Koihime Musou Goes Silent, Demo Out Now

By Ishaan . September 12, 2010 . 12:02pm

image

Something we get asked about fairly often here at Siliconera is visual novel sales numbers. It’s a genre that not many are instantly familiar with and since they tend not to show up very often on sales trackers, it can be hard to gauge just what number constitutes a success.

 

While I certainly can’t claim to be an expert on the subject, on the word of well-placed sources, I believe 10,000 units is the average magic number most publishers would consider a “hit” in the visual novel market. Right — let that sink in for a moment.

 

In the case of a retail portable or console game, 10,000 units is a number one would normally scoff at. In the world of visual novels, however, 10,000 means the difference between a game that did “okay” and one with a healthy audience. So, with this information in mind, try and take a guess as to how many units of their upcoming visual novel strategy game, Koihime Musou, localization publisher MangaGamer hope to sell.

 

image

If you guessed 2,000, give yourself a pat on the back. That’s about how much MangaGamer need for Koihime Musou to sell for Nexton, the original developer of the game, to be satisfied.

 

Here’s the part no one’s going to be happy about: until that number is reached, Nexton — who are funding MangaGamer’s localization of the game — aren’t going to pay the required additional royalties to the game’s high-profile cast of voice actors (yes ladies, your beloved Koyasu-sama is in there, too) that will enable them to use their voices in a territory outside of Japan.

 

Put simply, it means Nexton expect the majority of Koihime’s audience to pirate the game, and until they’re convinced that the title can be profitable, they’ve chosen not to make the large additional investment required to include voices in Koihime’s overseas release.

 

Once 2,000 sold goal has been reached — MangaGamer will be keeping track of sales and updating their fans periodically — a patch will be released, adding voices back into the game. Until then, Koihime Musou will be sold at 39.95 Euros, instead of the original planned 44.95 Euros.

 

image

Hold it! I understand this sounds terrible, and a lot of you are probably dying to dive right into the comments to give the folks at MG a piece of your mind. Before you do that, though, you’ll probably want to look at this post (slightly NSFW) where a large community of MangaGamer fans has already taken them to task for the situation.

 

Also, before you voice a “could’ve” or “should’ve” solution, you’ll want to know every suggestion you’re thinking of has likely already been considered and deemed unworkable. Given the market for visual novels, this is, unfortunately, the only available “solution,” aside from either company taking a loss on Koihime Musou.

 

While you mull all of that over in your head, here’s a Koihime Musou demo (very NSFW) to try out before the game’s Winter release.


Read more stories about & & & & on Siliconera.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

  • http://geekouts.blogspot.com/ miruki

    I actually think it’s a good solution. And even tho I love Koyasu to death, it’s not really a reason for me to buy the game (Somehow I’ve got a feeling as if that comment was directed at me, thank you, Ish. :P) .. but since Koihime Musou gets compared to Rance alot (sadly not because of a similia humor) I might just get as addicted to it as I got to Rance and hence buy it after all. Rance btw had no voices at all and was still very much one of the greatest hentai games I ever played (mainly because Rance is not such a sucky, whussy and dumb main character like most eroge heroes are, sigh… okay, actually Rance is pretty dumb, but in another, hilarious way. <3)I’ll just take a look at the demo and see how I’ll like the game and decide from there. :)

    some hours later:
    Sadly, it seems like KM is not as addicting as Rance Gameplay-wise…. it’s actually pretty boring, at least that first battle was so very boring that I turned the game off before even finishing it. Maybe there’s some elements that add more depth to it later on? I might give the demo another go sometime later but my first impression of the gameplay is dissapointing.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6VLC622D3SAV4LENG6AF2TKKCI Magus Sorcerari

      Koihime Musou isn’t a gameplay focused title like Sengoku Rance. It’s a visual novel with a battle system. If you’re looking for a more gameplay-focused title, check out Tenkuu no Yumina (Yumina the Ethereal). It’ll be released by JAST USA sometime next year.

      • http://geekouts.blogspot.com/ miruki

        I wasn’t expecting a great gameplay as in Rance, but uh… Koihimes gameplay is way too boring and slow… they would have done better with just not adding the battles. But Yumina looks interesting, I’ll keep that in mind!

  • landlock

    Seems fair enough to be honest having looked at the voice cast not only is it full of well known voices it’s also huge.

    Hopefully people will still buy it so we can reach 2000. I’ve played a few of MGs releases but along with Da Capo this is one of the ones I really wanted to play for ages.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Hiryuu

    Watch someone create something like an ‘undub’ solution to circumvent exactly what they’re trying to make pirates not do.

    • Ladius

      It’s not as easy as you think, depending on the localization process a simple undub patch could very well be out of synch and require a large work of recalibration to match the dialogues and the corresponding dub.

  • Slashlen

    It’s a real reminder of how small this market is right now. If they need 2000 sales to make voices worth getting and they aren’t doing it right away, I don’t think they expect to reach it.

    I’m sure they would love to be proven wrong though.

  • nyoron

    I’m not interested in this game and wouldn’t have bought it anyway… but I sure as hell wouldn’t buy an incomplete game and then just cross my fingers that they’ll give me the whole thing later. Why don’t they just take preorders for a voiced version in the same way that NISA put Badman on UMD up for preorder? NISA just ended up giving people false hope, but at least they didn’t take their money at the same time.

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    No voices no sale. I’ll play the game through other means.

    Edit: You know what, I’m going to go ahead and say that the fact that they’re releasing this game without voices upset me enough that I lashed out by suggesting that I’d pirate the game. I have no plans to actually do that. I may never actually touch this VN, but if I do, I would purchase it and, at worst, patch in the voices.

    I do however believe that MangaGamer made some bad business decisions in this endeavor and that the game should have never gotten to this state.

    I apologize for letting this thread degrade into an argument over piracy, and for in turn inadvertently posting something that ended up being trollish.

    • Ladius

      It’s because of reactions like this one that the english visual novel market isn’t taking off and good people like the ones at MangaGamer tries to sell 2k copies while thousands of fan happily torrent the games.

      Fans think that translations are a God-given right and that even the slightest problem in the localization process entitles them to pirate it without giving a dollar to those who worked to make it readable to english players, maybe adding an insult to the translation company for good measure.

      Then, even when a localization is perfectly fine, they pirate the visual novel just the same because, you know, not paying after all is the best option even when there are no problems to whine about.

      • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

        Entitlement? No. I don’t feel entitled to anything. But if what they offer is inferior than what I can get elsewhere, I’m going elsewhere. Simple as that. That when they went through the business of acquiring the license for this game that they didn’t already have a set agreement on whether or not they could release the full product or not tells me that they are not good at their business. And if they did know they wouldn’t be able to inclide voices then the fact that they didn’t then go “ok, then this is not the right game for us to license, let’s find one where we can get the entire experience” does not endear me to them as a company or as someone I want to support. I’m apparantly one of the few (if their audience is under 2,000) that has (and does) buy their games, so it’s not as if I’m against buying a product when it is done properly.

        • Ladius

          If by “what I can get elsewhere” you mean buying and playing the regular japanese edition or buying the MangaGamer release and wait for a dub patch, then I have no qualms and ask you to excuse my previous rudeness.

          If, however, the “alternative” you mention is pirating the MangaGamer translation simply because they aren’t providing the dub, effectively obtaining both the game AND the localization effort without giving Nexton and MG a single dollar, then I stand by my word.

          • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

            You’re more then welcome to stand by your word, and I’ll stand by mine.

        • Zeik56

          If you’re pirating the game then a false sense of entitlement is exactly what you have. What else do you call someone who believes they have the right to play a game without even paying for it? Regardless of the reasons. There is no excuse for pirating. If you don’t like what a company has done with a localization then you shouldn’t be playing it at all, simple as that. Or import the original.

          • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

            I’m glad you feel that way. I do not. And no amount of you trying to state your point will make me feel otherwise. I hope to god you’ve never borrowed anything in your life. How dare you feel entitled to listen/play/watch something you have not bought!

          • Zeik56

            Are you seriously comparing illegally pirating a game to borrowing something from someone? That’s absolutely hilarious.

            Though if you borrow stuff from others without asking then you most definitely have a false sense of entitlement.

          • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

            @Zeik56 So then the only think I get out of this is that you feel like if something is illegal then then it should not be done. I can respect that, but I find it just as hilarious a notion as you finding me comparing two things are nearly identical in execution as borrowing or pirating. Both of which involve you experiencing something without you paying you paying the ‘owner.’

            And to compare pirating to stealing is equally as hilarious. Stealing is depriving someone of an item, pirating is duplicating that item, leaving the original perfectly intact for the owner to do what they will with it.

          • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

            Love how you can’t edit a post after it reaches a certain threshold. Guess I’m also guilty of not proof-reading something before hitting “post.”

          • Zeik56

            Pirating is most definitely stealing, you are not only depriving the company who localized it of profits, but also the company who developed the game in the first place. It’s one thing to not support a localization that you don’t like, but feeling entitled to play a game for free that people put time and money into developing is childish.

            If you borrow someone from someone without asking you’re only going to piss them off, especially if they don’t want you to borrow it. Even worse would be telling that person you were entitled to borrow it even without their permission. I can’t imagine you have any friends if you have that attitude about “borrowing”.

          • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

            Ah, I love how most things on the internet have to degrade to the “well you don’t have any friends!” line of reasoning. Beautiful really.

            Me not seeing much difference between borrowing and pirating does not equal ‘I do not borrow things.’

          • Zeik56

            Actually I wasn’t saying you don’t have friends, in fact I was assuming you did. I was pointing out the fallacy of your logic by showing that you wouldn’t have friends if you had that attitude about borrowing from them.

  • zhemos

    edit: nevermind

  • john411

    >I believe 10,000 units is the average magic number most publishers would consider a “hit” in the visual novel market.

    I think you mean perhaps in English, because ‘high quality’ Japanese eroge can sell more than that. (And we’re not counting the mega-popular like Typemoon or Key.)

    As for Mangagamer, their entire business model has unfortunately been from the start, horrible. And that explains more of the lackluster sales than any pirating that goes on will ever do. I’m not even getting into the DD vs. Physical debate either. There’s a lot of steps they’ve never considered doing in the DD realm that most other successful retailers do. It would behoove them to study their competitors more and get an idea of how marketing and surviving on a DD model works before they run themselves into the ground.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Chan/1046838537 Allen Chan

      I am curious to know what those steps are?

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      No, I don’t mean in English, sadly. I mean in Japan. There’s a plethora of games that fail to hit that number.

      Type-Moon don’t count, imo. They’re a pop-culture phenomenon like Square Enix, although not quite of the same scale.

      • john411

        And that’s why you see so many of these companies boom and then bust. :PI’m sure for a normal ‘sex-romp’ that didn’t require much effort to make, it doesn’t require much to make a profit, so it doesn’t hurt them if they don’t hit this ’10,000′ mark. But usually the games that are decently popular (the ones you usually see end up as anime series and such) have better selling power than just 10,000.

    • SolidusSnake

      I was highly interested in buying their translation of Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, but the combo of download only plus high prices ruined it for me. If I’m going to pay $45 plus $25 for each chapter after that, I had damn well better get some kind of physical copy. I can’t comment on any specific aspects of their business model since they lost me as a customer from the beginning.

  • JustaGenericUser

    I clicked on the “slightly NSFW” link and the first thing I see is a burly, naked man in a tiny, tiny piece of women’s underwear.

    Yeah. No. Lesson learned, never click on NSFW links from Siliconera.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Yea, we’re all sorts of classy around here.

  • Schwer_Muta

    What would have been the US overseas market for these sorts of games is hopelessly ingrained in a culture of piracy.

    2000, pffft. They’ll be lucky to make 1000.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos

Popular