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Sekai Project depends on crowdfunding entirely too much


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There's no need to be pointlessly snarky.

Fiddle and Sanahtlig gave good arguments that can lead to think of SP's usage of kickstarter as unethical. The very assumption that as long as they *can* do it and people follow them on it, then there's no reason for them to not do it, is very dubious to me. At least it's just as subjective as the aforementioned arguments.

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Fiddle and Sanahtlig gave good arguments that can lead to think of SP's usage of kickstarter as unethical. The very assumption that as long as they *can* do it and people follow them on it, then there's no reason for them to not do it, is very dubious to me. At least it's just as subjective as the aforementioned arguments.

Can you expand on this?

From what I understand, you're suggesting that as it is there's a possibility they may one day not deliver a product and scam people out of their money?

 

This would certainly be a one time move, no way they'd be able to repeat it again, and if they were to do it, it would likely be at a time where they have more than one kickstarter going on to maximize $$$.

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Can you expand on this?

From what I understand, you're suggesting that as it is there's a possibility they may one day not deliver a product and scam people out of their money?

 

This would certainly be a one time move, no way they'd be able to repeat it again, and if they were to do it, it would likely be at a time where they have more than one kickstarter going on to maximize $$$.

No. What I'm saying is that, the fact that 1) it works (to clarify: scamming people doesn't "work" as it is obviously not an optimal way of doing things) 2) it's legal, is not sufficient to claim something is "ethical". What other people claimed, and I find their arguments good for those I cited, is that using kickstarter in this way can indeed be seen as "unethical".

 

With that said, I'm not exactly a strong believer in the meaningfulness of ethics, and I don't care very much either about SP's doings and financial situation and whatever. I guess I just don't like the assumption that anything goes as long as it works and it's legal, and I especially don't like the often underlying tone that this kind "ultra-liberal" attitude is some intrinsic rule of nature.

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No. What I'm saying is that, the fact that 1) it works (to clarify: scamming people doesn't "work" as it is obviously not an optimal way of doing things) 2) it's legal, is not sufficient to claim something is "ethical". What other people claimed, and I find their arguments good for those I cited, is that using kickstarter in this way can indeed be seen as "unethical".

 

With that said, I'm not exactly a strong believer in the meaningfulness of ethics, and I don't care very much either about SP's doings and financial situation and whatever. I guess I just don't like the assumption that anything goes as long as it works and it's legal, and I especially don't like the often underlying tone that this kind "ultra-liberal" attitude is some intrinsic rule of nature.

I see.

I don't agree with the "anything goes" as well, but in this particular issue I do not believe Sekai Project is taking a particularly unethical approach.

 

It's a win-win scenario with no real cons (No porn/Issues like what ensued with the Grisaia Kickstarter are possible cons) where Sekai Project technically makes off with more money than they should (by taking an approach where they have 0 risk and 0 cost when they have the means to opt for "normal/conventional" tried and tested means with fewer risks for the consumer), but so long as the people supporting a kickstarter do it because they want the product, even if it does not exist yet, then I have no moral issues with it either.

Assuming Sekai doesn't fail to deliver a product, ever. Which I believe they won't. Such a thing would give them a terrible blow not worth the cost. If they partner up with smaller groups/devs they would rather bite their heads off than letting them fail, I'd suspect.

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 that way it is up to the ppl which projects will live and which won't. 

 

 

Exactly how it should be. :D After all, it's the people that want visual novels brought over - if we don't get a say in what gets ported, thenn who should? If a kickstarter fails, it means no one wanted it.

 

But setting that aside, let's all remember we all have something in common. We all love visual novels. :heart:

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Unethical for me would be if they're taking advantage of their costumers without them knowing it.

 

But Kickstarter is, quite frankly, one of the more honest ways to go about this.

 

They're literally exposing everything they're doing to you and what you're getting for when you pay them and you only pay and support them if you'd like.

They're not taking advantage of you, they're trying to involve you in the process of licensing a game and you only chose to support it if you want to.

Unlike Jast or MG who only license the titles they feel they should license, SP actually asks their audience what they want licensed by launching a kickstarter and letting the fans decide.

 

They're not shoving this down your throat, and like I mentioned earlier most of their kickstarters aren't even theirs to begin with, they're just indie devs who happened to partner with SP for extra advertisement, SP will likely not profit much off of it.

Just because SP puts those kickstarters on their websites doesn't mean SP is the one in charge of those projects, they're just helping them get exposure.

 

I really fail to see how unethical this is when SP is one of the companies that's most directly involved with fans, where the fans decide who to support and where to put their money in.

 

You're saying they shouldn't keep doing it because they should establish themselves as a business by now instead of relying on fans throwing money at them, but I think they already have, they're pretty much an advertisement agency, and all the kickstarters or their page are primarly done by indie developers who are doing their own thing, so SP is just listing a bunch of Kickstarters at once, what's so inherently wrong with that??

 

This whole "dishonest" and "unethical" talk gives me a headache.

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Guest -Shizuku-

I love the fact I found more voices of reason in this thread... I think that as long as those projects are finished it's nothing wrong. Also, aren't donating people getting something of it? Most kickstarters has something like this, be it lower price, faster access etc. There are tons of visual novels I would love to have in english but they have like 0 chance and I would pay to see them translated.

Nosebleed :( how to be Idol like you???

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I don't agree with the "anything goes" as well, but in this particular issue I do not believe Sekai Project is taking a particularly unethical approach.

Well, there's plenty of comments here to support the claim that this practice isn't ethical, but that doesn't mean it can be seen as a bad thing. This is a bit of an unrelated topic, but think of the story of Robin Hood and his tales of thieving from the rich. While it is certainly a noble cause to fight against tyranny and corruption, what he did was still unethical. But that's just the thing, do we want to discourage his actions just because of that? It depends on who you ask, really, but there are many of those who can appreciate Robin Hood's actions to help the poor. And believe me when I say that there are people who are opposed to him. To put it in perspective of what SP's doing, they're basically giving us an opportunity to read visual novels that otherwise wouldn't be available without a Kickstarter. Sure, their means of going about it are questionable, but would you ever consider works like Grisaia and Clannad being feasible products for MG and Jast to acquire? They want to rely on ethical means to keep their business going, so of course those two projects would have been out of reach for them. To make matters worse, their stance against licensing works with fan patches would have made this idea nearly impossible for them.

 

I can see why this Kickstarter approach would bother a lot of people. SP is doing things differently than what we're use to seeing, and some have a tendency to reject things they aren't use to. It's kinda like an old man rejecting modern-day technology. Old people could argue that technology has lead to a depreciation of life quality and laziness, which is similar to how we claim that this devalues finer business standards. Frankly, I think that those who are opposed to SP's idea of marketing are too closed-minded. If it works, let us appreciate the fruit of the success, and if it doesn't, then this likely won't be a concern to us anymore. This practice is still rather fresh, give it a chance and see where it goes. Personally, I think it's done a good enough job already since we did get one ambitious project out of it.

 

And about Japanese companies that are reluctant to hand licenses to SP for using Kickstarter, I think that can very easily turn around if this type of marketing is successful. If they were concerned about ethics, I couldn't see them releasing products that sexualize little girls, so I can't logically see this being the main concern. That is, unless those companies put business ethics on a higher pedestal than human ethics (bare with me, I'm not overly familiar in this area). If SP proves that this can be an effective way to spread VNs to the west, those companies might warm up to the idea of using Kickstarter. Frontwing and Key probably saw the potential in it and took it as an opportunity to release their work in the west without having to worry about the localizing company.

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It baffles me people still support them. It's like you want to get robbed.

It shouldn't baffle you as to why people support them because this thread is on page six and full of arguments for and against their activities. Please actually read these discussions and post a well-reasoned counterpoint if you have one, otherwise don't bother with the pointless thread shitting.

 

As for your "get robbed" remark, so far they've delivered on several of their kickstarters and don't show any signs of abandoning the others. I'm not exactly sure who they're supposedly robbing.

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It shouldn't baffle you as to why people support them because this thread is on page six and full of arguments for and against their activities. Please actually read these discussions and post a well-reasoned counterpoint if you have one, otherwise don't bother with the pointless thread shitting.

 

As for your "get robbed" remark, so far they've delivered on several of their kickstarters and don't show any signs of abandoning the others. I'm not exactly sure who they're supposedly robbing.

 

Just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean they're shitposting.

Last I heard there was a problem with the Grisaia kickstarter where people weren't going to get the backing rewards SP promised, though I didn't really read too much about it.

Then there's things like how the translation for If My Heart Had Wings was less than stellar, or how some of their translators were people rejected from Mangagamer for being bad translators.

On a more personal note, I hold them in scorn for crap like the Sakura series, but that's another story.

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Last I heard there was a problem with the Grisaia kickstarter where people weren't going to get the backing rewards SP promised, though I didn't really read too much about it.

This is a legit complaint, though it's actually on Kickstarter and not SP. SP asked Kickstarter if suggestive material was okay for their backing rewards and Kickstarter said 'yeah as long as it's not actually pornographic'. Then SP had some dakimakura or whatever for higher-tier backers and Kickstarter said 'Woah those pillow covers are pornographic so we're going to delete that entire tier'. I guess SP could have run everything by KS first to make sure it was all okay, but I'm guessing they looked at the dakimakura and said 'well there's no naughty bits being outright shown so this should be okay' and just went ahead with it.

 

But, I mean, SP didn't deliberately do this, and at best all we can say is 'well now they know so they should be more careful in the future'. They aren't robbing anyone, it was an honest mistake.

 

Edit: After more research it turns out the dakimakura/sheet covers were legit nude. They were just shown censored on the Kickstarter page.

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It's not even a question of refunding, this tier was deleted when the kickstarter wasn't even over so nobody had had their credit card debited then. And the backers that had their pledge deleted were offered some sort of solution by SP.

 

This should rather raise the question of whether Kickstarter is really an appropriate place to fund localization of visual novels when they can arbitrarily censor 18+ material.

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