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Exposure, and sometimes lack thereof

Suzu Fanatic

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Something that's been nagging at the back of my mind. Sometimes, you will see a VN get all kinds of public attention - LPs by major twitch and Youtube personalities, sometimes reviews from the more mainstream sites such as Kotaku.


And then in at least one particular case I am thinking of - there is nothing, zilch, it's like it never even happened.


As my two main examples, I bring forth Princess Evangile as the spotlight-grabber - and The Fruit of Grisaia as the ugly duckling.


(Now, I want you to set aside the matter of Fruit initially existing as a Fan TL - as the kind of exposure I am discussing involves a group of people that typically have nothing to do with VNs in the first place, and thus have little knowledge on the stuff going on "behind the scenes".) Also, keep in mind *both* are priced around the 40$ mark. And also, both are "all-ages" on Steam.


What are your thoughts? Did SP simply fail to advertise and market Fruit? Did they not provide review copies to the right people (or did they not even receive petitions?). So far, only two Curators have said anything on Steam, and other then some small-scale blog reviews, nothing of note touched on Fruit on the internet. Or does it boil down to a more basic element, such as the imagery presented, or the story description?


Or did they simply ignore the title they cannot mock as easily? (my personal opinion, disregard :P I liked Princess Evangile, but a lot of the exposure it got could be considered "bad but good" as it was often the butt of typical ridicule that goes with a non-fan of anime watching anime)


But even then, at least it was attention, right?


Curious what you people think - like I said, it's been bugging me, as Grisaia was a hugely anticipated title, and it jsut kinda, stumbled in without any fanfare. :P


Or do we just chalk it up to being a fickle market? :shrug:

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i believe Grisaia has better story and better characters than Princess Evangile.


Grisaia - characters force you to think, the story is original, and the characters look like normal human beings.


Princess Evangile - cherry love story, girly things everywhere (its too much), and the characters are being unrealistic (why can't they just bully him or something).

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Princess Evangile is a moege that doesn't pretend to be anything more.  Given the success of Sakura Spirit, it's not so surprising that a moe romantic comedy playing off well-known tropes would capture more attention than other game types.  Nekopara was the same way, and it did well.  I think what we're seeing is that Steam likes light entertainment that is fun without being too deep.

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I think that it is likely a bit of both. However there are a number of factors I believe which play a role in this...


1. All Ages. Yes both Fruit of Grisaia and Princess Evangile are "all ages" however what Princess Evangile does is specifically say that it is the "All Ages" version. This does a number of things one of which is point out that while yes the steam version is "all ages" it does have an adult version as well. Fruit of Grisaia does not mention this at all and that is a missed opportunity seeing as how half the people that picked up Princess Evangile are probably of the Sakura Spirit crowd.


2. Steam Reviews. Say what you will about them but just a cursory glance a number of the reviews are jokes in nature and the fact it has had 69 reviews since March makes me think no one is reviewing it to keep that little joke. Princess Evangile actually has less reviews on Steam than Fruit of Grisaia (69 to 114). Also most people already own the game who wanted it thanks to kickstarter and sad to say but we lot are rather lazy or don't want to give credit to the company until the 18+ or entire trilogy is out first.


3. Youtube Let's Players and the Lack of them: Basically there are currently a number of visual novels that are currently on the Banned list for streaming. Since Twitch is one of the biggest proponents of youtube gamers income and the fact that many actual devs do not want their games streamed (sekai project has a list)


Sekai Project:


  • Sakura Spirit is OK
  • Sakura Angels is OK, but you will need to replace the music.
  • Sunrider Academy is OK, but you will need to replace the music.
  • Sakura Fantasy Ch.1 is OK
  • Tobari and the Night of the Curious Moon is OK
  • Hitomebore is OK
  • NekoPara Vol 1 is up to Chapter 2
  • fault milestone one is up to Chapter 4
  • The Fruit of Grisaia is up to the end of June 5th in game. The last line that can be on YouTube is "...Seems this "student life" thing is pretty rough in its own way."
  • Raider Sphere 4th is OK.
  • Pyrite Heart is OK
  • Sunrider is OK
  • Narcissu is OK
  • planetarian is NOT ALLOWED.


Mangagamer Policy:


What is MangaGamer’s Policy on Streaming Games and Uploading Video?

We do condone livestreaming our games at length so long as the video is not archived or uploaded elsewhere. However, we strongly ask that you refrain from streaming the final chapters of the game or its character routes in order to encourage fans to purchase the game themselves. Uploaded or archived video falls under the following policy.

Users are permitted to upload and share video of any or all content featured in the free demos available on our website, or the first 20% of a game if such a demo does not exist. Further game content may be uploaded so long as it limited to non-sequential clips which are no more than a few minutes long. These clips may be arranged together in longer videos for the purpose of creating a video review. We DO NOT condone uploading a playthrough video or sequence of videos which cover our games from start to finish.


JAST USA Policy: I'm not sure they even have one...basically 18+ titles are not allowed on twitch or youtube and they only have a few all age titles. No idea what their policy on streaming is.


It seems that most of the companies do not allow games to be streamed in full and the reason for this is simple...there isn't a whole lot of replay value in re-reading visual novels but by doing this they are essentially limiting the exposure because youtube personas don't want to do partial let's plays. The other thing is that most of these youtube personas probably do not even have time to read and review some of these bigger visual novels. 


I definitely believe that SP failed to market Grisaia and most of the visual novel companies are guilty of improper marketing techniques...they are however getting more recognition than ever before and I imagine it will gradually get better and better. 


I am pretty sure I had some other points to make but since we are only dealing with two games at the moment I'll just stick to these two games to start with.

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Planetarian not being allowed is likely Key's policy.

Hmm, I would say SP kinda advertised the game poorly as well, I didn't see it anywhere other than Kickstarter news on some anime sites.

I think one key reason that wasn't mentioned is also the fact that, Grisaia is "old".

The core fanbase of Grisaia has already played it and discussed it at length, and sure they'll likely support the official localization, but you just can't get the hype back after the game has been translated for the VN public for 2 years, it's something that most avid fans have already gotten over and while it being officially released on Steam increases exposure to a wider fanbase, I feel like this new fanbase is smaller in comparison to the hundreds of people who've already played it and don't care to discuss everything again.

Another reason is the grisaia anime, it was bad and didn't do the VN any justice and this is likely to turn some people off, although it can also do the reverse in which people want to see the non shit version of the story.

Mostly i just think Grisaia is past its prime and is unlikely to pick that much Steam.

And SP worsens this by not releasing the 18+ version alongside the all ages one, something that should have happened from the get go, basically alienating a big part of the fanbase already, and others just want to wait for the trilogy to be completed.

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Sometimes the reasons for not allowing youtube/video content for these titles is not to do with the publishers/translators at all but to do with the developers or their parent companies decisions. Its hard to suddenly change the opinion that video content can provide an increase in sales and because their isn't much accurate proof of it accept for a few stand out cases. Convincing devs of more open stream rules will take a bit more time. More good exposure is generally more sales even if its not immediate everyone has different reasons for purchases. From interacting with some youtubers I know that some reactions are like " if this big guy does it its more appealing that I do it also" this can be a pretty big chain reaction. As many want to do videos that people will find entertaining. I'm not entirely sure if Grisaia is the best for that based on its pacing since theirs a lot more thinking and less quick reactions? Its not so much shock and awe factor despite some of the crazy things that ensue.

  Sometimes projects will blow up in popularity but not for the best reasons. Big press publications are not entirely adverse to covering visual novels its just them seeing it in all the regular stuff they get is pretty hard they need to be sending out 100+(keys) emails instead of 40 or so when trying to promote something like these titles. 


Also can confirm planetarian not being allowed video content is due to Key. At or before the time of planetarians release Sekai didn't have much of a Marketing strategy or the staff to fulfil it only very near launch was something done but only briefly. From what I understand a lot of the money received on kickstarter really just goes into translation costs/license costs and putting money back into the developer. Sekai's in it for the long haul but promoting visual novels is a tricky challenge that requires some dedication or manpower. I feel that theirs some under advertising for titles atm but I also don't know if that's just major publications choosing not to respond or them not having the right contacts right now.

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In terms of streaming, I think Grisaia and most visual novels in general are far too slow to be streamed. It's sorta like The Witcher 3. A critically acclaimed game, but generally something that's boring to watch other people play.  To be fair, the only person I've ever watched stream a VN is SodaPoppin, and he has the attention span of a 5 year old for anything that's not World of Warcraft. Something like NekoPara is pretty easy to stream cause well, bouncing boobs.


I mean, VNs in general are very niche. Review copies are nice and all, but only if you can find people who want to actually read/play the VN or if it fits their channel.

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I covered fruits of grisaia for its release. Would have written an article about it's kickstarter at the time if I had had a site then.



The reason it's not been promoted is due to how successful the kickstarter was, it's common for developers to only market their KS and if it does well do little else. They already secured a sizeable amount of profit for doing nothing more than a TS that was available for free, why bother trying to market to the IGN crowd who won't buy it anyway?

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