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Nutaku Announces New Initiative with Sekai Project


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http://www.nutaku.net/blog/nutaku-sekai-project/

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In the small world of western Japanese game publishers, Sekai Project has built a reputation as one of the best companies for delivering quality translations of the most in-demand titles. With almost a decade of experience under their belts, they have the knowledgeable staff and necessary reach to secure distribution rights for titles that many of us never expected to be able to enjoy in English. From NekoPara to the upcoming Baldr’s Sky, their games are a qualitative cut above the rest.

Despite the tremendous leaps made by the company since its inception, Sekai Project also labors under a burden of hypocrisy enforced by major players in the game distribution industry. The adult content in their most popular games, despite being an integral part of the users’ experience, prevents the uncensored sale of titles on Steam and casts a shadow on their ability to work with fully mainstream partners. Caught between the legitimate desires of fans for uncensored content and the tyranny of a system unready for mature games, Sekai has worked to navigate the narrow course between contradictory marketplace demands.

That’s where Nutaku enters the picture.

As an unabashedly adult-oriented company, Nutaku doesn’t shy away from challenging content. We have the resources and ability to market fully hentai games without burning bridges, because we’ve already burned them long ago. Importantly, we also host a community of players who love hentai games and are eager to explore the greatest titles in the genre.

Now, we’re excited to announce a bold new initiative: Nutaku will take a significant role in distributing the adult versions of upcoming Sekai Project titles. Our platform will unreservedly serve as a means for fans of Sekai Project translations to get their hands on the full, uncensored version of their games. We’ll also be lending our voice to requests for adult versions of games, ensuring that Japanese developers can be confident in a judgement-free zone of enthusiasts waiting to enjoy the product of their labors.

The latest Sekai Project effort, ChronoClock, surpassed its $20,000 kickstarter goal within 48 hours of launch and demonstrated once again the enduring demand for professional localizations of the best overseas games. Nutaku will serve as the main distributor of the adult version of the game, though it will also appear later in the year on DenpaSoft, Sekai’s adult wing.

As a final note, these games are translated by Sekai Project and delivered to you with no changes on the part of Nutaku. The role of our company is purely as a platform to connect players with the games they wish to purchase.

We hope you share in our excitement for ChronoClock and look forward to hosting the adult versions of many future Sekai Project titles!

All the best,
The Nutaku Team

Key quotes:

  • "Nutaku will take a significant role in distributing the adult versions of upcoming Sekai Project titles."
  • "We’ll also be lending our voice to requests for adult versions of games, ensuring that Japanese developers can be confident in a judgement-free zone of enthusiasts waiting to enjoy the product of their labors."
  • "...these games are translated by Sekai Project and delivered to you with no changes on the part of Nutaku."
  • "Nutaku will serve as the main distributor of the adult version of [ChronoClock], though it will also appear later in the year on DenpaSoft, Sekai’s adult wing."
  • "We hope you share in our excitement for...hosting the adult versions of many future Sekai Project titles!"
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Well, if Chrono Clock is any indication it's possible that future titles might end up on Denpasoft a month or so after their Nutaku release.

They also recently announced the addition of a new Denpasoft "ambassador," so they're definitely not giving up on it, but it'll be interesting to see what kind of role it'll be playing with this Nutaku partnership in the mix.

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From one perspective, this indeed seems like a good move on their side, but on the other hand, from what I've seen it's like they're contradicting themselves with samples of their previous behaviour, @Sanahtlig covered so well in his past editorials. I'm not going to judge them yet, let their actions speak for themselves; I'm ready and willing to see where this might go. As far as I am concerned, the premise of japanese vn industry having a stable ground to stand upon and thrive in regards to western market seems very intoxicating, although I was never a fan of a single company holding monopoly over their choice of trade.

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At the current state, that's probably the only chance for Sekai Project to get their hands on full adult titles. They probably only got Kokuma because of that insane idea of butchering if for Steam. <_<

Technically, the do exactly the same like MangaGamer in their early years, who had to sell most of their titles also via Jast, the bigger publisher at that time. They then stopped that after a few years, when their own site was 'potent' enough to generate enough sales on its own. Sekai will probably now try the same thing and make their Denpasoft site more popular over the time. We'll see how long that'll take.

For now, it's certainly the right move. But I'm curious if that will 'reflect' in their license announcements next year. XD

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13 minutes ago, VLOCKUP said:

THEY WHAT!? Why would they thought it was such a good idea?

Because Nekopara sold so well. So a super trimmed down version of Koikuma for Steam is likely to also sell well, despite being so butchered. You can tell SP was taken by surprise by how their press release made no mention of a Steam release. Well that, and some of their staffers' reactions on discord, lol.

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1 hour ago, Decay said:

That idea came entirely from the Japanese side, actually. And they didn't even seem aware of it until Sayori suddenly said at AX that it was going to happen.

I know that. What I meant to say was, that it was probably a condition from them or something they assumed as a given because Nekopara also got its many sales from Steam.

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condition or not, this is something any publisher should have refused doing, unless they plan on selling it for like 5$, to not appear overly greedy in public. seriously there´s a limit as to what and how much should/can be axed, before turning the whole into a works of absurdity.

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As a final note, these games are translated by Sekai Project and delivered to you with no changes on the part of Nutaku. The role of our company is purely as a platform to connect players with the games they wish to purchase.

So if for example they decide that they want to release 18+ Maitetsu, the censorship part would fall on Sekai to do it? Or Nutaku? I've read on sanahtlig's blog that Nutaku is owned by a bigger company that calls the shots and Nutaku has a history of censoring their games, I am just interested on how would they likely handle sensitive content like loli and similiar stuff.

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3 minutes ago, Infernoplex said:

So if for example they decide that they want to release 18+ Maitetsu, the censorship part would fall on Sekai to do it? Or Nutaku? I've read on sanahtlig's blog that Nutaku is owned by a bigger company that calls the shots and Nutaku has a history of censoring their games, I am just interested on how would they likely handle sensitive content like loli and similiar stuff.

this and especially since nutaku is apparently canada based, you know what that means aka loli > getting screwed by the laws -> getting screwed by your inmates. heil!

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Nutaku and LewdGamer have insisted to me that Nutaku's business partners are the main reason for the content alterations, not Canadian law.  Maybe Canadian law enforcement doesn't care unless the content passes through Customs?  Or perhaps Nutaku wants to make the situation seem less hopeless than it is?  Hard to say.  Unlike LG, I don't take everything the industry tells me at face value.  Exposing their own weaknesses isn't their job.  It's mine.

Nutaku has promised not to censor games or to pressure developers to censor their games to be sold on Nutaku's downloadable store.  Furthermore, censoring the loli scenes in Maitetsu would be rather pointless; if you're going to censor most of the scenes, why release an adult version at all?

Nutaku has suggested that if a censored game were sold on their store (for whatever reason), they'd be perfectly fine with a patch being distributed outside of their store, much like JAST did with Shiny Days.  That seems like an acceptable arrangement (provided users are notified the game is censored).

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41 minutes ago, sanahtlig said:

Furthermore, censoring the loli scenes in Maitetsu would be rather pointless; if you're going to censor most of the scenes, why release an adult version at all?

That's why I said in my previous post "for example". I was hypothetically speaking, I don't really expect an adult version of Maitetsu at all. I was just curious what could happen in the case that they for some reason decided to do that. I don't really know anything about the matter aside from what I read on your blog and forum posts here. I know censoring adult version of Maitetsu would really be pointless. Why the adult version at all then? And to clarify, with censorship I didn't mean the mosaics, I meant clear content cutting.

52 minutes ago, sanahtlig said:

Nutaku has suggested that if a censored game were sold on their store (for whatever reason), they'd be perfectly fine with a patch being distributed outside of their store, much like JAST did with Shiny Days.  That seems like an acceptable arrangement (provided users are notified the game is censored).

And that's also one of the things that came to my mind. Why SP doesn't do that? I think JAST also did that with Starless if I am not mistaken, it had some scenes cut which could be restored with a patch (and for the record, I didn't play it yet so I am not sure if I have correct info on that one).

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17 minutes ago, Infernoplex said:

And that's also one of the things that came to my mind. Why SP doesn't do that? I think JAST also did that with Starless if I am not mistaken, it had some scenes cut which could be restored with a patch (and for the record, I didn't play it yet so I am not sure if I have correct info on that one).

Because Sekai Project is first and foremost a non-adult publisher.  At best, the adult market is a side business to them.  Also, they're not interested in distributing free content patches.  They want to charge adult fans extra.

JAST is first and foremost an adult publisher, as is Nutaku.  Censoring is bad for business, so it's in their best interests to make an uncensored version available, even if it means taking a loss on the "added" content.  For this reason, I don't think Nutaku would sell a non-adult version of Maitetsu in their store.  It would paint a target on their back.

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3 hours ago, Decay said:

Because Nekopara sold so well. So a super trimmed down version of Koikuma for Steam is likely to also sell well, despite being so butchered. You can tell SP was taken by surprise by how their press release made no mention of a Steam release. Well that, and some of their staffers' reactions on discord, lol.

Koikuma is literally nothing but h-scenes after the common route though (and there are 5-6 h-scenes at the common route as well), without h-scenes heroine routes will be like 15 minutes length or something.  


 

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1 minute ago, sanahtlig said:

For this reason, I don't think Nutaku would sell a non-adult version of Maitetsu in their store.  It would paint a target on their back.

Exactly, that's what I was thinking too. That's also one of the reasons why I am not looking very much forward to SP's partnership with Nutaku. If it's like you said, and I will qoute it here:

3 minutes ago, sanahtlig said:

Because Sekai Project is first and foremost a non-adult publisher.  At best, the adult market is a side business to them.

Then based on that I shouldn't really expect from SP to release something fetishy or with questionable content like JAST or MangaGamer would do. SP's partnership with Nutaku would be rather pointless then if they don't start to make a business of adult-oriented VNs (which is if I am not mistaken, the majority of Japanese VNs). On a plus-side, that means SP's major selling points would be story-oriented VNs, that could probably live without 18+ scenes (I don't know how Maitestu fares in the story department compared to the loli fetish it provides) and they can be easily sold on Steam ... And if they don't contain sensitive stuff that could be potentially problematic - get released on Nutaku and Denpasoft (by the way, I think Denpasoft will die after some time if most of SP's adult stuff gets sold through Nutaku) ...

Though I think SP so far released all their titles with 18+ version, Grisaia (first part has a so-called unrated edition which is 18+, and the second part should get one too that isn't released yet) ... So even if they are not adult-oriented I do believe they try to release both versions of their VNs but have only recently caused some confusions with 18+ editions (I think that sometimes it even had to do with the original Japanese developers) ...

All in all, I am rather curious on how things will progress from here on ...

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22 minutes ago, sanahtlig said:

Think of the Steam version as a paid demo.  "If you want more, come to our store and purchase the full version!"

Actually that could work pretty well since characters are pretty charming. I'm sure some people would like to pay a little more for being able to have sex with them.
 

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Even if Sekai Project doesn't license any more nukige than they do now, this is still a very valuable partnership for them. All of the major titles they announced this year have adult content; this is par for the course in the visual novel industry, obviously. Sekai Project knows this, and they know people want the adult content. Being able to sell the adult version on a potentially lucrative platform is a necessary negotiating tool if they want to secure the adult version for future releases.

In all likelihood, if they didn't make a partnership like this, then we'd be stuck waiting for Denpasoft to become a viable platform before adult versions for every release would become a reality.

I also don't think this is the death of Denpasoft, though. Like Chrono Clock, many future titles could be timed exclusives, and Denpasoft would be the go-to place for people who don't want to buy from Nutaku.

Regardless of how things turn out, this is still a better direction for the 18+ side of Sekai Project. If it becomes a success, I don't see any reason why SP wouldn't focus more on adult VNs. Money is money, and they are a business, after all.

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19 minutes ago, RikiSanic said:

Denpasoft would be the go-to place for people who don't want to buy from Nutaku.

...or Nutaku could shape up so these people don't exist in the first place?

The Denpasoft store wouldn't need to exist if Nutaku could just reassure users that they'll provide everything Denpasoft used to and more.

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@RikiSanic - That's a sound argument, I could see them making profit in that kind of scenario. I didn't want to imply somehow that it's pointless for SP to do it, my previous posts have nothing to do with that. In fact, I believe they will make good business because Nutaku's wide audience is guaranteed to make them more money.

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8 minutes ago, sanahtlig said:

...or Nutaku could shape up so these people don't exist in the first place?

The Denpasoft store wouldn't need to exist if Nutaku could just reassure users that they'll provide everything Denpasoft used to and more.

I feel like there are a good number of people who wouldn't want to be beholden to Nutaku's platform, just like there are those who still want nothing to do with Steam. For instance, MangaGamer has a few of their titles on Nutaku, but how many people from this community would want to buy from Nutaku instead of MangaGamer? 

But if it gets to the point where Nutaku eclipses Denpasoft in every way, I guess it wouldn't be impossible that Denpasoft would fade into obscurity. They'd have to get rid of the Denpasoft ambassador they just hired though. Also, if they ever want to sell something Nutaku wouldn't allow, Denpasoft would be a good backup to have.

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2 hours ago, RikiSanic said:

I feel like there are a good number of people who wouldn't want to be beholden to Nutaku's platform, just like there are those who still want nothing to do with Steam. 

People want nothing to do with Steam because it's a big DRM service. You must play your games through Steam, if Steam closes down what happens to all your games etc etc growl growl. However Nutaku hosts downloadable games on their site which require no platform to get up and running. You just pay, download, then play like GOG.

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