Jump to content

The Market of VNs Around the World - Discussion


Recommended Posts

 

 It was an example sanahtlig, not a full representation of the market. There is a reason I said that the word "good" is an arbitrary term. What you think is a good game is not necessarily what I or others may enjoy, making the JAST comment moot (i.e. = I hate School Days).

As for lack of developer interest, someone else was arguing that point, so I can't really say much about that. Cerulean is right in saying that learning the language is a much better option, but a lot of fans feel entitled in the west and that seems to be a major issue when it comes to anything on the internet.

The EOCS and its reaction to the Rapelay incident is just one of many barriers facing the English eroge market.  That particular barrier is pretty easy to circumvent: strip out the ero content before releasing the game in the West.  And companies might end up doing exactly that!  Pulltop was the first, followed by Tenco and Debonosu.  Pulltop clearly gave up on the English eroge market, since they used to work with JAST.  Tenco is connected to Littlewitch, who also worked with JAST.  Debonosu rejected an overture from Sekai Project.  Evidence suggests these companies haven't just ignored the English eroge market.  They've likely outright rejected it.

The English VN market has grown by just about any metric one can imagine over the past 15 years, and I expect the trend will continue.  Unless your focus is eroge (like mine), I see little reason for concern.  While you're reacting to new information (to you), this problem you've encountered is nothing new.  It's been dogging the industry ever since the Rapelay incident 7 years ago.  The market has continued to grow despite it, which shows that the market forces driving growth are actually pretty powerful.

Edited by sanahtlig
Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, it's not the fear of running out of content to localize, rather it's the fear of being able to localize games in the distant future. Again, most recent translations that are actual games (excluding nukige) already have translations or a framework to work from (i.e. = Clannad). Sure, there are plenty of games out there, but until companies in Japan and the EOCS become more lenient, I feel things will eventually reach a peak.

The English eroge market is in trouble, but the threat isn't lack of developer interest.  The threat is that they'll ignore the nascent English eroge market and focus on Steam and Kickstarter instead (which are hostile to erotic content), causing eroge licensing opportunities to dry up.  There's a very real possibility that companies will further adapt to the Western market, dropping the content types that are less appealing or offensive in Western culture: ero, especially ero involving lolis.  I like VNs because of their unique Japanese traits, so if these traits get lost in translation then it hardly matters to me if the market flourishes.  The market I cared about will have dried up.

 

It wouldn't be a problem at all if they stop doing ero content, in fact it was done many times and that didn't mean that we will stop getting VNs that originally had H content only H content itself would lack and only the people who would be affected by that are the ones who are only into VNs for that in a first place and not true fans of a VNs. This could also greatly improve VN market in a west if it did happen and fix a broken fan-base that we have now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ sanahtlig

Careful not to confuse Visual Novels with eroge. While I'm sure Visual Novels can have a future in the West, I can't say that for eroge.

I knew that the VN market was growing, but that wasn't what you stated.

If you tell me "the VN market is growing" and "the eroge market is growing", both those "growing" are uncomparable and are to be understood relativelety to their size.

And whilst the first is pretty obvious, the second one is more than debatable.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The English eroge market is in trouble, but the threat isn't lack of developer interest.  The threat is that they'll ignore the nascent English eroge market and focus on Steam and Kickstarter instead (which are hostile to erotic content), causing eroge licensing opportunities to dry up.  There's a very real possibility that companies will further adapt to the Western market, dropping the content types that are less appealing or offensive in Western culture: ero, especially ero involving lolis.  I like VNs because of their unique Japanese traits, so if these traits get lost in translation then it hardly matters to me if the market flourishes.  The market I cared about will have dried up.

TIL there was a nascent English eroge market. Oh well, if it dries up it's not that big of a deal, I'm sure there's enough porn or child porn on the internet for you to enjoy until the end of your life.

Whatever, to me it sounds like you want two things that do not work together, growth of quality porn games' market ? And in the West if possible ?

You can't blame a whole culture, that's not how it works. I think the target audience is waaay too small and furthermore isn't very inclinded to purchasing those kind of games in the range of price they are sold at in Japan. If they even purchase them.

So if you tell me that it's already not working anymore in Japan, I have no idea how you think it's going to happen else where.

Thanks for the child porn comment.

Yes, the English eroge market is a contradiction that has managed to persist for more than 15 years now.  But market forces have a tendency of winning in the end.  That's why it's in danger.  It always has been, but Steam and Kickstarter pose an existential threat because they directly compete with alternative platforms for adult titles, and they're much more established.  If a company can sell its games on Steam without the hassle of dealing with the EOCS, legal issues, and middleman like JAST, they will.  And they are.

Japan has a unique demographic issue and an oversaturated market.  Circumstances there don't really apply anywhere else.

Edited by sanahtlig
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Visual novels aren't games and aren't books: VNs fit into a niche between the two with no established market in the West.  They're games without gameplay.  They're novels with often subpar translations, or simply prose that doesn't fit established conventions and Western concepts

One of the biggest hurdles IMO. Majority of VNs are on PCs, majority of readers don't read on PC. Get it on an accessible and mobile platform at a decent price and you might be talking.

1. Lack of Moege Localization -

I don't think it's a huge surprise to a lot of people that fans tend to enjoy cute slice-of-life romance novels with some comedy thrown into the mix. While this isn't true for every fan, I would say that at least 50% of visual novel players in the west and currently in Japan (as shown by Getchu's sale numbers each month) enjoy moege.

VN fans are a very small subset of a much larger reading culture, and 'moege' and 'slice of life bogging down plots' aren't really the genres you'll want to emphasise if you want to grow that fanbase. Rather, it'd appeal to the very niche audience already formed. 

Like Rose, I've got more faith in the OELVN industry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem of the cut of ero content is not the porn itself. Half the point of eroges is that because they are niche 18+ products, you can do whatever the shit you want in it as long as you throw in some porn. Platforms like Steam won't allow that. You won't see SubaHibi, Saya no Uta or SayoOshi going to Steam, and it's not a question of porn (i.e. sex as masturbatory material).

Cut that off and eroge loses a lot of what makes it a very particular and interesting sub-culture. And all you end up with is a medium like any other. That's a pretty opinionated point of view, but if Key VNs and Grisaias and Katawa Shoujos is all that awaits the future of the english eroge (or visual novel, whatever, it's the same thing) market, well frankly it's a bit boring. And throwing a Muv-Luv or even other really good VNs in the lot isn't gonna change my point of view.

Link to post
Share on other sites

but if Key VNs and Grisaias and Katawa Shoujos is all that awaits the future of the english eroge (or visual novel, whatever, it's the same thing) market, well frankly it's a bit boring. And throwing a Muv-Luv or even other really good VNs in the lot isn't gonna change my point of view.

Key VNs and Katawa Shoujo being boring have nothing to do with the lack of ero content.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ sanahtlig

Careful not to confuse Visual Novels with eroge. While I'm sure Visual Novels can have a future in the West, I can't say that for eroge.

I knew that the VN market was growing, but that wasn't what you stated.

If you tell me "the VN market is growing" and "the eroge market is growing", both those "growing" are uncomparable and are to be understood relativelety to their size.

And whilst the first is pretty obvious, the second one is more than debatable.

But I'm not confusing the two?  In fact I've argued all along in this thread that while the English VN market is growing and will continue to grow, the eroge market is in danger of being squashed by competing platforms such as Steam which forbid adult content.

Edited by sanahtlig
Link to post
Share on other sites

@ sanahtlig

Careful not to confuse Visual Novels with eroge. While I'm sure Visual Novels can have a future in the West, I can't say that for eroge.

I knew that the VN market was growing, but that wasn't what you stated.

If you tell me "the VN market is growing" and "the eroge market is growing", both those "growing" are uncomparable and are to be understood relativelety to their size.

And whilst the first is pretty obvious, the second one is more than debatable.

But I'm not confusing the two?  In fact I've argued all along in this thread that while the VN market is growing and will continue to grow, the eroge market is in danger.

My bad then, I missunderstood somewhere

Edited by Guest
Link to post
Share on other sites

 Key VNs and Katawa Shoujo being boring have nothing to do with the lack of ero content.

That was a vague statement by me, I should be impressed at the level of confusion I probably spread.

Eliminating eroge from visual novels (not saying whether we should or shouldn’t) won’t eliminate the ‘weird shit’ people can put into VNs, just like how novels may be mainstream doesn’t mean we don’t get any Lovecraftian horrors. What MAY limit the amount of weird stuff is how expensive visual novels are to produce, and the guaranteed audience the companies need to produce a profit. Which is, funnily enough, one of the reasons Key VNs probably tend to bore and why so many lacklustre eroge scenes are incorporated in the first place.

Basically, VNs can do whatever the shit they want as long as they produce a profit, which is the biggest limiting factor of all (and just one of the reasons novels remain, and always will be, a superior format :3 ) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

sanahtlig: The market for VNs on Steam isn't unlimited. It may be growing, but I don't think it's growing fast enough to accommodate a large amount of Japanese devs flooding it with releases. If that were to happen, at some point it would be more profitable to release something with 18+ content, either to set yourself apart from the rest, or to target the group of fans that prefers eroge. Which is to say, even in a hypothetical scenario where eroge releases mostly or totally dried up momentarily, I don't think that would last very long. Plus, as the market on Steam grows, the market for eroge grows as well, since part of the audience on Steam will be interested in eroge. It may only be a fraction and hence a considerably slower growth, but that's still an upwards trend then, not a downwards one.

Rooke: The idea is that if you've already got an 18+ label on your product, you'll be much less inclined to think "hm, could this get us a higher rating than we want? should we cut this? should we hold back a little here?".

Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus you got people who constantly visit the Steam discussion forums and informing the plebeians what they are missing out with their LOL All-ages version on Steam.

Just look at most of the Screenshot and Artwork section of Sakura games, people are posting all the goddamn R18 content in there (without any spoiler black screen to boot!) and they haven't been modded or flagged at all.  

Edited by CeruleanGamer
Link to post
Share on other sites

guys you only thinking about steam, you dont understand that many developers are not willing to give up their full name, address, (whatever a SSC is called in japan), credit card, and lose 70% of profit to steam app. if anything they would switch to itch.io or amazon since none of them require extreme requirements just the bank info, something that should only be between developer and campanys.

many people in japan are not really going to steam anytime soon, as long as steam has those extreme requirements you guys are not getting them in steam.

Link to post
Share on other sites

guys you only thinking about steam, you dont understand that many developers are not willing to give up their full name, address, (whatever a SSC is called in japan), credit card, and lose 70% of profit to steam app. if anything they would switch to itch.io or amazon since none of them require extreme requirements just the bank info, something that should only be between developer and campanys.

many people in japan are not really going to steam anytime soon, as long as steam has those extreme requirements you guys are not getting them in steam.

Steam's cut is only 30%, not 70%. And that's honestly a lot more generous than most other means of game distribution.

Link to post
Share on other sites

guys you only thinking about steam, you dont understand that many developers are not willing to give up their full name, address, (whatever a SSC is called in japan), credit card, and lose 70% of profit to steam app. if anything they would switch to itch.io or amazon since none of them require extreme requirements just the bank info, something that should only be between developer and campanys.

many people in japan are not really going to steam anytime soon, as long as steam has those extreme requirements you guys are not getting them in steam.

Steam's cut is only 30%, not 70%. And that's honestly a lot more generous than most other means of game distribution.

no its random for indie but few have told that its 70% cut if you are a company with high value game (what SP has been doing all this time).

Edited by firecat
Link to post
Share on other sites

 Eliminating eroge from visual novels (not saying whether we should or shouldn’t) won’t eliminate the ‘weird shit’ people can put into VNs, just like how novels may be mainstream doesn’t mean we don’t get any Lovecraftian horrors. What MAY limit the amount of weird stuff is how expensive visual novels are to produce, and the guaranteed audience the companies need to produce a profit. Which is, funnily enough, one of the reasons Key VNs probably tend to bore and why so many lacklustre eroge scenes are incorporated in the first place.

Basically, VNs can do whatever the shit they want as long as they produce a profit, which is the biggest limiting factor of all (and just one of the reasons novels remain, and always will be, a superior format :3 ) 

What's special about eroge is that it's an entire genre of games made specifically for adults.  Contrast this with the stagnating JRPG genre dominated by cheesy teen fantasies where violence is bloodless and enemies disappear instead of dying.  The biggest threat comes from companies like MoeNovel / Pulltop who think the best way to reach a wider audience is to gut all the mature themes (including kissing).

sanahtlig: The market for VNs on Steam isn't unlimited. It may be growing, but I don't think it's growing fast enough to accommodate a large amount of Japanese devs flooding it with releases. If that were to happen, at some point it would be more profitable to release something with 18+ content, either to set yourself apart from the rest, or to target the group of fans that prefers eroge. Which is to say, even in a hypothetical scenario where eroge releases mostly or totally dried up momentarily, I don't think that would last very long. Plus, as the market on Steam grows, the market for eroge grows as well, since part of the audience on Steam will be interested in eroge. It may only be a fraction and hence a considerably slower growth, but that's still an upwards trend then, not a downwards one.

The audience/demand for eroge might grow; the problem is if the supply dwindles because companies won't license the adult versions anymore.  Pulltop used to work with JAST to release adult games.  When they formed MoeNovel, they stopped doing so, likely because they wanted to promote their games as "clean".  The non-adult market is a threat to the adult market not simply because it's an alternative, but because in some cases appealing to one market means abandoning the other.  Sekai Project headed in that direction too, but the backlash from the fanbase appears to have made them reconsider--for now.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

guys you only thinking about steam, you dont understand that many developers are not willing to give up their full name, address, (whatever a SSC is called in japan), credit card, and lose 70% of profit to steam app. if anything they would switch to itch.io or amazon since none of them require extreme requirements just the bank info, something that should only be between developer and campanys.

many people in japan are not really going to steam anytime soon, as long as steam has those extreme requirements you guys are not getting them in steam.

Steam's cut is only 30%, not 70%. And that's honestly a lot more generous than most other means of game distribution.

no its random for indie but few have told that its 70% cut if you are a company with high value game (what SP has been doing all this time).

It's not "random." Every single time I've seen a developer disclose their revenue numbers, big or indie, it has ALWAYS been 30%. So says Phil Fish, and so says court documents from a THQ vs Sega case, which covers two VERY different kinds of games. I have seen a variety of other sources that all say 30%. I have never seen another number, let alone a number as colossal as 70%. And Sekai Project has not released a single "high value" game thus far, their sales are pretty low in the grand scheme of things. What's your source on this?

Link to post
Share on other sites

sanahtlig: The market for VNs on Steam isn't unlimited. It may be growing, but I don't think it's growing fast enough to accommodate a large amount of Japanese devs flooding it with releases. If that were to happen, at some point it would be more profitable to release something with 18+ content, either to set yourself apart from the rest, or to target the group of fans that prefers eroge. Which is to say, even in a hypothetical scenario where eroge releases mostly or totally dried up momentarily, I don't think that would last very long. Plus, as the market on Steam grows, the market for eroge grows as well, since part of the audience on Steam will be interested in eroge. It may only be a fraction and hence a considerably slower growth, but that's still an upwards trend then, not a downwards one.

The audience/demand for eroge might grow; the problem is if the supply dwindles because companies won't license the adult versions anymore.  Pulltop used to work with JAST to release adult games.  When they formed MoeNovel, they stopped doing so, likely because they wanted to promote their games as "clean".  The non-adult market is a threat to the adult market not simply because it's an alternative, but because in some cases appealing to one market means abandoning the other.  Sekai Project headed in that direction too, but the backlash from the fanbase appears to have made them reconsider--for now.

 

Correct. The reason I'm not worried despite that is that the appeal of catering to the all-ages market only lasts as long as that market isn't saturated. If enough companies were to go down that road, they'd see diminishing returns pretty quickly. The reason everyone and their dog is rushing to Steam is that it is (was) a potential market that had so far been essentially untapped. The more companies release their VNs on Steam, the less potential for success there is for additional companies doing the same. Which is why I think even the worst-case scenario of almost everyone abandoning the 18+ market in favor of releasing all-ages versions only wouldn't last long. In that scenario, the all-ages market would quickly become oversaturated and the incentives would reverse. Suddenly the 18+ market would be the on with untapped potential. A fair deal less potential seeing as the 18+ market in the West is still a lot smaller than the all-ages one, but I don't think that would matter much at that point. Some potential is better than none at all.

I don't think we'll ever see that worst-case scenario playing out, though. I doubt MG would ever abandon their 18+ fanbase, for instance. Doesn't make sense to risk what's kept them alive so far. Some other companies like SP might go down that road, as might some Japanese devs. But I don't see eroge releases ever dying off. Fluctuations in the ratio of 18+ to all-ages releases, certainly, but I don't think it'll go beyond that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

but if Key VNs and Grisaias and Katawa Shoujos is all that awaits the future of the english eroge (or visual novel, whatever, it's the same thing) market, well frankly it's a bit boring. And throwing a Muv-Luv or even other really good VNs in the lot isn't gonna change my point of view.

Key VNs and Katawa Shoujo being boring have nothing to do with the lack of ero content.

To reword, more like the lack of genres and differentiation. I think this is happening now but if not everything is just gonna fall like a checklist:

- Does it have h scenes? (Or even just a mere display of genitals)

- Does it have loli characters? Are there characters not 18+?

- Does it have blood and gore? 

- Does it have controversial storyline? (aka Morality, Religion, Politics, etc)

- Does it involve races and other nationalities? (surprisingly this would a great deal as the Western world likes to pull the damn race card whenever it can. Adding an interesting race in a visual novel other than Japanese and a couple of other races would make group of people call the game RACIST)

From this 5 point checklist alone, If there is a single YES, it unfortunately weeds out a ton of interesting VNs in the mix and keeps most of the bland vanilla/romance moeges... 

 

Edited by CeruleanGamer
Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem of the cut of ero content is not the porn itself. Half the point of eroges is that because they are niche 18+ products, you can do whatever the shit you want in it as long as you throw in some porn. Platforms like Steam won't allow that. You won't see SubaHibi, Saya no Uta or SayoOshi going to Steam, and it's not a question of porn (i.e. sex as masturbatory material).

Cut that off and eroge loses a lot of what makes it a very particular and interesting sub-culture. And all you end up with is a medium like any other. That's a pretty opinionated point of view, but if Key VNs and Grisaias and Katawa Shoujos is all that awaits the future of the english eroge (or visual novel, whatever, it's the same thing) market, well frankly it's a bit boring. And throwing a Muv-Luv or even other really good VNs in the lot isn't gonna change my point of view.

This isn't unique to the west though, the japanese market is going the same way, with more and more companies and creators opting for all-age. A lot of those more unique titles probably wouldn't get made today anyway as people demand a huge amount of content. I think someone (it might have been Moogy?) mentioned that Romeo had said that it used to be enough to simply add some sex scenes but now people demand school settings, and other stuff. 

I think it's possible that the future (japanese) market will consist of companies that release mostly moege and nukige (and titles with a bit more plot that follow a simliar "formula") which will still be eroge, a few companies releasing "plot-focused" titles, mostly without ero, possibly mainly on console, and a few bigger companies like Nitro (unless they decide to just focus on Sonico lol) and Alicesoft whose titles wouldn't really work as all age.

I don't really feel like lamenting over the death of eroge when a huge amount of the writers who wrote those titles in the first place seems to have just up and left the industry, (at least the eroge part of it), with no one new to step into their shoes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It's not "random." Every single time I've seen a developer disclose their revenue numbers, big or indie, it has ALWAYS been 30%. So says Phil Fish, and so says court documents from a THQ vs Sega case, which covers two VERY different kinds of games. I have seen a variety of other sources that all say 30%. I have never seen another number, let alone a number as colossal as 70%. And Sekai Project has not released a single "high value" game thus far, their sales are pretty low in the grand scheme of things. What's your source on this?

you cant talk about how much of a deal you got, everyone in steam is legally bind to a contract. THQ vs Sega case found 0 answers, just some reporters guessing at 30%, no real link or anything. the math is wrong, something so basic can be done to look at the real answer:

20,755 sold pre-order game x $45 of price = $933,975

my homework

1447163486659_zpsnqxft6aa.jpg

geeetttttttttttttt dunk on

 

also i'm not doing the percentage, do your own homework.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 you cant talk about how much of a deal you got, everyone in steam is legally bind to a contract. THQ vs Sega case found 0 answers, just some reporters guessing at 30%, no real link or anything. the math is wrong, something so basic can be done to look at the real answer:

20,755 sold pre-order game x $45 of price = $933,975

 

Your argument is incomprehensible... 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...