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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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  #31  
Old 2010-04-27, 14:06
zalas zalas is offline
 
 
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The companies have made enough money in Japan for years to live happily, now they're taking notice of a new market they can squeeze money from for almost no effort on their parts.
Trying to squeeze money out of the market as it is now is like trying to manually squeeze water out of an orange peel... (sorry, I'm getting hungry ><)
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  #32  
Old 2010-04-27, 14:36
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Originally Posted by jyuichi View Post
Good point, I think there was a SL project (I don't know if they actually released any patches though).
Soul Link was kouryou's own project. It stalled (a couple years ago, he released an alpha patch that covered the first part of the story) but then evolved into the MangaGamer's release once he joined the company.
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  #33  
Old 2010-04-27, 15:00
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And supposedly the people behind MangaGamer and the people behind minori don't get along too well.
They also have opposite aims. Whereas minori would like nothing more than to confine eroge to Japan and stay out of the global limelight, MangaGamer is attempting the opposite, trying to draw attention to/increase overseas demand for eroge. From their perspective, MangaGamer's activities (done without the clear acceptance of the countries they sell the games to) increase the risk of international pressure, which threatens their domestic industry. As far as they're concerned, companies like JAST USA and MangaGamer are dangerous.

While this might be unrelated, there was also a massive blowup at Circus a few years back, which led to the departures of all the key staff behind Suika and Da Capo. One of the people who quit (the guy who created Suika and directed D.C.) is now the main creator at minori.
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  #34  
Old 2010-04-27, 15:24
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Fan-translations: Going the way of fan-subs?
I'd disagree, because the range of stuff that's covered by existing commercial translators is still too small and the market too fledgling. For every CIRCUS, OVERDRIVE or ZyX that gets covered by a commercial translator, there's a hundred KeroQs, Eushullys or XUSEs. It is nowhere near the degree of saturation that anime achieved before fansubs start to hurt and they are still one of the only ways for people to learn about new titles. Ask me that again when for every title of any sort of note released each month, there's an even chance it will be picked up for commercial localisation. Ask me that again when titles that almost entirely lack 'appeal' outside their story and writing are translated, titles like Forest, Sayonara wo Oshiete and Kusari-hime.

I think fan translations are still helpful, but maybe fan translators should start sticking to older titles? It's not like Suigetsu is going to be picked up by anyone!

EDIT: On a related note, JAST clearly knows Subarashiki Hibi exists. They even wrote ''With beautiful, ephemeral visuals and critically acclaimed storywriting, the "wonderful days" of Subarashiki Hibi are sure to make it among the best visual novels of 2010." YOU'D BETTER LICENSE IT, YOU ASSHOLES~!
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Last edited by Asceai; 2010-04-27 at 15:37.
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  #35  
Old 2010-04-27, 17:08
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If someone licenses or translates SubaHibi in general then they had better do a damn fine job of it.

Well, bit of a derail, but I don't know if JAST's usual staff would quite do the game justice after seeing what happened to KazoKei.
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  #36  
Old 2010-04-27, 17:33
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Yeah, among other things a normal translator couldn't really handle it anyway. Even if they knew the literature, it's jam-packed with cultural references, puns and in-jokes, references to keroq titles, references to makura titles, references to completely unrelated eroge...

quick, someone get TakaJun and AstCd2 interested in it!
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Last edited by Asceai; 2010-04-27 at 17:43.
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  #37  
Old 2010-04-27, 20:32
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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
Because certainly, the current official anime market in the west is serving its fans really well. Only the most popular shows get brought over, it takes fucking ages for the shows to get here, and the only way to watch them is to pay $20 per 4 episodes. (And before you go 'but they're even more expensive in Japan', Japan gets to watch the shit for free, and then buys the DVDs if they really like it. We have to buy it to even watch it.) Our current breadth of availability still comes from fansubbing.
I was actually referring to the American market, where there is now plenty of streaming anime available, and before ADV and Geneon went under, they were bringing over a wide array of anime. Also, anime has been available on TV for quite a while in the US. Need I bring up Speed Racer, Ronin Warriors, Outlaw Star, and many other shows few people probably remember? I don't think $20 for 4 episodes is unfair at all though. A movie will cost that much, and it runs for about the same length. Not to mention, you can usually buy them in box sets for a much cheaper rate as well.

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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
JAST has been releasing shit since 1996. insani's first release was in 2004, and Haeleth's first release was in 2005. They were completely unrelated.
Haeleth's first release may have been 2005, but he had already been working on the project and discussing it for several years prior.

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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
MangaGamer is the only proper example of this. Nitro+ didn't sign with JAST, JAST signed with Nitro+. And you know why that finally happened, after 13 years of releasing almost exclusively shitty games? Because they finally had a competitor that sold high-profile games, so they had to release games that weren't shit to compete with said company. There was no other reason for the JAST/Nitro+ deal.
As you may recall from the interview with Peter Payne, both JAST and MangaGamer were equally surprised at each others' license announcements. They had absolutely nothing to do with each other, it was merely an auspicious coincidence that they occurred at the same time. What zalas said probably played a far greater role in that license agreement than MangaGamer's mere presence did.

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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
No minori isn't. It's been said countless times, but I'll repeat it again: minori has proven themselves to be xenophobes with no desire to have gaijin play their games, multiple times. Their official statement says they're open to potential licensing, but if that really is true, then I sure do wonder why neither MangaGamer nor JAST has the minori license yet; their games are without a doubt popular enough to release commercially, and you can easily buy unreleased translations. It's standard Japanese politeness: they say 'yes' but they mean 'fuck off'.
Perhaps you may be right. Some of what I said is speculation; thus, the question mark in the thread title.

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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
Because Rapelay got translated, pirated, sold illegally and then presented to soccer moms by the visual novel translation community. Definitely.
Rapelay didn't reach soccer moms through fans shouting how awesome it was, but from people selling illegal copies of the game online. And even if it were through popularity through piracy; if each of those pirates would have bought the game instead, how would that change things? Are fans who buy games less loud-mouthed than fans who pirate the game?
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I was not relating piracy to the Rapelay incident at all, I was listing them as two completely separate issues affecting the current situation.

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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
Indeed, but you are forgetting the rest of the effect. If there weren't so many people before me that had pirated Clannad and told me how awesome it was, would I have even tried it? I can tell you straight-up: the answer is no. I just downloaded it because people were so positive about it, having no idea what to expect. This in turn turned me into a Key fan, and now I spread the word towards others about how awesome Clannad is.
I wasn't forgetting the effect, that's why I related them to fansubs. Fansubs originally held the exact same effect, and to some extent still do. However, ask the representatives from Funimation or Bandai, and I'm sure you'll hear just how hard of a fight they're having in trying to gain customers because there are a lot who won't even pay the $20 for a movie or a show they liked. And why? Because they have a free, digital copy on their hard-drive they were able to watch prior to the company's official release of the title.

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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
Key's license was a very attractive license for MangaGamer. Have you ever stopped to think why? It's because so many people pirated fan translated games by them, and spread the word. There are VN developers that are really popular in Japan, but have almost no Western fanbase, simply because none of their works has been translated. The demand for Liar-soft titles has increased dramatically since the translation of Sekien no Inganock.
I have stopped to think about why at several points. I don't think it's because people pirated and bought the games. I think it's because of the work of people like Healeth who spent years promoting the genre, Fred Gallagher of Megatokyo--I personally found out about Kanon and Air because of that very webcomic, as well as the production of popular anime series for the game. More people watched Kanon or Clannad, then went looking to found out there was a game, than there were people who found out about the translation and decided to pirate it for a test run.

I won't argue that the fan-translation didn't have a beneficial effect in giving the game a boost to it's popularity, but I can't see that as the sole cause or as important a cause as you seem to believe. However...

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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
Now, you'll probably ask, "so what if it's popular, if people won't buy it anyways?" It's quite simple. I may not buy Clannad or Kanon, but it's exactly because I did pirate those two games that I'd gladly pay for an official Air or Little Busters! localization, and would pay fucking gold for a timely Rewrite translation. (And I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks so about Rewrite.) But this is only because people illegally fan translated Clannad and Kanon and I pirated those two titles. If it weren't for those two, I wouldn't be the least bit interested in Air or Rewrite. (Although I might still be slightly interested in LB!, but not in the same 'I *WILL* buy it' manner.)
This is exactly what I mean by fan-translations becoming a hindrance to bringing new companies into the market though. Yes, Key has become popular, but look at the comments on our blog: The majority of people are saying, 'don't bother, there's a fan-translation out' or 'don't bother, there'll be a fan-translation of it soon enough.' For a company like this who has become popular in the niche market already and received a fan-translation, that very translation which contributed to it's popularity then becomes a wall it needs to overcome if it actually hopes to succeed abroad. Perhaps advertising and expanding beyond the core group is what needs to be done for it to succeed, but that's still how many potential sales lost before the project even starts?

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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
This statement implies that fansubs are hurting the American anime industry. But you know, people don't get into anime by buying overpriced anime DVDs and then liking it. Rather, they just torrent some anime, then find it to be interesting. Also, piracy actually generates popularity, which generates sales. The most pirated series are also the best selling series. Really popular series like Naruto, Bleach and Haruhi didn't get popular through official releases; they became popular through fansubbing, which then prompted official releases.
I also think that model is part of what's hurting our anime industry in the states as well. Prior to broadband, when fan-subbing first began, officially licensed anime that ran on TV, local anime clubs, and stumbling across that interesting looking DVD or VHS sitting on a lonely shelf in the back of Suncoast was how many people encountered anime. Those people would then take what they purchased and share it with friends, or buy it so they could show their friends, and the market began to expand. I can honestly say, what originally pulled my interest into anime were the shows I saw on TV when I was growing up: Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon on early-early saturday morning, Ronin Warriors which might start airing right as the bus would pull in. Many others currently found their first interest in similar shows, or Cartoon Networks runs of Outlaw Star, Trigun, or to be more modern, Cowboy Bebop, many younger kids still pick up their interest in anime by viewing Naruto and Bleach on TV.

Also, as most statisticians will tell you, correlation does not equal causality. The shows get pirated most and sell best not because they're pirated most, but because they're popular. Bottom line, the show is just popular. Piracy has nothing to do with that; it does not make the show popular.

Back when broadband was first expanding and fan-subs became more prolific, the industry and most fan-subbers had a general agreement. When the industry licensed something, they told the fan-subbers to cease distribution, and they complied. It worked very well that way. The fan-subbers were able to serve as a litmus test indicating which series would be popular and have a good chance of success in the west, while also encouraging their own viewers to buy the series when they came out. Furthermore, if the series was never licensed, then they did ensure that the series would reach an audience it wouldn't have otherwise reached.

However, that's all changed now. Fan-subbers will often continue despite these requests--some refusing to stop even after threats of action. Instead of 'promoting' the industry like they used to, they compete with the industry, offering a 'quicker alternative' because they don't have to obey the rules and laws legitimate companies do. Many of the modern anime streaming services were born from that resulting competition: they now have to get their legal releases out quick enough to compete. However, this also means that the licenses for shows has to be acquired prior to their airing, during production stages, making every license effectively a gamble--this is how fan-subs have hurt the variety that lies in the industry. Whereas companies could wait and license shows they knew would prove popular with clearer estimates, now they have to place bets and pray the license they get fares well. This leads to less shows being licensed as the companies try to play it safe. Thus, fan-subs have begun to hurt the anime industry.

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Originally Posted by VDZ View Post
No, not really. If they were interested in the western market, they'd contact a western VN company like JAST or MangaGamer to see if they'd be interested in licensing VNs.
Consider the issue from minori's perspective though. They have groups threatening strict regulations that could seriously hurt their livelihood. With all the controversy going around, they're probably trying to play it safe to ensure they can continue in the first place. The Japanese EOCS stamp of approval pretty much does say, "This game is morally acceptable for release in Japan". They could probably be assuming that the ESRB and such have a similar power, even though they're effectively the same as Japan's Cero rating system, not EOCS. The point of it all is that they're trying to play it safe.

As I said, I think there are currently three groups of companies in Japan right now: Those taking risks (the ones licensing their games or trying to break into the western market through JAST and MangaGamer), those playing it safe (companies like minori, who are trying to lay low and weather the storm praying it dies down), and those in the middle who either aren't yet aware of the western market yet, or who are keeping their eye on it in order to decide whether or not it's worth the financial and public risk.

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