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zxdvas

Pessimism on VN community

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There is a lower limit of a community below which it cannot sustain itself, and a upper limit above which the opinion is so divided it is practically two or more communities joined together. Empires have fallen and countries were formed because of this. Out of anime, manga, japanese video game and VN, the VN community can be reasonably expected to have the smallest community. While we put up a veil of hospitality, the truth is time and money is limited, if a person bought an anime figurine, he is less likely fund a translation project. You can even say the most similar communities has the fiercest competition. Every community lose some member to another community and gain some daily until equilibrium is reached.

At the bottom line, VN community must have enough customers to buy VN so companies even consider translating. Ironically, the smallest community has the highest balance to meet. It is a general opinion that translating VN is more demanding than anime and manga. They can spread the burden on larger community by subscription and AD revenue while VN cannot. I add that while anime generally has a higher production cost but once finished is almost trivial to translate but translating VN is tiresome. VN is the least friendly toward foreign audience.

I am rather pessimistic to the future of VN community (at least the western one which depends on translation). We have to drop the idea that popularity of VN would increase the size of VN community and consequently quality and quantity of VN. At least 80% readers would convert to anime or manga fan (to be fair, some of them join us). On the bright side, those who stay are devoted but that mean little to companies.

To conclude, VN benefit little from capitalism and its close friend anime, game. And I would rather believe I will set foot on moon one day than government would intervene. Thanks for reading all this pointless babble.

 

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I don't know. From what I'm seeing of Steam, with VNs popping up every month or so, I'm rather optimistic instead. There's gotta be a market for VNs over at the western community; otherwise, Steam wouldn't have really bothered selling them like hotcakes.

If you ask me the same question five or seven years ago regarding my optimism towards VNs, I would say not a chance. But today... seems to be getting brighter. They just need to adjust the price of VNs accordingly. VNs cost a ton over at Japan due to the large amount of content they had to write. Western translators should adjust accordingly to afford translators and time.

Edited by LemiusK

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Only thing i agree about is that the interest in vn's won't magically increase with effort alone. Luck, the right type of vn, and with some "big" youtube etc celeb to praise it through the skies then we might see a rise in interest. Also, I'm sure most who read vn's also watch or read other japanese entertainment so converting and abandoning doesn't happen too often i'd think. Naturally you can outgrow vn's and burnout. Many vn's focus on early teenage stuff and school. Even I find that extremely tedious often. Seeing those same heroine designs span over many different vn's from different companies, the same old same old donkan protagonist. It's hard for western people to relate to donkan protagonists in vn and anime because they're so far removed from irl i gets. Irl girls during those teenage years would give almost no outward hints about the fact that they like you. They'd maybe look at you from afar when she knew you'd never notice. She might avoid you, but seeing as you're not big friends you'd never take notice. And then life would separate you forever when you graduate. A typical scenario during teenage years. In vn's the girls act all clingy and desperate and they fall short of saying the words "i like you" and the protagonist doesn't notice a thing, even when the protagonist is very smart otherwise.

I can't say Japan needs to change (but they need to change) It's also the fault of translators choosing the same stuff over and over again when there is so much to choose from. I'm sure there are absolute masterpieces out there which absolutely should be translated over the typical moege.

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People that read VNs already consume other otaku media, I don't see any reason they would "migrate" anywhere. We are a niche within the otaku fandom and while it's thriving in the West, I don't see the VN community going anywhere.

Sustainability is another issue. I'm a bit worried we're getting to the point where it's actually too much stuff getting translated, especially when it goes to move and nukige - the more competition there is, the smaller the return per translation project will be. On the other hand, with VNs reaching new platforms such as GOG, Steam giving up on censorship we can have for VNs getting more visibility and new fans. They'll never be mainstream like anime, but they don't need to be to survive. The community is also doing fine and I see no reasons for doomsaying.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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46 minutes ago, LemiusK said:

They just need to adjust the price of VNs accordingly. VNs cost a ton over at Japan due to the large amount of content they had to write.

Nah, I think it would be very counterproductive. You should note that bigger price would mean more people are going to be alienated from starting this hobby, and a lot will simply rely on piracy. I mean, even now, what part of VN fans actually pays for VNs they read? The recent thread about Subahibi failing in sales made me think that the number is probably pathetically low.

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Don't fall for the piracy fallacy. The net gain of killing piracy is basically nonexistent, because most pirates wouldn't go "I can't pirate the thing? Guess I will pay" if you got rid of piracy, they will most likely say "Can't pirate the thing? Guess I'll do something else." and fuck off.

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1 hour ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

People that read VNs already consume other otaku media, I don't see any reason they would "migrate" anywhere. We are a niche within the otaku fandom and while it's thriving in the West, I don't see the VN community going anywhere.

Sustainability is another issue. I'm a bit worried we're getting to the point where it's actually too much stuff getting translated, especially when it goes to move and nukige - the more competition there is, the smaller the return per translation project will be. On the other hand, with VNs reaching new platforms such as GOG, Steam giving up on censorship we can have for VNs getting more visibility and new fans. They'll never be mainstream like anime, but they don't need to be to survive. The community is also doing fine and I see no reasons for doomsaying.

I think @Plk_Lesiak has a good point here regarding otaku media. In regards to his point about anime being mainstream in particular, I don't think anime was always mainstream back in the day either, and look at where we are now. I think, over time, such an appealing medium, no matter how niched it started out, would often find a popular fanbase to perpetuate for a long time to come. With how connected we are online nowadays especially, with information so readily accessible, finding out about VNs and what other masterpieces that have yet to be translated shouldn't be a problem, and that might lead to more kickstarters and such, drawing more attention. The cycle repeats.

I think the bigger problem here is in regards to what Lesiak pointed out, that there might be too much stuff getting translated. Saturation is an issue too. For example, as popular as Marvel movies are nowadays, a lot of people are kinda tired of the saturated superhero formula. Might not be an ideal example, but you get the point. Too much of anything is never good, especially when it comes to business. Supply and demand.

Edited by LemiusK

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32 minutes ago, TexasDice said:

Don't fall for the piracy fallacy. The net gain of killing piracy is basically nonexistent, because most pirates wouldn't go "I can't pirate the thing? Guess I will pay" if you got rid of piracy, they will most likely say "Can't pirate the thing? Guess I'll do something else." and fuck off.

I partially agree and disagree at the same time. The problem isn't in the pirates who won't buy something because they don't want to, but you also need to note that the higher you set the price, the bigger will be the number of people who simply can't afford it. I mean, what's the point in increasing the price by two times if they are going to lose 80% of their customers? Of course, only actually doing that will show if this change will be effective from the companies' perspective, but I can clearly say that I would never be able to afford this hobby if I actually had to pay the Japanese prices for all VNs that I read. Well, I guess, I don't belong to the demographics to who VNs are generally marketed since I don't leave in the most well-off country, so maybe I'm completely wrong in this reasoning, but, I'd say, the problem of the price barrier for the newcomers still exists no matter where you live.

Well, I'm the end, we should probably leave question how they fund their products for the companies themselves to decide. The ones who will find the best way to do it will survive, the others will go bankrupt. The capitalism will do its job. :makina:

1 hour ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

People that read VNs already consume other otaku media, I don't see any reason they would "migrate" anywhere. We are a niche within the otaku fandom and while it's thriving in the West, I don't see the VN community going anywhere.

Yeah, and most VN fans come from the other otaku media anyway (and probably because they we dissatisfied with something these media do).

Edited by Dreamysyu

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22 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

(and probably because they we dissatisfied with something these media do).

And considering how most anime adaptations of VNs suck anyway (even Unlimited Blade Works was meh in comparison), you would think more people would prefer VNs.

Edited by LemiusK

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25 minutes ago, LemiusK said:

I think the bigger problem here is in regards to what Lesiak pointed out, that there might be too much stuff getting translated. Saturation is an issue too. For example, as popular as Marvel movies are nowadays, a lot of people are kinda tired of the saturated superhero formula. Might not be an ideal example, but you get the point. Too much of anything is never good, especially when it comes to business. Supply and demand.

I think saturation is actually a much bigger potential problems for VNs in general than most other mediums. VNs are usually rather long compared to most medium. If you for instance decrease the price of VNs the sales might not increase that much since a lot of those who buys VNs won't have time to read it all. If you just build up a really long backlog you will probably end up only buying the most highly rated of the new stuff regardless of it costing almost nothing or consting a decent amount. With VNs you then also have to not only think about how much a customer is willing to pay but also how much time they have to read. As for how the current market is increasing in terms of amount of released titles I am a bit worried that there simply won't be a large enough community to actually keep the translation companies going. So even if we assumed that the fanbase didn't get bored of it I still think the saturation poses a problem.

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1 hour ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

They'll never be mainstream like anime, but they don't need to be to survive. The community is also doing fine and I see no reasons for doomsaying.

The feeling that it is going nowhere troubles me. It gives the feeling of watching the sea level rise everyday on some lone isle and wait hopelessly the day it consumes you. Were it a tsunami one could die in glory but passive suicide is depressing.

---

I think we are "at the mercy of" anime. If somehow the japanese industry decline, VN would be the first to perish. And there is nothing we can do about it except take over their legacy and write great non-japanese VN. This is the only feasible and optimistic option I can think of.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, zxdvas said:

I think we are "at the mercy of" anime. If somehow the japanese industry decline, VN would be the first to perish. And there is nothing we can do about it except take over their legacy and write great non-japanese VN. This is the only feasible and optimistic option I can think of.

As long as there is still an anime industry and western fans we will get anime. As for VNs well that is more so based on whether the VN fandom in the west buys enough to maintain a market, while people who are into VNs mainly came from anime I doubt a decline in anime will have major impact on the current VN community. I don't really think it is likely that VNs will dissapear completely in the west, rather what I am worried about is a decline in amount of titles and some current publisher shutting down due to oversaturation causing lower sales. Though even if we were to somehow get the worst case scenario where no more VNs were to be made or translated, there would still be lots of them to read even only taking the english market into consideration. Also if it matters to you that much you could also just learn japanese and then you would have an insane amount of titles available to read.

Edited by bakauchuujin

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I don't know. The VN community from what I can tell really isn't in danger of going under like you claim it is. If anything, VNs are experiencing a sort of Renaissance today where there are more VNs being officially localized in the west than ever before, and Steam removing its previous stance on sexual content is helping matters as well. The main problem would be what @Plk_Lesiak already described earlier; too much VNs getting translated which could lead to stagnation. But as far as a community collapse goes, we're far from that. It takes a lot of inside factors to truly kill a community, as I know from experience.

3 hours ago, zxdvas said:

VN benefit little from capitalism

To be fair, the "other option" really isn't good for VNs either. :makina:

Edited by UnlimitedMoeWorks

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8 minutes ago, UnlimitedMoeWorks said:

To be fair, the "other option" really isn't good for VNs either. :makina:

I think the only option that would work really well for VNs would be a dictator who loved VNs, though having a dictator wouldn't really benefit society at large.

Edited by bakauchuujin

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22 minutes ago, bakauchuujin said:

if it matters to you that much you could also just learn japanese and then you would have an insane amount of titles available to read.

I did not say I cannot read japanese (nor did I say I can). It is precisely that I can read some VN others can't I know how much the world is missing. There is a reason to care about a community even if my interest does not exactly align.

---

I guess I can never truly represent any voice of any community. It is interesting to me that everything I say in life or online backfire on me.

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Ummm...... can't comment much other than there's should be some reason to form VN communities as long as there's still many released VN out there. And perhaps once again the OP should seek some counseling from capable people or his parents, if he keep feeling pessimistic and felt that whatever he say in either real life or online keep backfiring on him.

Edited by littleshogun

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On 11/17/2018 at 6:44 AM, TexasDice said:

Don't fall for the piracy fallacy. The net gain of killing piracy is basically nonexistent, because most pirates wouldn't go "I can't pirate the thing? Guess I will pay" if you got rid of piracy, they will most likely say "Can't pirate the thing? Guess I'll do something else." and fuck off.

Actually, here's why this argument doesn't hold water: even if 95% of pirates decided not to bother, if that meant the 5% remaining actually bought the game, it would be an unspeakable windfall for the VN market. Piracy of VNs dwarfs actual purchases, and every company in the industry is constantly running on such razor-thin margins, that it's squeezing out all of these companies. Piracy is exactly what prevents us from getting better games, and better translations of them. It's why virtually nobody who works in the industry even tries to make a living off of it.

I totally understand why people pirate. It's often easier, it's less intrusive if there's DRM, and sometimes you just can't afford a game. But if you can't afford it, maybe you should stop playing? Because I shit you not, the ratio of pirated downloads to legit purchases is utterly soul-crushing for people who work in the industry and have to see it constantly on the edge of collapsing in on itself.

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2 hours ago, Fred the Barber said:

Actually, here's why this argument doesn't hold water: even if 95% of pirates decided not to bother, if that meant the 5% remaining actually bought the game, it would be an unspeakable windfall for the VN market. Piracy of VNs dwarfs actual purchases, and every company in the industry is constantly running on such razor-thin margins, that it's squeezing out all of these companies. Piracy is exactly what prevents us from getting better games, and better translations of them. It's why virtually nobody who works in the industry even tries to make a living off of it.

I totally understand why people pirate. It's often easier, it's less intrusive if there's DRM, and sometimes you just can't afford a game. But if you can't afford it, maybe you should stop playing? Because I shit you not, the ratio of pirated downloads to legit purchases is utterly soul-crushing for people who work in the industry and have to see it constantly on the edge of collapsing in on itself.

The effect of piracy is rather hard to predict. On one hand it might lead to people who otherwise would have bought it not buying it but on the other hand piracy increase the amount of people interested in a medium and thus works to promote the medium.

 

For instance the growth of anime I would assume is largely related to piracy. While there are countries where some anime is aired there might not be enough to make people get really interested in anime. Other countries don't have anime on TV and therefore lacks a chance to get to watch it outside of paid services. These places also generally has a lacking amount of titles on their paid services severly limiting the amount they can watch. Because of this piracy can generally considered the main way to get into anime, at least in some parts of the world. Also while you might think that people pirating anime don't pay anything in to the anime industry that would be quite wrong. On one hand they might recommend it to their friends who start to watch legally or they might buy blu rays or merchandise of serieses that they like. Personally I pirate anime, but I have also spent thousands of dollars on things related to anime, whether it is blu rays, original manga, artbooks, games, figures, wall scrolls or VNs based on the anime (japanese titles on ps4 or psvita).

 

Now getting back to VNs, it is quite hard to know how the effect is. While I mentioned a lot of possitives for piracy regarding anime I am not sure how much these aspects can help. I would assume VNs are mainly promoted through the internet since I doubt most VN fans tries to introduce it to people they know in real life due to being scared about the person learning about eroge and calling them a perv or a pedo for being into VNs. As for merchandise there are some available through kickstarters and through some sites like MG, SP, Jlist and Denpa but the options are limited and there is also the problem with high shipping fees and lots of things being 18+ (some people don't want that in their visably in their house). As for physical copies there is the fact that VNs are usually not as attractive to reread as anime is to rewatch due to the length of them. Also the shipping fees are generally rather high and some people don't want to risk anyone finding out that they have physical porn around the house. Because of these things I would doubt that many pirates buy much merchandise other than those who pirated a VN before it was officially available. So to conclude I think that VNs don't get as much positive effect from piracy as anime does and I am not sure how large the negative effect is because it is hard to know how many people pirate and how many of these pirates would have bought it. 

 

My main message with what I wrote is that there are differences in the nett effect of piracy is in different mediums. In some mediums it might be benefitial while in others it might be harmfull. Personally I don't know regarding VNs as there are many factors I don't know about, but I would assume anime gets a more positive nett effect from piracy than VNs.

 

Also while I do pirate anime, I have never pirated a VN. Just wanted to mention it in case people got mad at me.

Edited by bakauchuujin

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6 hours ago, Fred the Barber said:

Actually, here's why this argument doesn't hold water: even if 95% of pirates decided not to bother, if that meant the 5% remaining actually bought the game, it would be an unspeakable windfall for the VN market.

My argument is that the number is 100%. The people who pirated because there was no other way in the past are already paying now that they can. 

Someone who never intended to pay will not do so simply because it's not possible. They will still not pay. Net gain 0.

Edited by TexasDice

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