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bakauchuujin

Why doesn't Sekai Project sell hardcopies outside of kickstarters?

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As the title state I am wondering why Sekai Project doesn't provide an alternative to kickstarter for buying their vns physically.

I seem to remember something about them getting in trouble with their payment processor with regards to nekopara when they sold the nekopara hardcopy, however this should be quite a while ago and my gues is that they probably could have found a solution if they really wanted.

This leads me to think that they are either too lazy to do it, which would probably mean that there are very few people who actually care for hardcopies or that they earn more selling them only on kickstarter by either selling them at higher prices or by selling more, using exclusivety to get them sold.

While I am not a huge fan of Sekai Project there are some of their games that I would like to buy if they provided the chance of getting a hardcopy. Their kickstarters are riddled with problems like bad communication and massive delays, as such I don't think of them as a viable option.

 

I wonder if there are more people than me who care for hardcopies as well as whether or not anyone have  more info on why Sekai Project don't sell hardcopies through an online store like MG or Jast.

Edited by bakauchuujin

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1 minute ago, mitchhamilton said:

the same reason they use ks for just about all their tl projects. they dont actually want to invest their own money into funding it.

With the amount of people who pirate the games, they want to make sure they don't loose money. Most of the funds for localising come from the kickstarter rather than the sale of the game afterwords.

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5 minutes ago, Akshay said:

With the amount of people who pirate the games, they want to make sure they don't loose money. Most of the funds for localising come from the kickstarter rather than the sale of the game afterwords.

Gues that means that they earn more money by selling hardcopies as limited kickstarter items rather than them being sold through both kickstarter and an online store at a later time.

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The Kickstarter hard copies are incentive... the cost of the limited production run is paid off by the crowd-funding, so they don't have to worry about the bottom line.  I've been told that, in order to recover the costs from a full production run (generally a minimum of ten thousand copies), at least five thousand copies have to sell.  This is because producing a single copy on its own isn't cost effective in the West, where video game base prices are set in stone.

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7 hours ago, Akshay said:

With the amount of people who pirate the games, they want to make sure they don't loose money. Most of the funds for localising come from the kickstarter rather than the sale of the game afterwords.

That's kind of a weird assumption to make.  Piracy is pretty rampant in the VN community, no matter who produces translations.  Neither JAST or MG limit hardcopy availability to tiny windows of time, and they definitely have their titles pirated at a similar rate to SP's titles, if not more.  The typically dismal post-Kickstarter sales numbers are at least partially caused by most interested people already having backed the Kickstarters.  After that point, you're either targeting people that couldn't or didn't want to back the Kickstarter, or people that weren't aware of that title, the campaign, or the medium in general.  Considering that "casual" readers tend to not want to shell out a lot of money for VNs, that's not exactly a lucrative demographic unless you get a massive amount of attention, like Nekopara or shitty SakuraGame dreck.

7 hours ago, bakauchuujin said:

Gues that means that they earn more money by selling hardcopies as limited kickstarter items rather than them being sold through both kickstarter and an online store at a later time.

Yep.  People that really want a hardcopy will most likely be willing to spend more money to get them if they're limited.  It's a win/win for SP, they cut costs by limiting production runs and they can charge more for limited hardcopies.  Check their last few Kickstarter campaigns and they've charged more than the average western game price of $60 for their hardcopies, while MG and JAST tend to stay at around $40-50 for regular copies and under $70 for limited editions/editions with extra physical goodies.  SP admittedly adds a bunch of merch to their hardcopies, but they also don't seem to provide basic, physical copy only tiers anymore, either.

40 minutes ago, bakauchuujin said:

Does that mean that Jast and MG are selling at a loss or are they able to sell that many hardcopies?

MG typically waits for titles to reach certain sales figures before they start producing hardcopies, and JAST can afford to produce hardcopies for pretty much every title they make because of that sweet, sweet J-LIST money.

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I know MG waits and look at sales before they make hardcopies, but 5-10 thousand to make even in regards to hardcopies seems a bit much. Not sure about sales numbers of course, but I don't think even well regarded VNs sells that many hardcopies.

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1 hour ago, bakauchuujin said:

Does that mean that Jast and MG are selling at a loss or are they able to sell that many hardcopies?

MG seems to decide on a hard copy release only after it is apparent that they'll get a return on their investment, and JAST tends to take a 'sit back and wait' attitude toward profit on their releases.  Jast's release cycle is so long that waiting three or four years to make back the money from a hard copy release is no big deal, to be blunt about it.

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51 minutes ago, bakauchuujin said:

I know MG waits and look at sales before they make hardcopies, but 5-10 thousand to make even in regards to hardcopies seems a bit much. Not sure about sales numbers of course, but I don't think even well regarded VNs sells that many hardcopies.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Depends on the profit margin and the reputation of the game, most likely.  5-10k for Rance games or W Happiness probably isn't a bad investment, considering how thirsty Rance fans are, and how well the first Princess Evangile sold.  It's also important for them to have at least a decent amount of overstock for popular titles, since it'll drive traffic to their site when they're put on clearance.

12 minutes ago, Clephas said:

MG seems to decide on a hard copy release only after it is apparent that they'll get a return on their investment, and JAST tends to take a 'sit back and wait' attitude toward profit on their releases.  Jast's release cycle is so long that waiting three or four years to make back the money from a hard copy release is no big deal, to be blunt about it.

RIP Tokyo Babel English hardcopy  :komari:  I'd easily drop $100 on that alone just for the physical OST and an artbook.

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