JAST marketing failures could doom HRPG licensing

Posted in

#1 by sanahtlig
2015-03-18 at 23:16
< report >I explore a quote by JAST USA chief Peter Payne that the failure of Seinarukana could mean the end of JAST's RPG license spree, and therefore the end of H-RPG English localization. Is lack of fan interest to blame, or is JAST blind to its own failures?

JAST’s failure to market Seinarukana as an RPG could doom English H-RPGsLast modified on 2015-03-19 at 16:55
#2 by encrypted12345
2015-03-18 at 23:39
< report >JAST should have tried to get Aselia the Eternal on Steam again, and perhaps try to get an all ages version of Yumina on there as well. Regardless of what the initial reason was for banning Aselia, modern Steam is far more lax then the Steam of back then. I heard that the initial reason was for religious reasons, but Binding of Issac is in there, so Aselia is no longer bannable on those grounds.

JAST's signature delays don't help much either, not to mention that they aren't advertising their H-RPG's nearly as hard as they advertised Steins;Gate.

Ah, I should admit that I personally think that Aselia the Eternal's and Yumina's gameplay were slow, which is why I personally did not buy them and won't until there's a significant sale. That said, despite flaws in gameplay, I still think that marketing is a much bigger factor in the lack of sales and feel that JAST has not been marketing these games as hard as it should have.Last modified on 2015-03-18 at 23:50
#3 by dk382
2015-03-18 at 23:55
< report >Aselia was not denied based on religious reasons, it was denied because Valve was uncomfortable having even an all-ages version of an eroge on their platform. This is clearly no longer a factor.
#4 by sanahtlig
2015-03-19 at 00:06
< report >In my opinion Seinarukana features an evolved version of Aselia's battle system that is much more engaging. Yumina's system was slow, clunky, and tedious. It was more complex than Aselia's system, but in an annoying micromanagey highly repetitive sort of way.

As far as battle systems go:
Yumina < Aselia << SeinarukanaLast modified on 2015-03-19 at 00:08
#5 by surferdude
2015-03-19 at 00:23
< report >In my opinion, JAST should have offered an 18+ version of Aselia in addition to the All Ages one. That way, even people who already played the fan-translation would have had a reason to be interested in it.
#6 by sanahtlig
2015-03-19 at 00:27
< report >Take a look at my article. I directly link to an official response by JAST that they didn't do an 18+ release of Aselia because of the loli content.Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 00:28
#7 by surferdude
2015-03-19 at 00:35
< report >Yet they released Romanesque uncensored...
#8 by sanahtlig
2015-03-19 at 00:37
< report >There's no rape in Romanesque though.
#9 by surferdude
2015-03-19 at 00:43
< report >Since when is rape a factor ?
As far as I know, any sexual relations with a loli is rape by default according to US laws.

My guess is they only released the All Ages version of Aselia because that's what was already done and they didn't want to bother translating the 18+ content.
Had the adult version been fan-translated, I don't think there would have been any loli issues at all.Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 00:43
#10 by encrypted12345
2015-03-19 at 01:06
< report >Yes, but whether loli porn is actually deemed illegal is a state-by-state basis.

Anyways, yeah, they probably only did the all-ages version because that was the version that the fan translation group translated.
#11 by tyr
2015-03-19 at 06:52
< report >JAST never released a good RPG. Xuse/Eternal games are just horrible gameplay-wise despite what the hyping before the Yumina release tried to make you believe. Especially Yumina is just insulting. Even NISA wouldn't dare to offer such an abomination to its customers.

Well, to be fair, Brave Soul was a great RPG ... ten years ago.
And Raidy is nice, too ... if you like playing bad old school dungeon crawlers. (I do, but I think not many people would...)

Whatever... a good RPG like an Eushully game and those things JAST tries to sell us are worlds apart. It's funny that JAST has the nerve to say that RPGs don't sell, when the last time they published something you could call an RPG and not just a visual novel with bad gameplay between the plot/porn was ten years ago...Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 06:55
#12 by sanahtlig
2015-03-19 at 07:02
< report >I like the gameplay in Seinarukana. Well, I liked the gameplay in Aselia too, which Seinarukana improves on. Yumina was a very flawed game that disappointed me. The tactical combat itself was ok, but the dungeon crawling wasn't fun and neither were the throwaway encounters with generic monsters.

I play Eushully games also, and I don't think there's THAT much of a gap between gameplay in Eushully titles and Seinarukana. I certainly don't find the gameplay in the Ikusa Megami series games enthralling. And actually, Seinarukana has better VNDB Bayeasian ratings than all Eushully untranslated releases except for Ikusa Megami Zero and Verita. I find that intriguing.
#13 by tyr
2015-03-19 at 07:20
< report >
And actually, Seinarukana has better VNDB Bayeasian ratings than all Eushully untranslated releases except for Ikusa Megami Zero and Verita. I find that intriguing.
It's probably because the graphics are pretty and shiny.

I don't know, if we talk about the actual gameplay mechanics, I really think Xuse games are far to limited to call them RPGs, especially if an RPG gamer and not an erogamer plays them.
I only hate Yumina (the game, not the character) with passion, but Aselia and the early parts of Seinarukana I played some years ago still don't satisfy the RPG fan in me.

I'm not an Eushully fanboy, but I have to admit that gameplay-wise those eroge can easily compete with "normal" JRPGs.Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 07:22
#14 by sanahtlig
2015-03-19 at 07:29
< report >Eushully's recent games are all higher resolution than Seinarukana (historically all their games since Genrin no Kishougun 2 have been the same resolution as Seinarukana or higher), and their art is by no means inferior (I'm actually a fan of Eushully's art). I don't think graphical "shininess" is why Seinarukana would be rated more highly.Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 07:31
#15 by hankou
2015-03-19 at 09:35
< report >
There's no rape in Romanesque though.

There is uncut loli rape in both Saya no Uta and Demonbane however, the latter actually being released before Aselia. I'm quite sure there was some in the Raidy games too.

I suspect the rapist protag is the main problem, if taking that line of thought to it's logical conclusion.

That, or the rape scenes in Aselia evoke the game's CG artist's (Hitomaru) doujin fare, which is loli eroguro focused. But I'm sceptical that they'd have put that hard stuff in evil route of relatively mainstrem eroge.Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 09:42
#16 by kiru
2015-03-19 at 09:39
< report >I've stopped believing in good h-rpgs anyway. Tried Kamidori and the gameplay is pretty damn bad. It's MAYBE on compile hearts level, but made worse by having insanely clunky controls.

Aselia was obviously not good either, and let's not even start with Yumina. The only actually good VN-Rpg hybrid I know is Tears to Tiara 2. But that has gameplay from Sting, which explain it somewhat, though I'm not even a fan of that dev. (they like to make things overly complicated for the sake of making it complicated.. or so I feel) Also it's not even a hrpg, and console only.. so go figure I guess.

So, all in all I dunno how to feel about this. Something in me tells me that not all h-vn/rpgs can be terrible, there must be SOMETHING that's nice. But on the other hand.. the focus is probably really on something else, and people are supposed to buy it for the h-content and girls anyway I think. (Kinda like Compile Heart also doesn't try to sell most of their games for their gameplay)Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 09:40
#17 by tiglath
2015-03-19 at 14:41
< report >@16 Have you played Sengoku Rance?
#18 by xero95
2015-03-19 at 14:50
< report >@16

I'd put Compile heart above most H rpgs unless we're doing SRPGs.
#19 by sanahtlig
2015-03-19 at 15:32
< report >I've played Agarest War 1. The gameplay in that was awful, yet it sold very well due to the viral porn marketing. I don't see how anyone could say that's better than any of the non-Raidy RPGs JAST has released. Gameplay in the Ar tonelico series games isn't that great either, and there's a pervy appeal to them too. I think Seinarukana and Aselia the Eternal are pretty easy sells to players who like Compile Heart and Ar tonelico games.Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 15:33
#20 by kiru
2015-03-19 at 19:03
< report >I have played admittedly only very little of Agarest on the ps3, but what I played seemed better than the crap Jast release, yes. Strictly speaking for the gameplay of course. It's less about tactic in a battle and more about how you customize your party to prepare for the battle, but it seems to work to a degree. From what I know about it, I'd even consider it better than Kamidori, though mostly just because Kamidori really has terrible and annoying controls.
Aside of that, Compile Heart isn't always the same (they have the old Disgaea team from NIS working for them, and have made a game with the dev who also developed Bravely Default or 3dot heroes), and Ar Tonelico is a bit different as well.

Honestly, I've played way too many rpgs in my life, so when I criticize rpgs, it's a bit different. It's not necessarily meaning you can't enjoy it at all. Still, I feel that hrpgs should AT LEAST be on a level where they don't annoy with gameplay. And that's the main difference between Ar Tonelico, CH games and the h-rpgs I played.
To make an example: Yumina's gameplay isn't absolutely terrible by itself. What makes it problematic is the amount of time you HAVE to waste in dungeons doing the same stuff over and over again without feeling too much progress. To the point where many want trainers. Compile Heart's Neptunia games on the other hand have very unobtrusive gameplay. They may also heavily suffer from recycling and "once you have one strategy for a battle, you can use it every time", but the gameplay is extremely fast-paced and there's enough progress (weapons, abilities and so on) that even optional sidequests aren't annoying, and there tend to be A LOT. It may not be awesome gameplay, or super challenging, but you get fast enough through everything that that's never a problem.

So, as far as just JAST is concerned, both Aselia and Yumina had many people scream for trainers. Even if they somehow managed to legally beat one route, nobody wanted to really sit through it AGAIN for another route, which both games want you to do. So, in other words, the games are pretty bad because of that. Still, perhaps you could work around that by simply offering a trainer along. Would be weird, but I think these two games really really need it. As sad as that is.
#21 by sanahtlig
2015-03-19 at 19:26
< report >I also used to play a lot of console JRPGs. Now I play a lot of H-RPGs. JRPGs are a dying genre, and oddly enough (quality) H-RPGs feel like the worthy successors to the old 2D sprite-based JRPGs of the SNES, PS1, and PS2 era that I used to like.

No I agree, Yumina's system suffered from many of the same problems afflicting Agarest War 1 and lots of other bad JRPGs: the insufferable grind.

I haven't played newer Compile Heart games. They just seem really gimmicky and not all that fun with inane premises and dialogue written for cheap laughs. I'm a fan of the Ar tonelico series, but that brand of pervy yet story-driven JRPG seems pretty rare at least on consoles (I've completely spurned handhelds; the mobile gaming concept doesn't interest me).Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 19:28
#22 by usagi
2015-03-19 at 19:55
< report >
, but that brand of pervy yet story-driven JRPG seems pretty rare at least on consoles
If you consider Neptunia, Mugen Souls, Time&Eternity and Agarest series as well (which are quite pervy) - they are not that
JRPGs are a dying genre
While things like Persona 5 are looming on the horizon - I would disagree with you.

P.S.: also you forget about Atelier series (which are splendid mix of raising sim and jrpg) and Tales series (which are still one of the few jrpgs with somewhat classic feel) - and they are still quite popular and fruitful with new releases (upcoming Tales of Zestiria, or recent Atelier Shallie to name a few).Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 20:02
#23 by dk382
2015-03-19 at 20:00
< report >JRPGs are considerably more rare than they were ten years ago, and back then they were probably more rare than they used to be. The genre has been in a steady decline for fifteen years, at least in terms of quantity and popularity. There are still JRPGs being made, but you really can't say that they aren't rare these days.
#24 by tyr
2015-03-19 at 21:55
< report >
I've played Agarest War 1. The gameplay in that was awful, yet it sold very well due to the viral porn marketing. I don't see how anyone could say that's better than any of the non-Raidy RPGs JAST has released.
Agarest is an awesome RPG and doesn't deserve the hate it gets.
I think the reason many people like you don't like the game is because they expect a cute little SRPG. But Agarest is a hardcore grindfest and you have to like this or else you wont have much fun.
Agarest has to be played on hard or else you could just autobattle through everything. Also, the actual combat system is quite bad for an SRPG. But the game is not about strategy, it's about grinding the heck out of everything so you can overkill bosses to get certain items so you can create better equipment to overkill the next boss and so on. I spend hundreds of hours on this game farming and grinding and it was a lot of fun because it's designed to be this type of game. You can't compare it with the tedious grinding in Yumina, see #20's example.
Agarest is not a bad game, it's only a bad SRPG but that is not what it wants to be.

While things like Persona 5 are looming on the horizon
Games like Persona are exactly the reason why the genre is dying. If I wanted to play a shitty dating sim, I would play an OELVN.

Atelier series
Since GUST gone complete moeblob with the Arland saga, the Atelier series isn't anymore what it once was. Stupid characters, no story, only otaku pandering.
Well, Escha & Logy was awesome, but that's probably only because of Tecmo Koei's influence.

JRPGs are really the same as anime or eroge. The genres are dying because stupid customers don't know what's good and are buying moe trash or something pretty and shiny. If you want to play/watch something good, you have to look at least ten years back.Last modified on 2015-03-19 at 22:03
#25 by encrypted12345
2015-03-19 at 22:11
< report >@24 I'd say that modern anime isn't quite as bad off as it was during the late 2000's and early 2010's moe focus. There's still a lot of that, but it's more balanced with the other stuff out there. Doesn't change the fact that most anime is bad, but that's true of every medium.