How do you guys feel about the JVN industry?

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#1 by happiness-plus
2019-08-20 at 02:56
I am curious to see what you guys think of the industry currently. Is it doing well? Is the industry getting smaller and smaller? What are some of the biggest challenges that developers face?

I am all ears.
#2 by tomtheerogeman
2019-08-20 at 05:15
Unless you are Yuzusoft or Alicesoft, it's hardly profitable anymore, but I don't think the JVN industry will ever go away. There's still many VNs being released by the end of each month, so many that you won't be able to read most of them in time for next month's releases. Basically it feels like what's happened with MMORPGs; lots of games, but not enough people to play them all.

The biggest challenges would be innovation and enticing new customers. The new games are all too similar to one another, and I think the Japanese stores are to blame for this because they are very specific with what they want these games to be. But more importantly, pricing is also an issue. New games haven't changed in price for many years, meanwhile wages have been declining in Japan this whole time. The developers really need to think of something if they want more cash flow. Futaba☆Channel's free version has an ad banner on the side; I wonder how successful that was. It was completely non intrusive when I played it and the ads weren't totally random or out of place, it was just links to DLsite. But idk, the point is that things have changed for the worse, the industry can't adapt to it but it's still going to be around for quite some time. I'd provide links to some of the things I mentioned, but I'm too lazy to look for them at this time.

Btw, judging by your username, are you by any chance related to Windmill Oasis?
#3 by bobjr2000
2019-08-20 at 05:56
don't know much about VN but seeing more of them being released on ps4 and especially psvita that seem to give up on all regular games
#4 by shining17
2019-08-20 at 06:31
Yeah, with added bonus of censorship.
#5 by kiru
2019-08-20 at 08:49
The problem is simple: People lack understanding what works and what doesn't. So they add more lewds. Works a while, but in the end it just backfires.

When I look at the different industries in Japan, be it Anime, Manga or LN, I feel all of them more or less know what they are doing. With Visual Novels I feel like there's a lot of blind tries going on. Even if something good or interesting happens (like Island), the marketing behind it is absolutely awful. Console port delayed by like a year, advertised as if it has adult content, but it doesn't. Unvoiced protagonist. It's like Frontwing didn't even know what they had in their hands for sale there.
There are also certain standards that nobody dares to break, hindering good stories to be written. (i.e. the extreme reliance on school settings, virgin obsession, imouto obsession and massive status quos that come with those and a few other archtypes, like childhood friends and their forgotten promises or the little sister where nobody cares that it's a sister removing the entire point)

There's going to be a time when people get sick of everything being the same. Even new people get quickly tired, because after 3 games they'll start to realize the same issues. (provided they pick up "random" new games and don't start with the big classics) If you look at what was popular within the last 12 months, it's actually a pretty sad picture.


There are two things I'd like to see visual novels to do:
-Identify themselves as works for adults. 18+ scenes aren't enough there. What do those do, if the content feels like it's written for 12 year olds.
-Remove the status quo. One of the most important things for creating likeable characters is having them interact with each other and show them in many different situations. (this can also be their own situations, experience in life, hardships and whatnot) This is extremely hard, when you have a protagonist that is little more than a wall to bounce back dialogue and the heroines focus only on him. Less player worshipping. More heroine worshipping. In the long run, this will be for the enjoyment of the player, as the heroines won't be flat and just a stereotype.

edit: That said, the biggest challenge is probably gacha. VNs need to really get back an identity. Doesn't even matter what. Something.Last modified on 2019-08-20 at 08:56
#6 by surferdude
2019-08-20 at 18:28
1. Change the Japanese censorship law.
2. Re-release old VNs with uncensored HCGs.
3. ???
4. Profit.
#7 by happiness-plus
2019-08-20 at 19:26
#2 Full disclosure, I am a visual novel developer at Watercress studios. I also work at Nachi.

Here’s my Twitter if you’re interested.
link

So far this has been pretty insightful. I had a big idea of what was hurting the JVN industry and Clephas gave me more insight as to what many devs keep falling into.
#8 by ᔕᕼᖇOOᗰᒪOᖇᗪ
2019-08-20 at 20:29
There are also certain standards that nobody dares to break, hindering good stories to be written. (i.e. the extreme reliance on school settings, virgin obsession, imouto obsession and massive status quos that come with those and a few other archtypes, like childhood friends and their forgotten promises or the little sister where nobody cares that it's a sister removing the entire point)

This so much.
#9 by 420yoloswag
2019-08-21 at 20:09
Someone posted a scenario writer's insight into the VN industry a while back. Check it out through this thread.
link

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