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New VN Publisher ANIPLEX.EXE blocks Europe


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Even though there hasn't been a thread here yet I am sure some of you heard about a new collaboration between Aniplex and Frontwing and Liar-soft to release to two new VNs by both companies with worldwide simultaneous releases. These two VNs are ATRI -My Dear Moments- and Adabana Odd Tales, and few hours ago it was revealed that they are planned for a release this June.

Their Steam pages are here:

ATRI: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1230140/ATRI_My_Dear_Moments/

Adabana Odd Tales: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1094820/Adabana_Odd_Tales/

But if you are from Europe you will notice that you are blocked from viewing the page for Adabana Odd Tales. This has been the case for at least a month as complaints on the Steam forum shows, so it's unlikely that this is just a mistake. It is also noticeable that europeans are also blocked from viewing the official site for ANIPLEX.EXE which can be found here: https://aniplex-exe.com/

 

Aniplex is mostly known as an Anime licensing company, where it is standard practice to divide the distribution license for different territories like North America and Europe. My speculation is now that this also the case with Adabana Odd Tales, which would be an alarming new development for VN market. So far the publishers for translated VN where a able to sell their english translations around the globe with exception of Japan for the most part. To my knowledge there has never been an translated VN that has been blocked like this before. If this becomes successful and VN licensing is becoming separated for North America and Europe it would be huge step back for the VN industry.

 

Now I will admit that the last part is purely speculation on my part since ANIPLEX.EXE so far hasn't explained why the don't sell Adabana Odd Tales in Europe (but don't block ATRI), but until they clarify this situation I am concerned about this development. Even if you are not specifically interested in those two titles, as I explained above it could have further consequences for the VN industry, so It would be nice if you could spread this information further to raise awareness of the problem. If more people ask https://twitter.com/ANIPLEX_EXE and https://twitter.com/aniplexUSA maybe we could get an explanation.

Edited by Formlose Gestalt
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I can see ANIPLEX page from my Steam account, but indeed when I try to click Adabana from there, I get the error message "This product is currently unavailable in your region".

As for acces to aniplex-exe.com being blocked within EU, I guess that it might have something to do with the site being supposedly not GDPR-compliant. It's the same with some other Japanese or US pages - when you try to browse them from within EU, you get message that they cannot show it because it's not GDPR-compliant, and thus "illegal" in EU. In other words, they have to block it, or they could be sued.

Edited by adamstan
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While new VN company is nice to see, I'm more interested with the fact that both of Makura and Frontwing work together to release ATRI. So perhaps we may have Sakura no Uta, although of course it'll be impossible to do. I can't comment on EU block on Adanbana there, so I'll just say that hopefully it'll be resolved sooner or later.

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  • 2 months later...
10 minutes ago, Narcosis said:

atri_count.png

adabana_count.png

Speaks volumes.

Which is pretty sad, because Liar Soft is a hell of a company, and all their games I've read so far became favorites. The lack of support for the Europe is going to kill the game, specially since Aniplex is unknown. The consequences will be less and less LS games released in the future - or worse, a new business plan where Aniplex games are excluded from specific regions. The only solution for many will be pirating, which will equal to lack of sales

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I don't know the background behind this release, but I would even go as far to say this might kill Liar-Soft, depending on the circumstances and their current legal agreements. Not to say they were doing bad... but their new games are considerably of lower quality - both story and art-wise - and it shows.

2 minutes ago, Silvz said:

The only solution for many will be pirating, which will equal to lack of sales

Lo and behold - we just came full circle.

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11 minutes ago, Narcosis said:

I don't know the background behind this release, but I would even go as far to say this might kill Liar-Soft, depending on the circumstances and their current legal agreements. Not to say they were doing bad... but their new games are considerably of lower quality - both story and art-wise - and it shows.

Lo and behold - we just came full circle.

I didn't say they would kill LS, but would kill their chances of getting back to the licensing table. I mean, Mangagamer is not doing a good job with their Liar Soft game either.

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3 minutes ago, Silvz said:

I didn't say they would kill LS, but would kill their chances of getting back to the licensing table. I mean, Mangagamer is not doing a good job with their Liar Soft game either.

What do you mean? Are you referring to Sona Nyl? I'm kinda out of the loop with the latest news, but last time I checked they went as far as to port the game into an entirely new engine written from scratch in Ren'Py; hardly "bad" from my point of view.

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1 hour ago, Narcosis said:

What do you mean? Are you referring to Sona Nyl? I'm kinda out of the loop with the latest news, but last time I checked they went as far as to port the game into an entirely new engine written from scratch in Ren'Py; hardly "bad" from my point of view.

yes, they are working on it for what? three years? and no news besides the few updates on their blog

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So I'm kind of late to this news, but both VNs look genuinely promising. On that front I am very optimistic.

As for the business side of things with this strange policy towards Europe, well this sounds like just the kind of bullshit I would expect from Japanese companies. Its not just xenophobia, the boomers who are in charge of most Japanese companies are hardly ever business savvy, and this is in large part because in most Japanese companies you don't get promoted on merit but rather seniority. I don't know the specifics of the companies involved here, but the phenomenon I mentioned is just broadly speaking a major issue I've noticed in how Japanese business culture functions.    

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Just now, Zalor said:

So I'm kind of late to this news, but both VNs look genuinely promising. On that front I am very optimistic.

As for the business side of things with this strange policy towards Europe, well this sounds like just the kind of bullshit I would expect from Japanese companies. Its not just xenophobia, the boomers who are in charge of most Japanese companies are hardly ever business savvy, and this is in large part because in most Japanese companies you don't get promoted on merit but rather seniority. I don't know the specifics of the companies involved here, but the phenomenon I mentioned is just broadly speaking a major issue I've noticed in how Japanese business culture functions.    

Idk if that's related to what you said, but Frontwing is actually releasing a lot of their games in the west, be it through localization companies or by themselves, so I don't think it is a problem on their side

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1 hour ago, Silvz said:

Idk if that's related to what you said, but Frontwing is actually releasing a lot of their games in the west, be it through localization companies or by themselves, so I don't think it is a problem on their side

I agree with that, but because this is involving other companies if one of them is more conservative, this could easily drag the other ones down by having to compromise. Since my understanding is that this is a join venture between all of them. Which likely means that if any big disagreements come up it would easily result in compromise, and defaulting to conventional business practices. But again, this is all just speculation on my part.

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Honestly, although a bitter pill to swallow, it would be easier to accept if they at least made a comment on why exactly they're geoblocking Adabana but not ATRI. The gaming industry already has a history of not releasing certain games in certain regions due to licensing issues and whatnot, but if that's the case here, they should make that clear rather than just banning games seemingly at random and then leaving us completely out of the loop with no explanation.

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It gets even weirder since it isn't just translation, but the only, worldwide (well, minus Europe...) release of Adabana. So I cannot even go to DLsite or wherever, to buy another version - because there's none*.

*On VNDB pages for both ATRI and Adabana there are links to DMM, but they're dead, giving the 404 error message.

Edited by adamstan
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