MangaGamer Interview

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#1 by usagi
2019-08-15 at 11:59
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#2 by lucumo
2019-08-16 at 11:50
Don't really care since I only import VNs but this was a good one: "Those who buy physical copies are very much like us, collectors. We try to give them access to these nice hard copies to keep at home in their collection or share with a friend."
What a joke. Their physical copies are awful. At least Japan can still produce proper boxes (instead of cheap amaray) that don't have stuff written all over the cover (specifically referring to Rance 5D + VI here).
#3 by sanahtlig
2019-08-17 at 00:14
"One of the biggest challenges that we are running into is that the “big name titles” that the core audience wants are all pretty much licensed now."
Except they aren't? Eushully, August, and Type-Moon still haven't licensed any eroge, much less the most requested. Other devs have past releases or current projects for only a fraction of their lineup. The idea that all of the titles people want are already available is some sort of weird myth that is easily contradicted by the evidence--though it could very well be that the low-hanging fruit for acquisition has been taken, and the remaining holdouts are stubborn Japanese devs who can't be negotiated with.Last modified on 2019-08-17 at 00:16
#4 by lucumo
2019-08-17 at 03:32
Eushully has become a dirty DRM company anyway. So it wouldn't surprise me if they don't want to have their products released anywhere else.
#5 by periah250
2019-08-17 at 03:49
#4 eushully and august have routinely denied anyone who reaches out to localize their games...its entirely fair to say that.
#6 by kratoscar2008
2019-08-17 at 04:51
And given type moon's worth i doubt MG has the money to spend on the rights of any of their games.
I also remember some westerner making a patch to fix an issue in an Eushully game and then they told him to fuck off.
#7 by sakurakoi
2019-08-17 at 07:19
Well, to be fair, most of Eushully works are shit anyway in one way or another. Either it is the gameplay which sucks or it is the writing if not both, rarely it is neither. Magical Madness and Mind Control ain't the best plot devices (never even mind the fanatic large scale following of malicious gods) and simple turn or single command based combat is not suitable for very long games. The 90's are over. I could only recommend five: The three Meister, Arterial and Rhapsody. Although they still retain to a lesser or larger degree of their faulty world building.
#8 by ramaladni
2019-08-17 at 09:32
This is one of the worst interviews ever.

"VNs are more popular than ever" - I seriously doubt that, but okay.

"All the 'big titles' are licensed now" - it couldn't be further from the truth. Either way, people will always want more - too many visual novels and too few people to work on them.

"Artwork is the most important part of visual novels. People just want pretty images to get off to" - if that were the case, there are much better alternatives. I'd be really saddened to know if that was their license acquisition philosophy. This is just insulting.

"Maggot Baits could be enjoyed even by a feminist" - this is a joke, right? I'm not sure how you could even think to answer this in a 'professional' interview.

"We wanted to make a story-focused all-ages game" - and yet write a scenario about loli fairies in a café...uh. I hope they don't go back to development. I'd rather they supported amateur/indie projects.Last modified on 2019-08-17 at 09:34
#9 by lucumo
2019-08-18 at 09:06
The first one can definitely be true. After all, there are enough Steam scrubs that never look beyond the confinement of that client. So ever since VNs started to make their way there, they became more popular in that regard.
#10 by jikorde
2019-08-18 at 11:26
@8 Are you arguing that Vn's have become less popular? At the very least localization is at it's biggest right now then its ever been.

And the artwork thing is hard to argue. They have the sales data, so if the most pretty games are the ones that sell the best then that's that.

Koropukkur was stupid though. I agree on that. "We have a lot of nukige people like, and want to make something story focused. So lets make a short, and bad game about fairies in a cafe." It's like they wanted Nekopara, but without any sex appeal.

And most of the big titles are licensed. Most of the ones people list that are big name or popular that are left are either from companies that aren't happening, or are from companies that have either failed to come over or we're going through the rest of their line up first. Or have been announced already. There's not much left that a lot of people are going to recognize on title alone.
#11 by kiru
2019-08-18 at 12:39
To be fair, there were quite a few games where people figured "never ever", and then something happened and an English version came. But at this point we are pretty much really there. It's definitely not as easy as "just doing it", when it comes to licensing "big" titles.

The art thing is also a definitive problem. Or rather, resolution. People argue the prime-time of VNs was 200X, but more and more of those don't run well on win10 anymore, have low resolution and maybe even kinda wonky art. Sometimes you see them release "HD remaster" versions of those, but that's not always feasible. It's 2d art. If nothing higher res exists, then nothing exists. You could try to work at upscaling, but people aren't that happy about that either I think.Last modified on 2019-08-18 at 12:40
#12 by kilicool64
2019-08-19 at 06:15
Typically, VN artwork is drawn at twice the resolution it'll be displayed at. As long as the developers or publishers properly archive their image source files, HD remasters are indeed feasible.Last modified on 2019-08-19 at 06:15
#13 by harleyquin
2019-08-19 at 06:24
Typically, VN artwork is drawn at twice the resolution it'll be displayed at. As long as the developers or publishers properly archive their image source files, HD remasters are indeed feasible.

Source? Reads like a sweeping generalisation of the exception rather than the norm.

There are VNs in the market that have a native resolution of 4K, so I find it extremely hard to believe the "true" resolution would be twice that if 8K wasn't even widely available at consumer level.
#14 by kiru
2019-08-19 at 07:29
@12: Companies tend to not do that though. The original images are HUGE. (we are talking about gb dimension for ONE image for games that have hundreds of images)

Sure, storage is cheap, but if you need multiple TB per game, it quickly gets absurd. Add to that, that the market is really fluctuating and few devs last for 10 years, and you get more problems. Who even does have the license at this point and are they even interested? Would they even have those original image files or did those die with the original dev?
#15 by rastafoo
2019-09-16 at 17:51
If MangaGamer translated Marina Cuckolding Report 2, I'll love them until the end of time.
#16 by fuukanou
2019-09-16 at 19:26
I don't have a source for the twice the resolution, but I have found in a couple games CGs at twice the render resolution.
#17 by shroomlord
2019-09-18 at 18:46
#3
Unless he means to say it's already licensed, the Koihime Kakumei games alone make that line sound like bullshit. 80-90% of the VNs I've read (that amount numbering triple digits) aren't available in English. Many of the ones I've read are from companies with some English representation, like Clock-up, Empress, Alicesoft etc. etc. But most of their games aren't available in English, not even their best games. Some other companies' games I like are Akabei soft, Lune, Candy soft, Atelier Kaguya, tone work's... really there are just too many to even list. And where are they on the English market?

I have a hard time believing games like Erewhon or Closed Game wouldn't sell, not to mention all the great stuff from, say, Lune like the Meikoku games. Unfortunately I think the sad conclusion has to lie somewhere in line with what #10 said. And the only plausible explanation I can think of in most cases is Japanese resistance.

And while I'm ranting, one thing that bothers me is the inability to grab great games early on. Jast are just now releasing Majikoi. It's 10 years too late! They can't even seem to sell out their 500 physical copies. tone work's is a good example here.
#18 by lucumo
2019-09-18 at 19:08
Taking a look at it, those 500 physical copies are still pre-orders, so who says they won't sell them all (despite the VN looking pretty generic)?
#19 by shroomlord
2019-09-18 at 19:37
Let's hope they do facing tens of thousands of downloads of the English fan-translation.
#20 by dk382
2019-09-19 at 03:10
People may be holding off on pre-ordering the physical copies of Majikoi because JAST still hasn't explained what the deal is with the voice licensing.Last modified on 2019-09-19 at 03:10
#21 by shroomlord
2019-09-19 at 04:41
Oh right, that was a thing. I can't even think of a "minor" character's voice I'd be fine with cutting out. Not even bakkiyarou tenchou.

And you reminded me that Japanese publisher's VA contracts are potentially huge obstacles in bringing games over in English.

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