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Sekai Project cropped G-Senjou no Maou CGs


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I don't really feel like adding anything to this discussion other than that I do get where people who are critical of Sekai are coming from and I do agree that Sekai really could use some improvement in how they communicate with their user-base (they recently hired some PR people so hopefully that will get better). I also think that people are massively overreacting with their criticism of Sekai. When the legitimate criticism of Sekai gets buried in hasty conclusions and people acting like Sekai has personally offended them with cries of censorship and whatnot it does no one any favours.

There is however one thing which I feel really needs to be cleared up. Every single time Sekai is discussed there are some people who criticize their use of Kickstarter. This in itself isn't something I have a problem with and I personally wish they would rely less on kickstarter myself. The problem is that a lot of these people makes some massive assumption about Sekai when they do this. A common criticism of Sekai (found several times in this thread) is that Sekai has tons of money and therefore shouldn't need to rely on Kickstarter. This is completely unfounded, none of you have any way to prove that this is the case. Clannad and Grisaia overreaching all the goals means nothing as we have no idea how much of that money reaches Sekai. It's possible that almost all that "extra" money went right to Frontwing and VisualArts. Considering that Frontwing apparently were the ones who decided to put a higher goal on the kickstarter than in the prefundia so they could earn more money it certainly seems likely in Grisaia's case. Considering the state of the eroge industry it isn't really strange that Japanese companies would be attracted to kickstarter. Or maybe the money all went to Sekai, the point is: We don't actually know.

So it's absolutely fine to be critical of Sekai's use of Kickstarte but please stop saying things like Sekai having millions lying around or Dovac being filthy rich without any proof and criticize them for the things you actually know are true instead.

What is the problem with the statement about KS which resulted dovac being filthy rich? :) By me all is exactly true. Anyway, whole point is that KS getting millions without any real work would result in companies like MG and Jast going into think "what the hell?? we do all work on our own money, spend years in translations and in the end get 500000$ max in 2 years, while SP does nothing, except KS and get billions even without doing anything, and more - based on fan translations!". Not fair, so I suppose soon MG would start making KS campaigns as well and after would be Jast. This is why this whole idea is worst possible one, as Sekai is not motivated to deliver quality product at all - of course, I would not be motivated as well, if I got million dollars without doing anything :)

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Anyway, whole point is that KS getting millions without any real work would result in companies like MG and Jast going into think "what the hell?? we do all work on our own money, spend years in translations and in the end get 500000$ max in 2 years, while SP does nothing, except KS and get billions even without doing anything, and more - based on fan translations!". Not fair, so I suppose soon MG would start making KS campaigns as well and after would be Jast. This is why this whole idea is worst possible one, as Sekai is not motivated to deliver quality product at all - of course, I would not be motivated as well, if I got million dollars without doing anything :)

That's called survival of the fittest :makina: With the current state of things, I'm not giving MG and Jast more than another decade at most.

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I don't really feel like adding anything to this discussion other than that I do get where people who are critical of Sekai are coming from and I do agree that Sekai really could use some improvement in how they communicate with their user-base (they recently hired some PR people so hopefully that will get better). I also think that people are massively overreacting with their criticism of Sekai. When the legitimate criticism of Sekai gets buried in hasty conclusions and people acting like Sekai has personally offended them with cries of censorship and whatnot it does no one any favours.

There is however one thing which I feel really needs to be cleared up. Every single time Sekai is discussed there are some people who criticize their use of Kickstarter. This in itself isn't something I have a problem with and I personally wish they would rely less on kickstarter myself. The problem is that a lot of these people makes some massive assumption about Sekai when they do this. A common criticism of Sekai (found several times in this thread) is that Sekai has tons of money and therefore shouldn't need to rely on Kickstarter. This is completely unfounded, none of you have any way to prove that this is the case. Clannad and Grisaia overreaching all the goals means nothing as we have no idea how much of that money reaches Sekai. It's possible that almost all that "extra" money went right to Frontwing and VisualArts. Considering that Frontwing apparently were the ones who decided to put a higher goal on the kickstarter than in the prefundia so they could earn more money it certainly seems likely in Grisaia's case. Considering the state of the eroge industry it isn't really strange that Japanese companies would be attracted to kickstarter. Or maybe the money all went to Sekai, the point is: We don't actually know.

So it's absolutely fine to be critical of Sekai's use of Kickstarte but please stop saying things like Sekai having millions lying around or Dovac being filthy rich without any proof and criticize them for the things you actually know are true instead.

What is the problem with the statement about KS which resulted dovac being filthy rich? :) By me all is exactly true. Anyway, whole point is that KS getting millions without any real work would result in companies like MG and Jast going into think "what the hell?? we do all work on our own money, spend years in translations and in the end get 500000$ max in 2 years, while SP does nothing, except KS and get billions even without doing anything, and more - based on fan translations!". Not fair, so I suppose soon MG would start making KS campaigns as well and after would be Jast. This is why this whole idea is worst possible one, as Sekai is not motivated to deliver quality product at all - of course, I would not be motivated as well, if I got million dollars without doing anything :)

Didn't you read anything of what I said? You simply have no proof of anything you are saying. All of Sekai's kickstarters so far have been either them translating an existing Japanese product or them acting as publishers to help out create a new one. I:E all of their kickstarters have involved another entity other than Sekai. We have no idea how they split up the money between them. Also none of their kickstarters have reached 1 million and only 2 of them have reached even 100.000 so uh... billions? Also none of Sekai's kickstarters have been based on fan translations. The Grisaia and World End Economica kickstarters both included untranslated content and the Clannad translation is entirely new.

Also the thought that someone who wanted to scam people and make tons of money would choose visual novels of all things is simply ridiculous, there simply isn't a lot of money to be made here.

I don't even like that Sekai is using kickstarter so much and I really respect Mangagamer for saying that they're not going to. So I don't even like Sekai project all that much yet I still end up defending them all the time since people keep making unfounded accusations. There are tons of legitimate critiques to be made about both Sekai and their use of kickstarter, do that instead of making stuff up.

Edited by Beato
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I'll say nothing of anything else being said right now but by all accounts, Dovac lives a pretty impoverished lifestyle. None of the money seems to be going to him, at least. SP has been expanding super rapidly over the last two years, taking on an enormous amount of work and nabbing up a ton of licenses, many of which are without Kickstarter's help. That's probably where the money is going.

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I don't really feel like adding anything to this discussion other than that I do get where people who are critical of Sekai are coming from and I do agree that Sekai really could use some improvement in how they communicate with their user-base (they recently hired some PR people so hopefully that will get better). I also think that people are massively overreacting with their criticism of Sekai. When the legitimate criticism of Sekai gets buried in hasty conclusions and people acting like Sekai has personally offended them with cries of censorship and whatnot it does no one any favours.

There is however one thing which I feel really needs to be cleared up. Every single time Sekai is discussed there are some people who criticize their use of Kickstarter. This in itself isn't something I have a problem with and I personally wish they would rely less on kickstarter myself. The problem is that a lot of these people makes some massive assumption about Sekai when they do this. A common criticism of Sekai (found several times in this thread) is that Sekai has tons of money and therefore shouldn't need to rely on Kickstarter. This is completely unfounded, none of you have any way to prove that this is the case. Clannad and Grisaia overreaching all the goals means nothing as we have no idea how much of that money reaches Sekai. It's possible that almost all that "extra" money went right to Frontwing and VisualArts. Considering that Frontwing apparently were the ones who decided to put a higher goal on the kickstarter than in the prefundia so they could earn more money it certainly seems likely in Grisaia's case. Considering the state of the eroge industry it isn't really strange that Japanese companies would be attracted to kickstarter. Or maybe the money all went to Sekai, the point is: We don't actually know.

So it's absolutely fine to be critical of Sekai's use of Kickstarte but please stop saying things like Sekai having millions lying around or Dovac being filthy rich without any proof and criticize them for the things you actually know are true instead.

What is the problem with the statement about KS which resulted dovac being filthy rich? :) By me all is exactly true. Anyway, whole point is that KS getting millions without any real work would result in companies like MG and Jast going into think "what the hell?? we do all work on our own money, spend years in translations and in the end get 500000$ max in 2 years, while SP does nothing, except KS and get billions even without doing anything, and more - based on fan translations!". Not fair, so I suppose soon MG would start making KS campaigns as well and after would be Jast. This is why this whole idea is worst possible one, as Sekai is not motivated to deliver quality product at all - of course, I would not be motivated as well, if I got million dollars without doing anything :)

Didn't you read anything of what I said? You simply have no proof of anything you are saying. All of Sekai's kickstarters so far has been either them translating an existing Japanese product or them acting as publishers to help out create a new one. I:E all of their kickstarters have involved another entity other than Sekai. We have no idea how they split up the money between them. Also none of their kickstarters have reached 1 million and only 2 of them have reached even 100.000 so uh... billions? Also none of Sekai's kickstarters have been based on fan translations. The Grisaia and World End Economica kickstarters both included untranslated content and the Clannad translation is entirely new.

Also the thought that someone who wanted to scam people and make tons of money would choose visual novels of all things is simply ridiculous, there simply isn't a lot of money to be made here.

I don't even like that Sekai is using kickstarter so much and I really respect Mangagamer for saying that they're not going to. So I don't even like Sekai project all that much yet I still end up having to defending them all the time since people keep making unfounded accusations. There are tons of legitimate critiques to be made about both Sekai and their use of kickstarter, do that instead of making stuff up.

Are you joking? Count at least these two, I got even more than 1 million, and how much they got funded apart KS - only dovac knows:

Grisaia - 4,348 backers pledged $475,255 to help bring this project to life.
Clannad - 5,819 backers pledged $541,161 to help bring this project to life.

You really think retranslation of Clannad cost $541,161?? I doubt any of other publishers ever got such a sum without even doing anything. Grisaia no Kajitsu is completely based on koestl fan translation, only added maybe 1% for pieces which were removed because of all-ages.

So do not even try. I hate dovac attitude towards fans and hope they close asap. But most probably someone else would close and Sekai would still parasite on the fans.
 

Edited by Scorp
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I'll say nothing of anything else being said right now but by all accounts, Dovac lives a pretty impoverished lifestyle. None of the money seems to be going to him, at least. SP has been expanding super rapidly over the last two years, taking on an enormous amount of work and nabbing up a ton of licenses, many of which are without Kickstarter's help. That's probably where the money is going.

Yeah, impoverished Raymond working only for fans, eating instant ramen and all going for games... Do you believe this yourself? Imagine, how you got more than $1,400,000 (that's only for KS projects, and how much he got outside that?) and "live impoverished life"?... Unbelieveable, by me.

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Dovac pays himself 1000$ a month, it's not even a secret. He also mentioned multiple times he quit a 6-digit salary job to make Sekai Project and made multiple loans for it. 

You also seem to completely forget how much it costs to make all tje physical goods and send them to the backers in a KS. And KS's cut of the pie. And yes, translating something as long as clannad or grisaia ay a decent rate costs money.

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Dovac pays himself 1000$ a month, it's not even a secret. He also mentioned multiple times he quit a 6-digit salary job to make Sekai Project and made multiple loans for it. 

You also seem to completely forget how much it costs to make all tje physical goods and send them to the backers in a KS. And KS's cut of the pie. And yes, translating something as long as clannad or grisaia ay a decent rate costs money.

I pay myself less than 300$ a month, so what? I would not believe everything he tell without check, and we do not have a way to prove if he is telling truth or not.

koestl did that for free (as it was fan translation anyway), and I doubt he will get tons of money from dovac for translating other games.

Yes, I know how much it cost to make all physical goods, and that's exactly why Sekai do not do any of them apart the ones funded on KS. And I believe 120$ is enough to do print a copy in China and pay for sending expenses, I can actually count, we printed some boxes with CDs not long ago, it costed dunno, 2$ per item, if I remember correctly.

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Koestl was definitely paid for his Grisaia translations, he has said as much. And we don't have any proof that Dovac isn't taking a bigger cut, but we do have good reason to believe him. If he was pocketing as big of a percentage of that money as you think he is, SP would not have been able to expand at nearly the rate it has been able to. Like, I don't know how you don't realize this, but their expansion was insanely rapid, taking on way more projects, way sooner in its life than practically any publisher in all of video games. You don't do this if the CEO is siphoning away most of the revenue for personal gain. I don't think he's doing it for the public good or anything as he stands to make a large amount of money from this business in the future, I'm just being realistic here. You can't have these kinds of unrealistic kneejerk reactions and should focus criticism in the areas where they're actually applicable and needed, such as their troubled interactions with the fanbase or lack of transparency with 18+ content.

Also, yet again, people are forgetting that the Japanese companies partnered with SP/MG/JAST exist. And you better believe that they are the ones actually making the lion's share of the money here. 

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Anyway, whole point is that KS getting millions without any real work would result in companies like MG and Jast going into think "what the hell?? we do all work on our own money, spend years in translations and in the end get 500000$ max in 2 years, while SP does nothing, except KS and get billions even without doing anything, and more - based on fan translations!". Not fair, so I suppose soon MG would start making KS campaigns as well and after would be Jast. This is why this whole idea is worst possible one, as Sekai is not motivated to deliver quality product at all - of course, I would not be motivated as well, if I got million dollars without doing anything :)

That's called survival of the fittest :makina: With the current state of things, I'm not giving MG and Jast more than another decade at most.

Unlikely. Both survived just fine before VNs on Steam were even a thing.

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Anyway, whole point is that KS getting millions without any real work would result in companies like MG and Jast going into think "what the hell?? we do all work on our own money, spend years in translations and in the end get 500000$ max in 2 years, while SP does nothing, except KS and get billions even without doing anything, and more - based on fan translations!". Not fair, so I suppose soon MG would start making KS campaigns as well and after would be Jast. This is why this whole idea is worst possible one, as Sekai is not motivated to deliver quality product at all - of course, I would not be motivated as well, if I got million dollars without doing anything :)

That's called survival of the fittest :makina: With the current state of things, I'm not giving MG and Jast more than another decade at most.

Unlikely. Both survived just fine before VNs on Steam were even a thing.

If you want to call nukige spam and a release once a decade "surviving" sure. 

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In response to the OP:

To be fair, your post on Steam WAS promoting piracy.  And furthermore, your insistence that Sekai Project's official releases somehow have to "beat" free unauthorized fan translations really tarnishes your argument.  There's no such thing as a "free" version of a paid game.  That's piracy.  It was a little rude to ban you rather than just edit or delete the thread, but they were perfectly in their rights to censor you.

As for the second thread, that's genuine suppression of dissent, and that shouldn't be tolerated.  That's reason enough to boycott a company.  I suggest Sekai Project explain themselves quick, or I might just throw them in the "never buy from this company" category.

As for the issue of cropped CG itself, that was known since they first released screenshots.  I thought it was dumb then and I think it's dumb now.  Cropping CGs is a demerit not a feature.  Normally people can choose to set their monitor/video card to deal with the aspect ratio issue in one of three ways: fullscreen mode with sidebars, full screen mode zoomed (crops the image), full screen mode stretched, or stick with windowed mode.  Cropping the images manually removes user options and is generally inferior to fullscreen mode with sidebars anyway.  I'm not sure why a company would even do this except to tick a feature checkbox. 

 

Edited by sanahtlig
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As for the second thread, that's genuine suppression of dissent, and that shouldn't be tolerated.  That's reason enough to boycott a company.  I suggest they explain themselves quick, or I might just throw them in the "never buy from this company" category.

 

There's probably akabei behind this.

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As for the second thread, that's genuine suppression of dissent, and that shouldn't be tolerated.  That's reason enough to boycott a company.  I suggest they explain themselves quick, or I might just throw them in the "never buy from this company" category.

 

There's probably akabei behind this.

I highly doubt Akabei Soft is monitoring the Steam forums.  Monitoring and communicating with the English fanbase is one of Sekai Project's core responsibilities as the English publisher.

Edited by sanahtlig
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Ok, so I looked around and found this:

This topic has been pinned, so it's probably important
notification_icon_flag_dark.png?v=1
5194fad432022dc6503cf379329d201ed3e22ca7
sekaiproject  [developer] 19 hours ago
Cropped CGs
As part of AKABEiSOFT2's standard renewal process of handling older games, the game was to be converted to 16:9 widescreen format. This was done with the same methods of how they converted another title from their sister brand, Akatsuki no Goei.

While some users are disappointed at how this was handled we will not be delaying the release but will ask if there is a way to enable original 4:3 support.

Further threads regarding this will be locked or deleted.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/377670/discussions/0/490124466479176329/

That's why the second thread was removed.  I suppose that explains it.  It's not very classy to one-sidedly terminate all discussion on the topic, but they stickied it so the information content is there.  I think it's restrictive of free speech, but it's not unethical so I won't complain further about it.

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https://www.reddit.com/r/visualnovels/comments/3rg7y9/sekai_project_and_rvisualnovels/

 

Maybe this will add a little more perspective?

 

Or not, because some people in this thread seem unable to read. 

W-what, you're telling me Sekai Project isn't an evil orgnization that hates visual novels?
I-I don't believe you!
Blasphemy!
*throws salt*

The hate on the G-senjou CG thing has been so blown out of proportion it's not even funny anymore.
Seriously, a huge hate mob over cropped CGs? Grow up.

In fact, the hate on SP in general is a bit ridiculous to say the least and, as someone who doesn't really like SP that much, even I feel the need to defend them when stupidity like this is brought up.

I'm not a die hard fan of SP and i've criticized the way they handle their games before, mostly on their lack of communication, but I find it stupid to assume that because something happens to one of their games that some users don't like they are automatically the hitler of VNs.
Seriously the amount of assumptions people have built around SP is insane. And while you can argue it's because they don't talk with their fanbase a lot, I can also imagine that with such a whiny fanbase most people wouldn't want to communicate with them.
Not only that, but as soon as a tiny portion of a game is not handled as the fanbase expected, people just assume SP hates VNs and wants to ruin everything for everyone.
What basis do most accusations towards SP have? The way I see it, a lot of them are just baseless anger because... entitlement.

From my point of view, a lot of people seem upset that fan translations are now being made non-free and they feel like SP is just taking advantage of stuff that, according to a lot of fans, should be righteously free as it was made by fans for fans. (i.e "muh free pornz")
This logic is absurd and shows the absolute sense of entitlement a chunk of the fanbase has.
As someone who wants to be a translator, I would be honored if a big company came to me because of my fan translations and wanted to make them official, and I'm sure a lot of other fan translators feel the same way, that's why people like koestl and astro even work with SP.
And before you come in with the "they just threatened them with legal action!"; well, for 1) there's no proof of this and 2) they are, for all intents and purposes, doing something illegal, however, I never once saw SP condemning fan translations, so...??

As for the usage of Kickstarters, there's always a long debate on this, but the fact of the matter still stands: we can't make assumptions regarding SP's financial situation with no proof.
Yeah we see big numbers in a couple of their KS, but so what? That proves literally jack shit, we don't know what's in their contract with the original game makers.
And yes, even I think a company should strive to be independent and I think if SP's entire business model relies on KS, this could potentially bite them in the ass in the future.
But hell, I don't go out of my way to say "don't fund this! SP is ruining the VN! this already has a fan translation!".
Just don't fund their games if you don't want to, it's so simple. I know I haven't.

Going back to this original "issue" in the OP.
Why do you automatically assume SP just went "yeah you know what the fans will like? If we crop the CGs!".
Think rationally about this, question them on their decisions instead of throwing salt at them and going on a tantrum, that solves nobody's problems.

I do agree that the censorship of critique wasn't the best move, but it's not with pure anger that you'll get an actual answer out of them.

Maybe if we just think calmly about it we can see that a lot of the decisions aren't in SP's hands, that Japanese devs can actually be douchebags about some things, and that SP is in a position of "we're screwed either way", yet they push things out as best as they can, and for that I wholeheartedly praise them.

In general, a lot of the hatred towards SP just seems to stem from the fact that SP is handling things in ways that weren't done before in the industry.
It's unusual, scary even to some, but they are showing growth and have delivered on a few of their bigger projects and don't seem to slow down. Isn't that what people wanted to begin with? (I know some don't, but for those I have nothing else to say).
Imho, I really believe they need some time to actually build trust with their costumers and push out their releases in a more timely fashion, as well as improve their communication and the way they handled uncensored releases, but these are all ultimately things they can improve in the future, so why not just wait it out and see how the big releases like G-senjou go.
Grisaia eventually came out after all the turmoil, so there's no reason to believe G-senjou won't follow similar patterns, so I'd really suggest people calm themselves and stop lashing out at SP for unfounded reasons, it's not doing anybody any favors.

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As for the second thread, that's genuine suppression of dissent, and that shouldn't be tolerated.  That's reason enough to boycott a company.  I suggest they explain themselves quick, or I might just throw them in the "never buy from this company" category.

 

There's probably akabei behind this.

I highly doubt Akabei Soft is monitoring the Steam forums.  Monitoring and communicating with the English fanbase is one of Sekai Project's core responsibilities as the English publisher.

No but they can give them precise directives.

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I finally read through the thread and it looks like this is what happened:

  1. People complain on the Steam forums that G-senjou's "HD" CG are cropped.
  2. Sekai Project deletes the threads.
  3. Users on Reddit and elsewhere go ballistic because *coverup*.
  4. Sekai Project makes a vague statement that they're not allowed to speak on the subject at this time, and that they'll delete all Steam discussions about it.
  5. Sekai Project (likely after consulting with Akabei Soft) makes a statement that the cropping was Akabei Soft's decision.  They sticky this in the Steam forums.
  6. Criticism mostly dies down.
  7. Sanahtlig sees this topic and reacts to 1-3 before reading up on later developments.

In any case, Sekai Project handled this poorly.  They shouldn't have started deleting threads until they had a complete announcement available.  As usual, their PR leaves much to be desired.

Moral of the story: For Christ's sake update the OP with a link to Sekai Project's official Steam sticky so these misunderstandings won't continue to be propagated.

Edited by sanahtlig
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I finally read through the thread and it looks like this is what happened:

  1. People complain on Steam forums that G-senjou's "HD" CG are cropped.
  2. Sekai Project deletes the threads.
  3. Users on Reddit and elsewhere go ballistic because *coverup*.
  4. Sekai Project makes a vague statement that they're not allowed to speak on the subject at this time, and that they'll delete all Steam discussions about it.
  5. Sekai Project (likely after consulting with Akabei Soft) makes a statement that the cropping was Akabei Soft's decision.  They sticky this in the Steam forums.
  6. Criticism mostly dies down.
  7. Sanahtlig sees this topic and reacts to 1-3 before reading up on later developments.

In any case, Sekai Project handled this poorly.  They shouldn't have started deleting threads until they had a complete announcement available.  As usual, their PR leaves much to be desired.

Moral of the story: For Christ's sake update the OP with a link to Sekai Project's official Steam sticky so these misunderstandings won't continue to be propagated.

Can't do that. It doesn't fit the "Sekai Project is the Hitler of VNs" narrative. 

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