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Did 2020 destroy the Eroge Industry for a wide variety of high end titles?


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I've noticed a shift over the past 2 years, since COVID happened. Lately there has been a lack of variety for very high end titles that have come out in the eroge industry. Mostly what I see is DMM.com type stuff, where there may be high end art, but the scenarios are very short. Or I'm seeing indie style games. There has also been a surge of what looks like cellphone types. But I haven't seen a wave of high quality games come out as of late. I've seen romance stuff come out with 1 or 2 H scenes total. Almost as if they are set up with the intention for an all ages version or to be easily marketable outside of Japan. There are those that come out.

 

For instance nakege(game that have story and make you cry) still come out but even those are few and far between to be called 18+. Nukege(fap style games) seem to lack variety, least on the high end titles. When they do come out, scenarios seem shorter, or the route map layouts seem to be less complex in their flag triggers.

The highest tier games wouldbe stuff like Majikoi series which had AAA actors in there. But if we are talking about normal budget, I don't see Yuzusoft coming out with much. Liquid has sorta fallen off the wayside. Tryset is iffy. Feng hasn't shown much. Unisonshift (don't know if they are still around) I haven't seen as of late. My observation is that the eroge industry has slowed to a crawl and the release of games that have long play hours seem to be dwindling.

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The collapse of the VN industry in Japan actually began back in 2018, but it is true that Covid has trashed the industry pretty thoroughly.  The main reason why is that the consumers of VNs have less spare cash these days, thus making production of high end VNs risky.  Moreover, charage/moege in particular are dying because the sheer number of fanboys necessary to keep the industry going simply aren't around.  Right now, it is actually common for only one or two non-nukige to be released each month, whereas six or seven was the norm prior to 2018.  This is directly proportionate to the economic downturn amongst the fanboy demographic.

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This is not exactly what I see. For a start, 2 years is too much of a short period to actually make any sort of analysis about the industry as a whole, Vn development usually will take quite some time, so much that most full price titles  released would had its production started before COVID. Besides that, I have no idea of what Vns with 1-2 h-scenes you are talking about. While there had some producers trying to cater to the western market, they are in the minority, the majority still releases with the japanese market in mind first and foremost.

I don`t follow what you mean by DMM style games with high art quality and short scenario, but if you are talking about single heroine games, those have being a trend for quite some time now, and they usually have a high amount of erotic content. While some studios focus on this type of content, others seem to have used those as a filler between higher productions, so it`s not that much of a big deal.

As far as high-production goes, seems to me to be unfair to use majikoi as a standard for high profile VNs, that thing is not normal under any circumstance, the amount of voiced characters with high profile VAs is not a common thing. As a comparison with majikoi, wagahime was release just this year, and I wouldn`t say to be lower as far as productions goes. Gikei, like all inre games has pretty high quality productions and it`s pretty long. Buddy mission is both long and have Murata, the artist of One punch man doing the art. Fuyukuru, being under silky`s plus brand, certainly have higher production than any of the previous sci-fi season series of watanabe. Upcoming titles like hentai prison or the Aokana extra2 have fairly high production too.

Plenty studios still do long titles, you just doesn`t have as much of the unnecessary long titles like 70h long novels, but this could very well being because if they were supposed to be this long, they probably will end up being broken on multiple games anyway. 

Again, 2 years look too much of a short time to actually make a big analysis of the impact of covid in the production of VNs.

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7 hours ago, Haiyami said:

My observation is that the eroge industry has slowed to a crawl and the release of games that have long play hours seem to be dwindling.

Yes, I've been talking about this in private for a while now. The output of the VN industry in Japan has changed a lot in recent years. And not for the better in my opinion.

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The reason why I observed that the collapse began in 2018 was because that was the point where the absolute number of non-nukige VNs began to decrease significantly.  Even before that, even as far back as 2015, there was a sharp drop in quality in the 'mainstay' genres of JVNs (Charage/moege) as well as a gradual drop in quantity.  However, this is something that was only noticeable if you were consuming as many as I was at the time.  Not only that, but it was at that point that a number of companies that had previously been exclusively charage/moege focused began to produce plotge (story-focused) VNs, testing the waters for reasons that are obvious in retrospect.  To put it simply, there was an economic downturn in the demographic for consumers of the mainstay JVNs and JVNs in general.  With less money in hand, they were less likely to spend on the figurines and other goods that tended to make up for any shortfalls in game sales, so it became more difficult just to break even when producing a standard-quality moege/charage (this also hit the other genres to a lesser extent).  

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  • 2 months later...

Ooh, very late answer from me, I think, but... Yeah, new month releases are not same as several years ago, now I see Getchu release page and see 90% nukige titles, with various fetishes etc... Some of them with absolutely ugly art, by the way (Tryset Break, for example). 

Many companies decides to go for single heroine games now, and then combining them into series, resell and resell. It looks not good for a customer, but seems like there's no other option.

But about high end titles... They are still producing, just pace became slower?..

For example, this year... Lump of Sugar, Marmalade, Saga Planets, Purple Software, Whirlpool, Circus, ASa Project releases their new full-price games. Yeah, 9800 yen with 10% tax now even higher price than usual... But we have what we have.

 

I don't know if nukige market feeling well.

But usually when you still see new eroge on shelves, every month, it means that's everything is not so bad, right? Companies still producing games. So this means that industry is not collapsed. 

But that's just my opinion, I wonder if there's people who knows more than me. Trying to find some statements from producers in industry is so difficult for me, so there aren't any proofs.

Edited by Veshurik
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