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Jardic47

Musicus: Is this or Mangagamer still relevant

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I read on reddit today that Musicus was going to be licenced to Mangagamer and that made me think of this question. Is Mangagamer still relevant with the VN public? I saw them do this project since when I started playing VNs back in 2017 and I was just curious on what people think about the company. With the controversy surrounding the company, I was wondering if they have a place at the table or not. I just want to know what people think.

 

Link to the controversy topic on VNDB: https://vndb.org/t13937/1

Edited by Jardic47

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Uh, yes they are. As much as anybody else.
They translate titles into English and that's that. Not much else really matters, despite what loud vocal minorities might claim.
Somebody having problems with translations has always been common and underpayment is supposedly getting better but Mangagamer is terrible in that area and for that they deserve all the flak.

That all said, as long as they put out titles people who want translated VNs will get them, regardless of the company. Some boycotters exist, but not really a majority and given the piracy levels I'm not sure how much overlap there is between the "boycotters" and the pirates.

From the Japanese side they're well placed with headquarters in Japan and, considering the Japanese side often is unaware of the quality of translations (Hello SakuraGame), Mangagamer likely does not have problems landing deals on that front.

 

So, all in all, I'm not sure I understood what you're trying to say. As long as they have money and they continue to want to translate titles, they will do so.

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Mangagamer releases an VN that interests me, I buy it just as always.

On the points in that thread.
Dude can definetely work as a TL in the right circumstances but it was kinda blanket TLd which isn't really optimal, the pressure the translator felt could probably have contributed to forgoing a more nuaced approach.
Lot's of TL criticisms are rather uninformed imo, when people kick up a fuss about a noun -> noun TL choices and then point to some stilted TL that include all their favorite Japanisms but bungle the JP grammar and context in ways that completely change what's being said at points as "how a good TL is done" it becomes somewhat hard to take them seriously.
I mean if it wasn't framed as some crusade against the evil "localization" conspiracy so often and people presented their questions in a more open manner it would be fine I guess.

On the working conditions point, that is concerning but it's extremely hard to judge from the outside though, so I'm just hoping that things resolves in a way that no one gets screwed over.

On the discord stuff, I just think people are being divas and should calm down and not be so easily offended.

And on the Fatamoru stuff, outrage outlet saw lots of easy add money to be made and whipped up people who have no idea what they are talking about into an fit.

Edited by ArgentstR

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Yup, as @Mr Poltroon said, but I'd argue this undersells MGs importance. They're a company with a particularly diverse offering and one that is very consistent with their releases. They also tackle projects that no sane company should be willing to take, like translating Rance X (which is an absurdly large and complex game). While you have companies like NekoNyan focusing purely on moege, Sekai Project trips on its own legs every other month and JastUSA is lost in its own dimension where the timeflow doesn't follow the rules of our universe, MG gets stuff done. Right now, while there's generally more competition on the market and some developers, like Key and Frontwing, translate and publish their VNs in-house, it might not seem that important, but I think it still is. If MG suddenly disappeared, we would feeel it, particularly when it goes to more ambitious/niche VNs reaching the West. So, even though their image definitely suffered through all this drama, they're kind of indispensable and when they take on a project, you can be fairly sure it'll get done unless something really unusual happens.

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Thank you for the input you three. I didn't know what was going on and I wanted to be sure that they were still at the table with there heads on straight. I didn't want to see them go down the rabbit hole Sekai went down. I wasn't doing this to put Mangagamer down. I just thought something was wrong. I didn't mean to cause drama if I did. 

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7 minutes ago, Jardic47 said:

Thank you for the input you three. I didn't know what was going on and I wanted to be sure that they were still at the table with there heads on straight. I didn't want to see them go down the rabbit hole Sekai went down. I wasn't doing this to put Mangagamer down. I just thought something was wrong. I didn't mean to cause drama if I did. 

Nah man, no drama was caused. None of us have any reason to be militant about MG, or be offended by the suggestion they're losing importance. It's just not the case when you look at the realities of the VN scene in the West, and don't focus on the occasional flamewar. :)

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More often than not, people who criticize localization choices do not know anything about translatiing, nor have ever studied this field. It's the same as when parents think they know how a teacher is supposed to teach, when they obviously don't.

And yes, Mangagamer is very relevant.

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They are still my favorite localization company.  I've purchased more than 50 titles from them and I'll continue to purchase more in the future - including Musicus.  I've been looking forward to Musicus for a long time and I'm glad it finally got officially announced.  I agree with some of the other posters that most people who complain are a small minority, people who don't know much about the localization process, and pirates.  Same with the people who complain about JAST, NIS America, xseed, and the other localizers - the complaints are almost always very similar to each other, regardless of the specific localizer or the game or the genre.

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Just because Nekonyan are single-handedly saving translations from Sekai's ineptitude and Sol's unfortunate taste in title selection doesn't mean that we should forget how MangaGamer held the line for so long. Bless you, MG. But please, weed out some of your bad interpreters soon.

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Mangagamer is one of the oldest localizers and still stands pretty strong. They also currently provides a central store for many other VN localizers, with steam being so dodgy this is pretty important.

the only thing they are missing is consistently decent titles, I havent bought anything from them for a while. Wish they'd release more stuff like Sorcery Jokers

 

Their titles are still more interesting than the ones Sekai and Sol are releasing tho. Still dont get why Sol are obsessed with the niche titles 

Edited by Freestyle80

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20 hours ago, TexasDice said:

...and Sol's unfortunate taste in title selection...

This is one of the things that I can't comprehend to this day. I see so many of you criticizing Sol's license pickups, but none of you go out of your way to explain what exactly it is that Sol should've been picking up. Actually, I don't even see much difference in NN and Sol Press pickups. Both have comedy and moege VNs in their portfolio. The only difference is that NN was able to go after more famous ones, and was lucky enough to make a partnership with a Chinese localization company. That's it. Other than that, the genre of VNs they are both doing is the same. We can talk about what a shitshow Sol Press is behind the scenes and their poor handling of projects and PR, but as far as localization choices go, I don't see any problems with their pickups. In fact, I'd argue some of these should have been bestsellers, yet Sol had an unfortunate luck to be... well, Sol Press xD I mean, if they couldn't sell Onikiss, then they definitely did something wrong. It's the kind of title that MG made banks back in the day (and is still making to this day).

19 hours ago, Freestyle80 said:

Still dont get why Sol are obsessed with the niche titles 

But the whole VN medium is kinda niche, more or less. What do you expect Sol to do? Not everyone can get Yuzusoft and Aokana. They picked up some okay average VNs, I don't see what's so niche about picking up, I dunno, My Fair Princess over Hello, Goodbye. They are both niche just as much as each other.

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49 minutes ago, Infernoplex said:

but none of you go out of your way to explain what exactly it is that Sol should've been picking up. ... The only difference is that NN was able to go after more famous ones, and was lucky enough to make a partnership with a Chinese localization company.

Aside from titles/companies someone has heard of before?

How about titles that have some basic features I'd expect from a VN in 2020, like voice lines playing over mouse click or free button mapping. Even the one-voice-actress, reused-bgm nukige Ammolite keeps shitting out manage to fulfill those requirements. 

But yes, what it boils down to most is the complete lack of any big name that gets people exited. I like Newton, Under One Wing is fine and Oniikiss is a pretty decent nukige. However, these games as well as the by now infamous Sakura Sakura are the epitome of "literally who?"-games. Which is a shame, since the Sol tech-whizzes responsible for decensoring and upscaling those 2008-resolutions are committing what I can only assume is black magic.

which leads me to... 

49 minutes ago, Infernoplex said:

They picked up some okay average VNs, I don't see what's so niche about picking up, I dunno, My Fair Princess over Hello, Goodbye. They are both niche just as much as each other.

They are similar, but that isn't exactly the problem. Nekonyan scored a well-known publisher in addition to their "literally-who"-games. Nobody cared at all about Fureraba when it released. I assume no English VN reader ever heard of it before or cared much. Now, quite a while later, lots of people (me included) were RAVING for Making Lovers to come out and put the Smee name out there. That's the two-step plan: Lure the masses in with a big name (in this case Sanoba Witch) first and when they decide to stay, they'll check out the rest of your catalog.

MangaGamer was, as far as I understand, able to get away with completely niché games from their initial Overdrive repertoire because a) There was no real competition and b) most of the initial footing was based on nukige and cheap porn games before Da Capo landed in their laps. And even then, we are now seeing that MG is running out of things people want to see, though I do appreciate their idea behind releasing some non-standard VNs recently.

I'm not saying Sol Press is completely hopeless in this area, considering they managed to snatch Favorite, due to SP's utter lack of business sense, management and well... anything worth of basic praise. So if Sol can succeed with Iroseka, maybe those who cared about that will be more open to read - god forbid actually buy - Sakura Sakura. 

Edited by TexasDice

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8 minutes ago, TexasDice said:

I'm not saying Sol Press is completely hopeless in this area, considering they managed to snatch Favorite, due to SP's utter lack of business sense, management and well... anything worth of basic praise. So if Sol can succeed with Iroseka, maybe those who cared about that will be more open to read - god forbid actually buy - Sakura Sakura. 

NukiTashi 's a relatively known name, isn't it? Or is it just my circles that know about it? (It won some award or other, right?)

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13 minutes ago, TexasDice said:

Aside from titles/companies someone has heard of before?

You have to accept what I said earlier. Not everyone can get Yuzusoft/sprite on board. Are we supposed to shun a company just because they can't make a big name studio give them the rights to their titles? Besides, I don't think many famous companies are left for picking. Maybe Eushully and August, but that's about it. Everyone else is as obscure as you can get.

18 minutes ago, TexasDice said:

How about titles that have some basic features I'd expect from a VN in 2020, like voice lines playing over mouse click or free button mapping. Even the one-voice-actress, reused-bgm nukige Ammolite keeps shitting out manage to fulfill those requirements. 

That sounds like some tech problems or lack of QOL features. I don't know which VNs you mean, but I'll assume it's Sakura Sakura/Yotsunoha or that Laplacian VN. Whatever the case, not every VN is going to be like that. I guess they're limited by what they can do with the original VN engines, which by the way, most of the time suck and is one of the reasons why NN wants to have and use their own homemade engine for all their future VN releases.

25 minutes ago, TexasDice said:

But yes, what it boils down to most is the complete lack of any big name that gets people exited. I like Newton, Under One Wing is fine and Oniikiss is a pretty decent nukige.

And here I thought OniKiss was a big name. Damn. I guess it boils down to who considers what famous.

26 minutes ago, TexasDice said:

However, these games as well as the by now infamous Sakura Sakura are the epitome of "literally who?"-games. Which is a shame, since the Sol tech-whizzes responsible for decensoring and upscaling those 2008-resolutions are committing what I can only assume is black magic.

Yeah, they are "literally who"-games, but it's very likely that Sol doesn't have the means to pick up anything else. You usually pick up some smaller stuff just to get off from the ground, but apparently, it didn't work for Sol. Not to mention, they had to use a Kickstarter for their first two titles, Sakura Sakura and Newton. Obviously, they are very small, and they had no means to pull off what NN did.

29 minutes ago, TexasDice said:

They are similar, but that isn't exactly the problem. Nekonyan scored a well-known publisher in addition to their "literally-who"-games. Nobody cared at all about Fureraba when it released. I assume no English VN reader ever heard of it before or cared much. Now, quite a while later, lots of people (me included) were RAVING for Making Lovers to come out and put the Smee name out there. That's the two-step plan: Lure the masses in with a big name (in this case Sanoba Witch) first and when they decide to stay, they'll check out the rest of your catalog.

I beg to disagree. For the first month Fureraba was out, I saw quite a few discussions about it, and I had an impression it was doing very well as NN's first VN. I agree it may have been a "literally-who"-game (although even that is arguable... I had an impression SMEE titles weren't all that obscure in the first place), but it still put NekoNyan on the map. Can't say the same for Sol Press. They did at least 3 VNs at the beginning, and none of them seemed to have put them on the map. Not Newton, not Sakura Sakura, and not Under One Wing. And somehow, even Onikiss seemed to have been received poorly. I don't know how they managed to do that, but I guess their poor PR hit them in the ass, as well as lack of ability to put it on Steam (still... MG never needed Steam to make Imopara a success story).

Anyway, my point is - not everyone can get a well-known publisher. You talk about that, but if we go by that logic, most companies should just buckle up and leave when they are unable to get any big name stuff. It's very unfair, especially towards some new companies that may want to enter the market one day. Aside from the fact that there aren't any many really famous companies left for picking, you also have to accept that it's literally impossible to get some stuff. And besides, other localization companies used to survive on some obscurer titles than what Sol is putting out. That's why I am 100% convinced it's not their licenses that hurt Sol the most, but the way they handled them, how they advertized them, etc. That's their biggest problem even today. I mean, Nukitashi and Iroseka should be at least decent, even if we disregard how famous they became in Japan. But Sol's handling of them is... "eh" at best. That's one of the things that puts NN and Sol Press apart. The way they handle their projects and licenses. Neither has bad picks, it's just that Sol has no fucking clue what they are doing. I attribute this to poor leadership and management.

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9 hours ago, Infernoplex said:

Anyway, my point is - not everyone can get a well-known publisher. You talk about that, but if we go by that logic, most companies should just buckle up and leave when they are unable to get any big name stuff. It's very unfair, especially towards some new companies that may want to enter the market one day. Aside from the fact that there aren't any many really famous companies left for picking, you also have to accept that it's literally impossible to get some stuff. And besides, other localization companies used to survive on some obscurer titles than what Sol is putting out. That's why I am 100% convinced it's not their licenses that hurt Sol the most, but the way they handled them, how they advertized them, etc. That's their biggest problem even today. I mean, Nukitashi and Iroseka should be at least decent, even if we disregard how famous they became in Japan. But Sol's handling of them is... "eh" at best. That's one of the things that puts NN and Sol Press apart. The way they handle their projects and licenses. Neither has bad picks, it's just that Sol has no fucking clue what they are doing. I attribute this to poor leadership and management

One thing that builds up trust, Nekonyan interacts a lot with people on their forums/discord and have a semi-regular blog/twitter updates on their progress, they also announce their roadmap and stick to their promised release time and times their releases pretty well, not overlapping with any other major releases. If NekoNyan releases something from a unknown publisher now (like Golden Loveriche, I dont think anyone released anything from Saga Planets in the west yet) people will be more inclined to buy it.

 

Also, one thing for my region at least is pricing, Sol Press's games are like $50-$58 (AUD) here compared to NN's 40ish, I'm not gonna pay that for titles I have never ever heard of from a new localization company that haven't really proven anything yet.  

 

and we can't expect all of them to get famous publishers yes but your very first title released being a title I literally never heard of (Newton), was never even interested in buying and having a premise that sounds downright stupid (also containing a arrogant tsundere loli as a main heroine, I dont think thats as popular here like it is in Japan but thats a personal gripe) is not a good start is it? They could've chosen a far better initial title, doesnt have to be an Yuzusoft title.

Actually they scuffed their first release since they pulled a Sekai on it (I honestly dont remember the name of this game lol) so that definitely hurt them as well. First impressions last.

 

Its not too late for them tho, they need to market better as you said and a whole host of other things too probably 

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Late to the party here.

As to answer the question, I think I'm more or less agree with some opinion above in that they're still relevant. Especially when they still have some upcoming releases along with some secret projects, and I'm sure that most of people would likely didn't care much about Mangagamer's private conversations. Although of course apparently they're quite careful with public opinion, or at least that's what I think.

For the leak itself, while it did reveal some less pleasant side of the staffs, honestly to me it's less of exposing the staffs behavior and more in regard of revenge towards Mangagamer itself by bringing them down together. And please remember that the conversation is supposed to be private, because in their Discord I didn't see the section that contained the conversation which mean that it's supposed to be for staffs only. While that fact is very obvious, unfortunately people was more interested to critic Mangagamer over the conversations that was supposed to not seen by general public thanks to possible a vengeful staff. In any case, I think it's just a small obstacle for Mangagamer.

Sol Press, well they did have some problems to say it easily. One of those are their decision of upscaling Sakusakura which caused a year delay, although to be fair they did quite well with Newton. Although even then Nekonyan already overshadowed them with Fureraba release, and by the time they finally manage to release Sakusakura Nekonyan already released Sanoba which obviously more well-known. And the less we talk about their wrong decision to announce the exact release dates back at last year AX, the better. By the way even Doddler did call the decision to upscaling Sakusakura is crazy, and I'm sure that the graphic didn't change much. I may be wrong on this since Sol Press thought that it's more important to upscaling the graphic rather than get their first VN that they working since back at 2017 being released quickly.

That's all for what I can say here.

Edited by littleshogun

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