Now they are focusing on mobile game

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#1 by stealth-ace
2020-03-25 at 18:31
I just checking their website and it seems from their Twitter, that they are now stopping create PC H-Game and just moving to mobile gaming with brand name iSwanLast modified on 2020-03-25 at 18:31
#2 by harp
2020-03-25 at 18:50
Seeing as this link happened to SofthouseChara it's a very understandable move. Probably should be more common in light of the piracy numbers, although thinking about it more, quite a lot of brands are I'm both these days. Gotta hurt emotionally to work in the eroge industry, even if you can go + to some degree.
#3 by ᔕᕼᖇOOᗰᒪOᖇᗪ
2020-03-25 at 21:33
#2
Well, the source according to the original Japanese tweeter is "a friend, and I don't know where he got those numbers", so take it with a pinch of salty salt. And SofthouseChara didn't close due to financial reasons according to themselves.

That being said, if something like that did happen, and I'm sure it does all the time, I'd probably start thinking about moving on as well, regardless of whether or not I made some profit.
#4 by harp
2020-03-25 at 21:55
MangaGamer, and Sol Press did report some similar numbers I believe, but there's no really reliable numbers. I've never played anything by Swan or SoftHouseChara, but I'll wish their employees the best on their future ventures.
#5 by torgr
2020-03-26 at 21:31
I can't even remember the last time Swan released something. As for the SofthouseChara numbers, that seems a tad ridiculous, but who can say for sure. It sucks either way to see companies die but they always seem to fall back on the," Industry is dying or piracy excuse." All I do know was the last SHC game was annoying as fuck to play.
#6 by artumis
2020-03-27 at 04:08
#5
Swan certainly hasn't been releasing anything for a while, at least nothing that pops up at a glance on DLsite and such. That doesn't necessarily dismiss the notion, but it has the appearances of a reformation rather than a shift. SofthouseChara has at least been active until now, though I find the numbers cited on Twitter questionable. 50k sales is (was?) considered solid sales for average, non-AAA/indy titles, so for an eroge title, I'd wager that's respectable lifetime sales numbers (and that the game has been out for a while, Bunny Black or something similar). Consider that JAST will do limited physical releases numbering around 500 that remain in stock for a solid amount of time, and even companies like LRG can struggle to sell more than 3k copies of titles. Along the same line, 500k is absurdly high for a single title, more likely this number if lifetime hits and not unique downloads as it tries to imply. Perhaps SofthouseChara is actually really big in Japan and has a massive piracy problem, but I'd question these figures coming from all but the biggest companies... though the likes of Lilith have already made shifts like this. In reality, DLC/MTX/Mobile is just highly profitable so it's not entirely surprising to see companies chase that money, particularly if you're not Miel or the ilk releasing a title every few months or so, production costs will drag things down after 1-2 poorly received releases.

In that Twitter thread, Doddler (Mangagamer) says "When we tracked users running the pirated copies, we found about 88% of players did not pay for the game." I have serious doubts about the accuracy of such a claim as I don't think they can actually collect the data of how many pirates are playing the game. I'll be perfectly honest and admit that I have a serious collection of games, legit and otherwise, that I simply don't (and probably won't) play. The 5 titles that I recently bought from MG will probably stay on a shelf unopened next to a number of other titles and when I do play them, it'll likely be the version I have archived on my server. Basically, I doubt they can remotely accurately gather data on piracy outside of tracking completed torrents and the ilk on popular sites, but that data isn't remotely analogous with lost sales. Piracy is just an excuse for bad products and/or marketing, making a title like Suck my dick or die! quite appropriate. These companies are subservient to customers, not the other way around. Twitter thread goes so far as complaining about bug reports on official channels because they're probably just pirates? Enjoy the free QA report and fix your game rather than complaining, maybe more people would buy the game then.
#7 by harp
2020-03-27 at 12:48
#6 Idk if it was posted after your submission, but in the thread Doddler and Kiriya (of Nekonyan) state that certain bugs are unique to pirated versions. So uh, that QA report is pretty useless.
I'd say a good product doesn't mean most pirates will suddenly feel like paying for their luxuries. Will more people pay for it? Probably, but pirates will most of the time just find some excuse to not do so.
No honorifics, it ruins the integrity of a Japanese game.
Has honorifics, it's not competently translated.
Has mosaic censorship, I'd never pay for that!
A person that's for gay marriage worked on the translation, I'd never want to support them.

Just some examples off of the top of my head that I've pretty much seen used.

In regards to the tracking of numbers, who knows, I'd wager it's possible for a ping or something to be sent non-intrusive upon first start-up and compare that to the number of official downloads. You can also go on some torrent site, and check the number of completed downloads there alone. Although you won't see all pirates that way, you can at least surmise that your game usually has been illegally downloaded more times than legally.
#8 by kiru
2020-03-27 at 13:44
^In times where trial saves are incompatible with the full product, and trials are sometimes so short, they don't give you an idea about the game, or are just badly done otherwise, there's always something to be said about people actually REALLY trying the game. While VNs tend to have trials, other games might not even have anything at all.

Yes, people who only pirate will probably not start buying games. There's usually plenty of reasons for that, most commonly money related. But that's an extreme, and not what you want to look at. Those people won't buy your stuff no matter what.

The other pirates WILL buy games. But here's the thing: Budget. MANY MANY games to choose from. How do you deal with this? Waiting for a price that is good enough that the risk to waste your money gets lower? Making sure the game is good enough beforehand? That's your choices.
Publishers loving to release games on Steam around the 15 bucks area happens for good reason. People are more willing to spontaneously jump into that. A 40 bucks VN is a little different story. Only hardcore fans will blindly jump into it, even though they tend to offer more bang per buck.
This is also why the medium dies in Japan. When it became big, affordable and popular doujin games did it. Nowadays halfassed games cost 10k yen. You think anyone right in their mind jumps into a game like that? Sure, there are trials but even with that, the asking price is insane. (aside of trials not being necessarily great) Meanwhile gacha games are free to start and don't even cost anything, if you don't want to. If you want to, you can pay a bit to get something. But not necessarily 10k yen. It can be way less. So why will people try these out so much? Why did they become so big? Pretty obvious if you ask me. (aside of gambling addiction)

I'd not look at pirates so much. That's not the problem. You wanna make people WANT to support your product and not try to play the victim in this evil world. That has always been and will always be the best way. VNs are getting pretty lazy recently, though luckily a few people in the industry do have the right idea, and some movements do happen. We'll see how this develops over the years. The medium offers plenty of advantages over gacha and co. Gotta play those cards right. Or go jump at gacha and realize, that the market is oversaturated now, and you won't do well there either.Last modified on 2020-03-27 at 13:52
#9 by artumis
2020-03-27 at 14:42
#7 Either after or I just didn't go through enough of the thread, the initial mention of reported bugs didn't seem to indicate them being exclusive to pirated copies. It just came off as "How dare people point out problems with the game. Don't ask questions, just consume product and then get excited for next products." Full on pirates won't have their ways changed with better products, but better products should attract more customers and complaints about mosaics and such are concerns of legit customers. While some pirates might use a lack of perfection as their justification, I don't like the idea of conflating the numerous reasons why people might pirate as them just making up excuses. I only buy physical releases, for all my media (books, movies, games, etc.) and I'm perfectly justified in keeping my spending habits behind such a personal preference.

As #8 gets into, and I tried to highlight, the thing to do is focus on making a product that "people WANT to support". Companies can try their luck with gacha games and the ilk, but this usually subsists on whales while also generally destroying good will the company might have had with customers to begin. By all means, there's money to be made there, but it's going to run into similar issues that need to be addressed if you want to keep players coming back and hopefully spending money.

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