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Frontwing asks your thoughts on an issue regarding Corona Blossom

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Wow, did not expect Frontwing to be so upfrot about their sales. And I agree with Suzu, it ultimately seems to come down to over saturation. A couple years ago VNs on Steam were few and far in between. Now every VN licensed in English almost always gets a Steam release, and the novelty is wearing off. With so many VNs, you can no longer get all of them, you need to know which ones are a good investment, and perhaps Corona Blossom didn't come off as a worthy purchase to some when considering all the other well known and sure-fire alternatives.

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B-but everyone told us that Steam is the holy grail that will single-handedly save the VN industry and produces million seller and brings in tons of cash...

On a more serious note it looks like that Steam crowd is supersaturated with tons of shovelware VNs and/or moved on to the next "big" thing. Maybe the hardcore audience is looking more and more attractive in the next couple of months/years.

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Maybe they'll understand that aside from fucking weebs and people doing it for laughs, the actual audience supporting the western market is not really interested in the weeaboo games they produce.

Also, MFW they ask about it through Facebook.

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The problem with Corona Blossom isn't that it's weeaboo — it's that it doesn't have much plot, and what little it has is incomplete. Now, as far as the problem with Corona Blossom's sales, who can say for sure, but I imagine people could tell that the plot is thin from the promo materials, and the people who actually heard about it care about that (i.e., the NekoPara crowd didn't get hold of it).

You can draw a big contrast between it and the recently-released-in-a-similar-situation SupiPara. Like Corona Blossom volume 1, SupiPara chapter 1 was pretty much fluff its whole way through, but with SupiPara there are signs that something bigger is going on, and its ending starts to put those plot devices to use in ways that make you want to read more. The SupiPara ending wraps up the initial fluffy story in a clear, satisfactory way, and very nicely sets the stage for the next chapter with a small teaser. In contrast, Corona Blossom resolves nothing, choosing to end on a huge cliffhanger rather than a resolved story + a teaser for another one. It ends up feeling like somebody chopped a book in half and handed you the first half, rather than like someone actually planned a story that could meaningfully be released in pieces.

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1 hour ago, solidbatman said:

Episodic, brand new IP, almost zero coverage anywhere, no controversy. No wonder it didnt sell well. They should have made up a fake 18+ patch to piss everyone off to gain coverage. 

Essentially. Steam is unforgiving. If a recent release doesn't stick out and has zero hype, it'll be buried under a mountain of crap and won't have another chance at success outside of a major sale on the front page. They all seem to strive for Sakura and Nekopara level sales figures, but those are anamolies. Popular YouTubers with millions of subscribers covered those titles, giving them more exposure than anything else ever could. I'm not saying disallowing YT footage is why they're failing, but who knows, maybe a major e-celeb would've given them coverage if they weren't risking a DMCA.

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6 minutes ago, Tawm said:

Essentially. Steam is unforgiving. If a recent release doesn't stick out and has zero hype, it'll be buried under a mountain of crap and won't have another chance at success outside of a major sale on the front page. They all seem to strive for Sakura and Nekopara level sales figures, but those are anamolies. Popular YouTubers with millions of subscribers covered those titles, giving them more exposure than anything else ever could. I'm not saying disallowing YT footage is why they're failing, but who knows, maybe a major e-celeb would've given them coverage if they weren't risking a DMCA.

Main problem is with a VN that isn't so goofy its fun (Nekopara) is that when you do a youtube series of a kinetic VN, youre showing the whole thing. Why bother buying it? 

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Here's my thoughts based on the store page:

  1. It's not immediately clear what the selling point is. What's the story hook? For Nekopara, it was a catgirl cafe. The all-important short description under the logo reads like nonsense. The intro video tells us nothing about the characters and setting, and the character descriptions are in tiny font and the text is cut off at the bottom of the video! My resulting first impression is: the premise is a directionless mashup of tropes. Back button.
  2. Kinetic novel: This is NOT something you want to emphasize. Western gamers, especially casuals, want interactivity in their stories (think School Days). Games without choices are the opposite of that.
  3. VNs don't market themselves unless you're really lucky and manage to make a meme game, or you have a lot of followers already who will help spread the word.
  4. Frontwing potentially alienated the core fanbase by charging double the price to add a few H-scenes in the extras menu. They're not going to spread the word for you when you do that.
  5. For an episodic game--especially a text game--people will tend to wait until all episodes are released to try it, especially if there's a concern that the game won't actually be finished.

Originally posted on /r/visualnovels.

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1 hour ago, Tawm said:

I'm not saying disallowing YT footage is why they're failing, but who knows, maybe a major e-celeb would've given them coverage if they weren't risking a DMCA.

The demo is fair game though.  That's not really a good explanation.

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My opinion? I don't know about the game because I'm still not playing this. But from Frontwing tweet there I think both of their feature was nothing special ie too common for Steam VN. There's already some of VN at Steam with emote, and while I don't know of how many time needed to read light novel but at least there's also many linear VN on Steam. Add episodic release (Or volume) issue here and we at least could deduct the reason here. Other than that, not much here.

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One thing to appreciate, at least Frontwing is engaging with fans, trying to see what they can do differently. They did this with Sharin no Kuni, and are going to bring back the KS after making changes, and now this. Just this bit of outreach can do wonders for a company's image cough cough 

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I like that they are so honest with it. Actually, I don't really think they did something particular wrong here, the situation has simply changed. The same thing is happening on Kickstarter too.

MangaGamer has already reported several times now that since the whole Steam hype started, they got a lot of new account creations, most likely from Steam customers. So the Steam customers who were really interested in VN's have already moved on and went to the retail sites of the big VN publishers like MangaGamer and Jast. It tells a lot that the several year old nukiges Eroge and ImoPara are almost permanently in the top five for ages now. And the Steam users who didn't really get warm with VN's are less likely to buy another one. So the 'Steam only' customer group got much smaller either way.

And while newer VN customers are now happily digging through MG's and Jast's game libraries, the older VN veterans just don't get enough from a short and simple title like Corona Blossom, especially with so many quality titles released by MG and Sekai. In principle, it happened what most people wanted, quality and a known and popular brand matters now much more than before.

Or in short words: Welcome to the world of competition!

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8 minutes ago, ChaosRaven said:

In principle, it happened what most people wanted, quality and a known and popular brand matters now much more than before.

I think Frontwing wanted to make a meme game like Sakura Spirit, and were disappointed when that didn't happen.

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12 minutes ago, sanahtlig said:

I think Frontwing wanted to make a meme game like Sakura Spirit, and were disappointed when that didn't happen.

Yeah, it isn't as easy as it once was. Supipara has even less owners despite its stellar art and Minori brand, but I guess most copies were sold through MG's page directly.

Steam is also a pretty terrible platform for promoting those titles. So much rubbish gets released that it's easy to miss it altogether if you aren't actively searching for it. On the other hand, the Steam sales shouldn't be underestimated. Eden also didn't have the best start, but after each sale the fund raiser increased by another 10.000$. So they shouldn't just give up yet.

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Just now, ChaosRaven said:

On the other hand, the Steam sales shouldn't be underestimated. Eden also didn't have the best start, but after each sale the fund raiser increased by another 10.000$. So they shouldn't just give up yet.

That's a good point.  Japanese developers are used to front-loaded sales that die out immediately after the first month.  English VN sales, especially on Steam, aren't like that.  They have a long tail.  Most of their sales will likely occur over the next 2 years or so.

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52 minutes ago, ChaosRaven said:

Yeah, it isn't as easy as it once was. Supipara has even less owners despite its stellar art and Minori brand, but I guess most copies were sold through MG's page directly.

Lots of people hate DRM so that is highly possible. 

 

8 hours ago, Suzu Fanatic said:

 

Think Doddlers' tweets covered it best. The Steam VN market is in a shaky situation due to oversaturation, episodic content, hard-to-ascertain quality, and unfamiliar titles. A consumer is bound to be wary due to many factors.

 

Yep, I agree 100%.

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Plus, I don't know if it's been brought up yet - but Highway Blossoms / Corona Blossoms, Yuri / Yuri, Road trip / Road trip (I don't actually know this part, haven't looked at Corona Blossoms too closely tbh)

 

Some may have glanced at it and assumed it was a copycat of Highway Blossoms, which was released not too long beforehand~

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21 minutes ago, Decay said:

Corona blossom isn't a road trip, and it's not yuri either. It's a mecha VN, lol.

Oh, lol. Miles off then - I looked at some screenshots and wasn't able to tell either way~ (though I have no excuse for not reading the description)

 

Mecha huh? That has some appeal - though episodic is bleh

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