MangaGamer To Publish “Study Abroad” Visual Novel, Hope To Expand Genre

By Ishaan . July 7, 2010 . 4:01pm


Anime Expo was an important avenue for visual novel announcements this year. While JAST USA announced newly-acquired title, Tenkuu no Yumina, for localization at their own panel, MangaGamer’s presentation involved announcements from three different visual novel producers:


Overdrive’s “Study Abroad” Exclusive


The big one was that visual novel developer, Overdrive, known for games such as KiraKira, are in the process of developing a “study abroad” bishoujo game exclusively for release by MangaGamer in western territories. The goal of the game is to offer an interactive guide to Tokyo using the visual novel system.


According to MangaGamer, players, playing the role of a foreign student, would be able to travel around Tokyo, experience the sights and so forth, with the entire scenario developed in a visual novel format, complete with the genre’s trademarks. No artwork or further information has been released as of now, but we’ll keep you posted as more details are rolled out in the coming months.


Moving on to upcoming projects, DearDrops, also by Overdrive, has been officially licensed by MangaGamer, alongside Da Capo II and Da Capo: Innocent Finale (by Circus, announced last year). Additionally, Overdrive’s newest project, titled Dengeki Strikers, was announced at the panel. While no information on the game was officially revealed, you can probably expect to see this added to MangaGamer’s portfolio down the line as well, given that every other Overdrive game has been published by them.


Age on Entering the Western Market


Best known for PC / Dreamcast / PS2 title, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, developer Age, to the crowd’s delight, voiced their eagerness at the MangaGamer panel, to bring both Kimi ga Nozomu Eien as well as Muv-Luv to the western market, should they be given the chance.


Keep in mind, Age’s presence at MangaGamer’s presentation doesn’t mean MG are going to be licensing their products. The goal of their presentation was primarily to allow Japanese developers to make their voices heard and communicate with their audience. Given Navel’s enthusiasm, it should be interesting to see when and by whom their star franchises are localized.


Navel on the Importance of Fan Support


Perhaps the most direct approach, however, was the one taken on by Navel, known for developing breakout hit, Shuffle! and publishing Soul Link. Age’s message to fans was simple: “If you buy the games, we’ll put out more of them,” alluding to the ongoing piracy problem plaguing PC visual novel sales.


In MangaGamer’s minds, the event, aimed primarily at introducing new games and taking a step forward to help expand the genre, was a success.


“We have all these great game makers who love what they do and share their enjoyment of this industry, and want to see it expand,” head translator John Pickett, said to Siliconera. “So there’s a big hope that fans will come forth and start enjoying them as well. That kind of, ‘we want to share, if you want the product’.”

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  • ZeroBlitz

    There’s an error. OverDrive is only known for KiraKira and Edelweiss, so far. Da Capo is by Circus.

    • I didn’t mean Da Capo was by Circus. They actually announced Da Capo II and IF a couple months ago, so I included them in there along with Dear Drops as a sort of reminder.

      You’re right though; I could change the wording to make it clearer. Thanks. :)

      • ZeroBlitz

        I think you’re mistaken about what I’m referring to. I meant this bit:
        “The big one was that visual novel developer, Overdrive, known for games such as KiraKira and Da Capo,”

        And don’t worry about it. I know it was likely an accident as you always seem to be pretty up-to-date regarding visual novel news.

        You’re actually my favourite author on this site. ^^

        • Argh crap, I was thinking of their line-up, which is how that got in there. Fixed! Thanks. It helps when people draw our attention to this stuff, since it tends to slip by sometimes. :)

          And thanks for the kind words, too! I appreciate it. :)

  • I wish I could actually try a full Visual Novel…so espensivez.

    I’ll just keep flopping around in demos for now D:

  • Muv Luv in English?

    Yes please. And if that sells well then maybe Muv Luv Alt will also be released in English.

    That sounds extremely well.

    Now all we need is Seinarukana and I´ll be a happy guy :)

    • ZeroBlitz

      You do know that Amaterasu is translating MuvLuv, right? And the single reason they are doing so is because they are translating Alternative and consider the prequel to be a necessity before doing so?

      Ixrec, the translator, considers the original game to be entirely average (and I’m inclined to agree from what I’ve played) and wouldn’t be translating it if it wasn’t for the epic sequel. It would rather suck if they suddenly announced it and forced him to quit just before he actually starts the main game’s translation as the past few months could then have been better spent translating something better than the original ML.

      Of course, it would be a different story if they actually bought his ML translation and employed him to translate MLA because then it wouldn’t end up taking years simply for another two download-only releases. I also wouldn’t be opposed to them doing their own translation down the line if MangaGamer actually reach the point where they can mass-produce hard copies of their games – hopefully without huge postage costs for the UK.

      • SeventhEvening

        I hope they hire him myself. Jast has done that in the past, so it isn’t unheard of. I’d like to see fan translators working with the industry instead of against it for once. And vice versa.

      • No, I did not know that Amaterasu was translating MuvLuv. Great news :)

        And yeah, I understand that they want to translate the prequel first.

        It would be nice if MG did hire him for his translations.

        I also await the day MangaGamer has hard copies, without huge costs for shipping to Sweden :)

        • ZeroBlitz

          If you didn’t know, that’s fine.

          MuvLuv Extra is totally translated (including patch) whereas the second half of the game, Unlimited, is over 70% with a patch for the first half or so.

          I recommend adding his blog to your RSS or something because as well as updating it whenever he releases partial patches, he also reviews every VN he plays.

          Also forgot to mention: if MangaGamer want to announce an age title, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien would make the most sense. Obviously it already has the anime released in the US and it actually has something of a fanbase, although no one seems to be interesting in fan-translating it. Plus it’s more along the line of MangaGamer’s current main titles, albeit a bit darker.

          • Thank you for this info and links. I´ll be checking there after this :)

  • puchinri

    That sounds really cool. I just wish there were different cities instead of Tokyo, but maybe in the future if this one goes well?

    I don’t really play visnov games anymore, but now I want to get back into them.

  • SeventhEvening

    So…study abroad is still a bishoujo game right? That description sounded more like a tour guide simulator than a bishoujo game. I’ve been to most of Tokyo’s landmarks, so I don’t need a tour guide simulator, but an eroge that includes Tokyo landmarks? That’s exclusive to Mangagamer? That could be awesome.

    • It’s still a bishoujo game, yes. But I wouldn’t count on it being ero, since it’s slated to be an All-Ages title that they hope will help them reach out to a slightly wider audience. It’s still early in development, though, so aside from what was revealed at the panel, we don’t know much at all.

      • SeventhEvening

        Fair enough.
        It’s a cool idea either way, and I’m unlikely to buy it, ero or no. My primary computing platform is Mac, so unless they release a Mac version, I’ll probably pass. I’m still interested in the idea and I like the idea of more people getting into visual novels, so I’ll keep an eye open.

        • raymk

          i like the idea of getting the visual novels into other peoples hands. I for one would love some of them and i will support their work as long as theirs some decent one’s i like. One being kohime mosu and fortune aterial

  • raymk

    I like the idea of localizing these games to other people. I hope it at least becomes a hit for at least the hardcore anime crowd.

  • It was a fun panel, I was hoping to see one of you guys there.
    Another interesting bit mentioned by Bamboo at the very end was that they were talking to other game companies, so we’ll see what’s in store.

  • abroad student that can go around tokyo and sightseeing … if they can add learn japanese language and kanji too, that will be superb … know tokyo and learn japanese, and you will be rewarded with get laid with pretty ladies … I will never missed this kind of games

  • tsukasa1288

    I find this pretty interesting, as I’m an American student living in Japan myself. I actually thought about making a visual novel at one point based off my experiences and the people I meet here, but hell if I will find the motivation to do something like that.

  • lostinblue

    Why ManGAGAmer and not ManGAmer?

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