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Old 2004-05-17, 18:39   Link #121
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doddler
Japanese ero game localizations are gaining increasing popularity here, but I can't help but wonder wether the north american standard of rampant piracy will kill the industry in the end.
Interesting. Do you think that piracy would have more of an impact in the budding ero-game market then it would have in the rest of the game industry? You also mentioned in your post that you count it as one of the contributing factors to the fact that ero-games never really caught on in North America. Now, you are right when you say that there is a fair bit of piracy (I'm not exactly sure I'd call it "standard" or "rampant" though), but I never considered that it would be any more or less problematic for these types of games. I suppose that is partly due to the huge public taboo, as you say. I wonder if there's any way to alleviate that concern?

As it relates specifically to Kanon, I imagine that it, of all the games of it's genre, probably stands the best chance to sell because of it's fame in the so-called "otaku" market (again, for lack of a better word). I guess there's no way of knowing whether or not that would be enough to be worthwhile though. Based on the fact that nobody's done it yet, I guess it's not very likely.
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Old 2004-05-17, 23:32   Link #122
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The problem with getting the games localized is the perception of the market over here. If you say "ero-game" to most folks they wouldnt know what you meant, but would assume by the name that it was something "adult". To the folks that have some knowledge of anime the association would be "ero-game" = hentai = sick tentacle stuff.

I admit, I used to think the same way. The problem with bringing over something like Kanon is still market perception. If you bring it over in all age format, the average twitch monkey console gamer would turn his nose up at it. Im not slamming console gamers, but if you look at what sells in that market, its sports games, and blood. If you tried to convince that crowd to try a "romance" game, they would laugh you out of the room in most cases.

That leaves the PC market. Unfortunately, the problem is that the market for ero-games is going to be really, really small. Retail chains wont carry them because of the graphic nudity/sex thats in the games. The all age games, which could be carried in the big stores, wont get picked up because of the way the software market works. Since the companies work deals based on frontage on the shelves, they want something that is going to recover revenue quickly. So, big games get a whole wall, small titles get stuck back on the shelf.

Most importantly, the market perception is just really negative. Most distributors in the US wouldnt want to touch a romance game aimed at guys. Just not going to happen. They know they can sell a bazillion copies of the latest GTA clone, so there is no way they are going to want to risk trying to market a title that "guys wont play". So, in that case you stuck selling via mail order or special order out of independant stores, a very small market indeed.

That leads us back to the original format of the games. Limited sales means that they want a strong hook, so that means sex. All age versions just arent going to perform in this market until the perception on these games change.

Thats one of the really screwed up things in the US, dismemberment, disemboweling, and rivers of blood are perfectly acceptable, but heaven forbid you have a bare boob! And given the graphic content in some of the ero games, the more uptight elements of our society would keel over with heart failure if they saw them.

If you look at the GOOD titles that have come over in translation, there is only a handful. So, you wind up with five quality titles, and about 30 basic porn titles.
And sadly, the porn titles sell more.

So, as much as we all would like to see stuff like Kanon sold in translation, its just not going to happen till the market expands. That wont happen until the perception of ero-games being tentacle porn changes. So, I would imagine you will continue to see the same kind of trickle of games we have right now continue for the near future. A shame isnt it.
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Old 2004-05-18, 00:04   Link #123
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I wonder what it costs to license an ero title for translation and distribution. Since they are so popular in Japan, I'd think it'd be quite a bit of money. Then again, if no one wants to translate them, you can't expect much money.
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Old 2004-05-18, 02:15   Link #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TronDD
I wonder what it costs to license an ero title for translation and distribution. Since they are so popular in Japan, I'd think it'd be quite a bit of money. Then again, if no one wants to translate them, you can't expect much money.
It's more like "no one wants to buy them." The small fanbase here right now is probably not going to be able to offset the cost of licensing a big time hit from Japan.
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Old 2004-05-18, 05:48   Link #125
yukari_kiss
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just out of curiousity, is the kanon game out in english or chinese?
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Old 2004-05-18, 06:24   Link #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukari_kiss
just out of curiousity, is the kanon game out in english or chinese?
There is no English translation. Don't know about Chinese.

There is a fan translation to English that is ongoing.
http://www.haeleth.net/
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Old 2004-05-18, 06:33   Link #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame
Interesting. Do you think that piracy would have more of an impact in the budding ero-game market then it would have in the rest of the game industry? You also mentioned in your post that you count it as one of the contributing factors to the fact that ero-games never really caught on in North America. Now, you are right when you say that there is a fair bit of piracy (I'm not exactly sure I'd call it "standard" or "rampant" though), but I never considered that it would be any more or less problematic for these types of games. I suppose that is partly due to the huge public taboo, as you say. I wonder if there's any way to alleviate that concern?
Well, I think that the nature of the games themselves make piracy more of a problem than normal video games. For one, they're not readily available, unless you're really lucky the only way to get localized bishoujo games and ero games is to order online. That, and the fact that many people simply are ashamed to own it, and in some cases wouldn't want such a product delivered to thier door. The fact that the games are very easily available on direct connect, or even bit torrent, doesn't help. I'm not too certain about g-collections games, but I don't think I'm inacurate in stating that peach princess's titles sell anywhere between 1000 and 4000 copies. A quick look at various trackers for these games don't show promising results.

A way to change concerns? Well, I dunno. I guess this really is up to the companies to do. I think that awareness is a big part of it. Its kind of sad, but its way easier for a novice to these games to find a tracker than it is to stumble on legit pages. But thats the way the internet works. Doesn't help that its generally accepted that anime, its closely related counterpart, has an incredibly massive community based around free sharing and distribution, and that comunity has the whole "free distribution" mindset. Downloading anime is fine, whats different with a game that plays like anime?

For a company like key to even consider localization, they need to be shown that an english release will be worth the effort. Kanon's no small fry, at average price for translation a script the size of kanon will run you thousands, not to mention labor to convert the system, put the text into the game, testing, etc. For it to get localized, key needs some solid proof that the market is viable and that they can get a worthwhile return on thier investment. A thousand people buying the game isn't going to hold a torch to the japanese release which sold tens of thousands over its life.

Last edited by Doddler; 2004-05-18 at 06:50.
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Old 2004-05-18, 06:57   Link #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doddler
That, and the fact that many people simply are ashamed to own it, and in some cases wouldn't want such a product delivered to thier door.
That's funny because when I got "Kana - Little Sister", the package made sure to reapetedly tell me that the CGs were UNCENSORED!

It is quite obvious what demographic they are trying to market to

A lot of people talk about porn and owning this and that, but those aren't the people that would really buy these games. There probably isn't enough porn in it for them. The rest would be too put off by the marketing trying to make it look like it does have a ton of porn in it. Marketed more accuratly would still leave it in a small demographic anyway so I don't know if there is much of a solution.

I don't think piracy would hurt the genre any more than other genres. If people were interested in these games, you'd see an increase in piracy but also in sales. The problem is that profit margins are probably pretty small for these games as they don't sell much volume. If piracy were to increase faster than sales, that could kill it.

Crescendo is like $40 - $45, you can pick up any US game a year later (after the popularity dies down) for $20.


What we need is a big company (like Microsoft Games or something) to get into the market. They are making profit elsewhere and can survive the adjustment time it would take to generate profit from the genre.
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Old 2004-05-18, 07:38   Link #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TronDD
I don't think piracy would hurt the genre any more than other genres. If people were interested in these games, you'd see an increase in piracy but also in sales. The problem is that profit margins are probably pretty small for these games as they don't sell much volume. If piracy were to increase faster than sales, that could kill it.
Piracy might hurt this genre more because a lot of people who are interested in these in the States probably already have the knowhow to pirate it. Compare this to say... some typical PC game. The majority of buyers would probably not know how to pirate it easily, though there are a lot that do.
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Old 2004-05-18, 07:46   Link #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zalas
Piracy might hurt this genre more because a lot of people who are interested in these in the States probably already have the knowhow to pirate it.

Why, because they download anime?

For the games to be even mildly successful, they'd have to reach a wider more mainstream audience anyway. Hopefully setting the ratio of piracy to sales to a normal level.

Of course, all of this is pipe dream anyway.
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Old 2004-05-18, 09:01   Link #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukari_kiss
just out of curiousity, is the kanon game out in english or chinese?
There has been a completed Chinese patch out for sometime already. I can't remember the link to the page though.

As for all this talk about bishoujo games hitting the western market, my take is its a dream that'll remain a dream. Just get your act together and learn Japanese instead. As pointed out already, its the difference in how the western game industry is, not so much piracy since there's lots of piracy going on within Japanese themselves.
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Old 2004-05-18, 11:51   Link #132
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Games like these won't come out in the states cuz Americans tend to think of this type of genre of games to be boring since there is no constant action like in them Halo or Soul Calibur. Most Americans are too absent-minded to be multi-cultural and to accept games that have no constant action, aka "the Americanzied people who wouldn't leave this country for any reason."

Kanon is a good game, and it does go more in depth than the anime. The PS2 version is not hentai at all as well as the Dreamcast version. The game is probably out of print at the current moment.
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Old 2004-05-18, 23:00   Link #133
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arrrggghh, i'd wished they'd release it in america instead of those games like Manhunt (no offence to those who like the game, but i'm just more passionate about kanon!!!) where you just kill ppl or action action and more action instead of having some emotional ethical in depth issues like kanon can provide !!!!! lol...but i'm so passionate mainly becoz i really wanna play the game and my minimal japanese really wont get me thru anything....
it is really sad that american game industry can't accept games such as kanon...but maybe there is a chance??? since they have released mary-kate and ashley how to get a date playstation game or something along those line....
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Old 2004-05-19, 05:18   Link #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukari_kiss
arrrggghh, i'd wished they'd release it in america instead of those games like Manhunt (no offence to those who like the game, but i'm just more passionate about kanon!!!) where you just kill ppl or action action and more action instead of having some emotional ethical in depth issues like kanon can provide !!!!! lol...but i'm so passionate mainly becoz i really wanna play the game and my minimal japanese really wont get me thru anything....
it is really sad that american game industry can't accept games such as kanon...but maybe there is a chance??? since they have released mary-kate and ashley how to get a date playstation game or something along those line....
I've been waiting for 5 YEARS now for any US company to localize any popular bishoujo game like To Heart and Kanon, but NO! All they have are H-focused ero games. It's making me sick really.

I hope Geneon's license of Tsukihime will start the wave outburst of bishoujo game-turned anime series. And also hopefully a localized translation of the original game!
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Old 2004-05-20, 00:01   Link #135
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lets all cross our fingers and keep waiting...otherwise, we might have to resolve to learning japanese LOL :P
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Old 2004-05-20, 00:51   Link #136
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It all comes down to money. If Tsukihime and other ero-game based anime hit big over here, and there is enough interest, then someone might pony up the cash to get em translated into english. Not likely to happen anytime soon.

The problems are still a small fanbase, and public perception. As long as the anime sales are small, it isnt going to happen. Obviously, anime has been increasing in popularity, so there is some hope there. So if Kanon or Tsukihime sold 250,000+ units, then the companies might start getting interested. Except for one big problem. Public perception is the other thing, and that is much bigger problem.

Most software companies arent going to touch an "adult" title with a 10 foot pole. Its ok for companies like Rockstar to crank out GTA, which has enough mayhem to make a serial killer green with envy (and im not knocking GTA, its a great game), but as soon as you have ANY image of characters doing the nasty, they wont touch it. The "adult" market plays by a whold different set of rules, and the big one is financing. You cannot get most banks to finance anything thats labled as "adult", and no funding = no game.

Welcome to gaming in America. Little Jimmy can watch 423,768 people having their noodle blasted apart with a shotgun, and thats ok. Throw one hummer or full contact whopee in there and then watch all hell break loose. Doesnt matter how tastefully done, or romantic, realistic, or emotionally appropriate it is. Put sex in a mass marketed game, and you will have folks screaming bloody murder as soon as it hits the self, IF you can find stores that would even carry it.

The best chance would be to release the all age version of something like Kanon, but the marketing demographics are kinda screwed. These games are aimed at a predominatly male audience, and your going to have a hard time convincing anyone to market a romace game to teenage males. Just isnt going to happen.

So your pretty much left with what we got right now, small scale PC distribution by companies that the vast majority of the US have never heard of.

So, I guess that means we all start brushing up on Japanese........
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Old 2004-05-20, 04:06   Link #137
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Just a note I think this discussion is going waaaaaaaaaaaaay off topic......it's probably better that if sum1 would start a new topic at the Games's forum, instead of extend this further here as it's clearly the discussion is drifting toward regarding the ero-games, instead of Kanon.

I think may be everyone should stop posting things that are not directly related to Kanon, and try not to let the discussion drift any further away from the actual Kanon anime and the actual Kanon game.
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Old 2004-05-20, 05:55   Link #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukari_kiss
lets all cross our fingers and keep waiting...otherwise, we might have to resolve to learning japanese LOL :P
As stated already, this is getting off topic, but I just have to say this after reading the above comment: what's wrong with actually getting off your ass and learn Japanese? Pardon the rather aggressive way of putting this, but you can't expect someone else to do all the hard work while you just sit around waving a big "gimme" sign.

Look on the bright side, if you do learn Japanese, you don't have to wait for translations that will never happen, you don't have to "rely" on fansubs, you don't have to get ripped off by importers, hell, you can even go on vacation in Japan without feeling helpless even without a guide. Of course, this doesn't only apply to learning Japanese.
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Old 2004-05-20, 09:21   Link #139
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I agree that no one has the right to demand other translate anything for them. (Unless they are paid to do that, which is not the case with fansubs.)

But to expect people to learn a very foreign language ... that is too much. It will take a couple years out of your life, and lots of money. Most young people don't have much money, and most older people have a hard time learning new languages. So unless your job requires it, or you happen to grow up in Japan, it is not very realistic for the average person.

I am glad there are some people who sacrifice their time and money to help translate Japanese manga, anime and games. But just like most students never become teachers, so most people who watch anime will never translate one. I wish there was some legal way to support fansubbers financially, but that is an ethical minefield in its own right. I guess it is OK to help their web sites through PayPal or Amazon Honor system, though.
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Old 2004-05-20, 12:26   Link #140
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Originally Posted by rayearth
As stated already, this is getting off topic, but I just have to say this after reading the above comment: what's wrong with actually getting off your ass and learn Japanese? Pardon the rather aggressive way of putting this, but you can't expect someone else to do all the hard work while you just sit around waving a big "gimme" sign.

Look on the bright side, if you do learn Japanese, you don't have to wait for translations that will never happen, you don't have to "rely" on fansubs, you don't have to get ripped off by importers, hell, you can even go on vacation in Japan without feeling helpless even without a guide. Of course, this doesn't only apply to learning Japanese.
I'm not looking for someone to do the work for me for free. I'll pay a good price for the translated game. There is a big difference there. That's hardly a "gimmie" sign. It's a "take my money" sign. I expect them to make a profit (if only they could ).

Yeah, there are a lot of advantages to learning Japanese, but languages are not easy for everyone. I can't learn them easily at all. I just don't have a brain wired for it.
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