is that the most active Key-related bulletin board on the English-speaking net, that I know of, is not here but on a certain torrent site, where people gather to talk about how much they love these games that they pirate. Sales figures are not going to be increased by the culture of theft among Western "fans". Ask any anime distributor how much they reckon they lose to fansubbers some time...

Finally, there's the problem that the Japanese makers themselves aren't interested in the Western market. How many of their sites have notices on the front page saying "no access permitted from outside Japan" these days...?

It's not an impossible situation, sure. Just very, very tricky. Personally I'd think the best bet would be a subscription-based model - get real western fans to chip in towards the cost of licensing and publishing a decent bishoujo game, and then share back any profits that may result. But are there enough fans with enough disposable income? How many of us could risk losing $10k or so?

<small>BTW, I think you mean PS2 for that Tokimemo 3 figure.</small>
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 2005-06-01, 04:42
AstCd2 AstCd2 is offline
Addicted
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,077
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
There are some factors I don't think you're taking into account, though.

One is that the Western press already has an opinion on AVG-type games, which it trots out every so often. It doesn't like them. Even when talking about games with no H content, like that Silent Hill AVG, the standard take is to marvel at those crazy Japanese. No matter how good the title chosen may be - even if it were AIR itself - the US press would either ignore the release or take great delight in giving it 0% scores ("the characters look deformed and if I wanted to read I'd buy a book and it's all porn anyway even if this IS the all-age version").
Perhaps I'm being idealistic in saying so, but I like to think that regardless of the what the major PC gaming publications might believe and say (if anything), the anime/manga-related media sources which reach much of the potential market over in the West would have something approximating the appropriate frame of mind in which to review these games fairly.

The renai game industry and the fan following it attracts is a regular mainstream media whipping boy in Japan, too, but the media targeted at these fans seems to evaluate them free of the usual stigmas attached. I'd be hesitant in asserting that the West has anything near the cultural 'infrastructure' in place for these games, and the primary audience for at least the earlier conversions will inevitably have to be fans 'in the know', but I do think there's room for a gradual change in attitudes, beginning with these industry specific publications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
Another is that the most active Key-related bulletin board on the English-speaking net, that I know of, is not here but on a certain torrent site, where people gather to talk about how much they love these games that they pirate. Sales figures are not going to be increased by the culture of theft among Western "fans". Ask any anime distributor how much they reckon they lose to fansubbers some time...
This is true. Piracy is a worse problem here in the West than in Japan. All that I can suggest is that a console release might make them harder to pirate (one of the reasons Aquaplus elected to put out To Heart 2 on the PS2 first, I suspect), though that'd cut into the sales for people without the console, as well as embroil us in a whole different pot of licensing problems with console companies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
Finally, there's the problem that the Japanese makers themselves aren't interested in the Western market. How many of their sites have notices on the front page saying "no access permitted from outside Japan" these days...?
I haven't seen such notices on renai game studio pages before myself (I've just taken another quick look through the most popular ones, but I wasn't able to find any - at any rate, they're certainly not blocking Western IPs), though I do find that many sites these days have "Sorry, this page is Japanese only" notices on them. This isn't the same as them providing an English translation, of course, but it does demonstrate at least an awareness that the rest of the world exists. I wouldn't contest the fact that most game companies don't actively seek to expand, but a proposal from a Western company framed in the correct terms may well be accepted.

Of course, whether a Western company would be willing to make the sort of offer necessary for this to work is indeed questionable, and as I've previously conceded, there's nothing of value I can add on that front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
It's not an impossible situation, sure. Just very, very tricky. Personally I'd think the best bet would be a subscription-based model - get real western fans to chip in towards the cost of licensing and publishing a decent bishoujo game, and then share back any profits that may result. But are there enough fans with enough disposable income? How many of us could risk losing $10k or so?
The idea of a subscription model (perhaps even as some kind of trust or incorporated entity) of licensing is interesting, but again, I suppose the viability goes back to what the companies are asking and how many fans are willing to invest in the project. In the interests of figuring out exactly how feasible this sort of thing really is, I'd love to hear what the established Western licensor companies are saying (or have said) on this, particularly in regards to the giants of the industry.

At any rate, I don't intend to trot the entirety of the old licensing arguments back out of the closet, but I do think (unjustifiably, perhaps?) it exciting that a possibility exists, and a larger one than I had previously imagined, at that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
<small>BTW, I think you mean PS2 for that Tokimemo 3 figure.</small>
<small>That'll teach me for mindlessly copy-pasting.</small>

EDIT: Link fixed
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 2005-06-01, 05:10
Soulfang Soulfang is offline
Regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida, USA
Posts: 86
Default

This is just coming from memory, but isn't there something on Type-Moon's page about them not wanting overseas users?
__________________
Clannad Translation Project
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 2005-06-01, 05:19
AstCd2 AstCd2 is offline
Addicted
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,077
Default

I've had a look, but if it's there, I can't see it.

For reference, I re-checked:
Key/Visual Arts
Leaf/Aquaplus
Type-Moon.com (Business)
Type-Moon.org (Doujin)
F & C
Circus
Age
Nekoneko
Minori

Interestingly enough, Minori has a notice saying:
<span title="The contents of this site are primarily geared towards those who are capable of understanding Japanese to a certain degree"> 本サイトのコンテンツは、基本的に日本語をある程度理解できる方向けに構成されています</a>
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 2005-06-01, 09:31
zalas zalas is offline
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: fushigi misuterii
Posts: 1,831
Send a message via ICQ to zalas
Default

By the way, at the Broccoli panel at Fanime, we asked the industry rep about Galaxy Angel, and they said someone at E3 told them they'd be bringing it over, and the announcement would be made at Otakon. When asked about whether it'll be the PS2 or PC version, the rep said that Sony USA has this thing against games that are not 3D. Go figure.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 2005-06-01, 09:52
AstCd2 AstCd2 is offline
Addicted
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,077
Default

It's only speculation at this point, of course, but is it perhaps related to this?
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/pres...se.php?id=1044
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 2005-06-01, 09:55
Slipgate Slipgate is offline
Obsessive
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 264
Default

Not 3D? Well, Gradius V is 3-d modeled but definitely not 3-D gameplay... Mega Man Anniversary Collection is 2D, etc.

(shrugs)
Reply With Quote