Here’s If My Heart Had Wings, From New Visual Novel Publisher MoeNovel [Update]

By Ishaan . May 13, 2013 . 1:48am

If My Heart Had Wings is the name a visual novel by Japanese developer Pulltop. You may know them from Princess Waltz, one of their eroge titles picked up by JAST USA. Now, Pulltop have arranged for an English release of If My Heart Had Wings, too, and this time, three companies are involved with its localization.

 

Active Gaming Media, a localization studio in Japan that has worked on games like Demon’s Souls and No More Heroes, are responsible for the translation. The second company involved is MoeNovel, a new visual novel publisher that hired AGM for the job. Finally, MangaGamer are going to be distributing the game on their online store. MangaGamer also served in an advisory capacity after Siliconera put AGM in touch with them a few months ago.

 

Here’s the story summary for If My Heart Had Wings:

 

Aoi Minase, a boy whose dreams were shattered has returned to his hometown of Kazegaura where there, on top of a hill lined with windmills, he encounters a wheelchair-bound girl, Kotori Hanabe, and a large, white glider soaring through the sky.

 

Before long, they will begin to revive Keifuu Academy’s Soaring Club, which is on the verge of having its club status repealed, in order to ride the “Morning Glory”, a phantom cloud brought by the wind which blows across Kazegaura.

 

This is a tale of youth, a tale of those students who loved the sky.

 

The interesting thing about the game is that MoeNovel have gone to the trouble of getting If My Heart Had Wings rated by the ESRB in the U.S., which is something you don’t see very often. For example, MangaGamer and JAST USA don’t get their visual novels rated by the ESRB. Meanwhile, If My Heart Had Wings is rated T (Teen). The reason it isn’t rated M is because the erotic content from the original Japanese release has been removed.

 

In addition to MangaGamer’s digital store, If My Heart Had Wings will be sold on disc by Play-Asia and JAST USA. Pre-ordering the game from MangaGamer will get you a 5% discount. The game will be released on June 28th for $30 as a download. Hard copies will cost $35.

 

UPDATE: It looks as though Play-Asia’s digital release of the game will be available in the form of a Steam code.

 

   


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  • wyrdwad

    “Meanwhile, If My Heart Had Wings is rated T (Teen). The reason
    it isn’t rated M is because the erotic content from the original
    Japanese release has been removed.”

    Come on, now. This is the 21st century! There’s no reason to be that prudish. If you’re only going to release one version of a game like this, then make it the full version — keep everything, so players get the entire experience exactly as the Japanese developers originally intended. If it’s on PC and only available through online distribution, an AO rating won’t make a bit of difference, so you might as well!

    I hate this trend toward publishers voluntarily censoring their games to avoid potential backlash. I keep fearing a situation like that will come up at my own work eventually, and if it does, it’s going to create a real ethical dilemma for me. Let’s just hope it never comes to that, I guess, as it could get messy. ;)

    Ultimately, this is a game I might’ve considered buying… but if it’s not the full experience, then it’s a lost sale for sure. I don’t support censored content, even if I would love to give my full support to a startup visual novel publisher.

    • R Aer

      That’s actually quite complicated, but it’s mostly because they are afraid of media backlash or woman’s rights groups kicking a lawsuit for drawing girls in indecent ways (because there are naked lolis in this)

      So it is entirely the result of western society’s hatred of certain kinds of speech and the localizers dont have the capital to defend themselves in the case of a backlash.

      • wyrdwad

        And to that I say, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the fire. ;)

        Basically, if you’re not willing to work on games with adult content for fear of backlash, then… well, don’t work on games with adult content at all! It sets a terrible moral precedent, and cheapens the artistry of the original work by implying that certain aspects of it are “unsuitable” for western audiences. It’s an all-too-common practice that I feel simply needs to stop, as it truly is a slippery slope. I believe that any company which voluntarily censors a game is… honestly kind of cowardly, TBH, and is contributing to an ongoing problem in western society (especially American society) that’s already well beyond acceptable limits.

        …No offense. This is just a real hot-button issue for me. One of the few quasi-political issues I care about, in fact.

        • Zharkiel

          “I believe that any company which voluntarily censors a game is… honestly kind of cowardly”

          Does Falcom’s own censoring of “The 3rd” psp port fall in that category?

          • wyrdwad

            Tough call. If Falcom removed the offending scenes solely to get a more marketable CERO rating, then yes, I’d actually say it does. But it can be argued that it was an artistic choice on their part, since the removal of those scenes was handled with an unusual amount of care and actually makes the related plot elements more impactful in some respects.

        • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

          What artistry? I’m looking hard at this game and all I can see is some moe-moe otaku bait. This isn’t “In the Realm of the Senses”, here (which – oh hey – still hasn’t ever been released uncensored in its own home country of Japan, while in America it’s distributed as part of the highly respected Criterion Collection).

          • wyrdwad

            It’s not up to us to determine what is and isn’t art. Anything put to paper, anything put to video or digitized into existence at all, is art.

            In addition, I’m of the opinion that moe IS art — it’s an extension of the classical “mono no aware” movement, and is very much in keeping with Japanese literary traditions. Those who deny the artistic merit of moe designs and concepts usually do so solely because they don’t like it — and if not liking something is enough to make it qualify as “not art,” then I suppose the entirety of the modernist and cubist movements doesn’t count as art either, because I really don’t much care for that. ;)

            And just because we’ve had artistic victories in the past doesn’t mean we can afford to slack off now. Previous works are irrelevant — this is about If My Heart Had Wings, and the precedent that censoring it will set for future titles.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            So does that apply to every time a Japanese ero VN has had content removed when becoming a console version? If so, that precedent goes back well — more than a few years. If that is the hill worth dying on, the battle is long lost to history. Sh*t, the companies and Japanese communities involved don’t immediately see the changes as censorship.

            When taking ero games all ages, it is quite possible for the result to be the more appreciated version. Hourglass of Summer is only one such example. Pulltop games are very story-centered, there is no reason to believe this result will not be a more than acceptable version.

          • wyrdwad

            “So does that apply to every time a Japanese ero VN has had content removed when becoming a console version?”

            Again, we’re not Japan. This is supposed to be the land of the free, so “Japan did it” really doesn’t fly in my book. Japan also mosaics out all characters’ private areas in their pornographic content, and it’s because they do NOT have complete freedom of speech in that country that such a thing occurs.

            It’s the idea that a country without freedom of speech is able to create more risque content than a country WITH free speech that bothers me so much.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            But if this turns out to be nothing more than an all-ages version like any other all-ages version — we aren’t talking censorship. We are talking a business decision as to which particular version of a game gets released. Making the all-ages choice is as much exercising freedom of speech as the alternative.

          • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

            The notion that voluntarily implemented self-censorship is anything even resembling a freedom of speech issue is in itself absurd, and indicates a total lack of understanding of the very concept of “freedom of speech”.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Yes, but I can either throw more gas on the fire or let folks recognize that fact for themselves. As both a mod and community member, I choose to do the latter. Although I have pretty much broken that promise with this post :P.

          • Logeres

            “Voluntarily implemented self-censorship”, as you call it, is common practice in video games, because it would be indeed absurd to
            lose half your customer base just because the developers couldn’t let go of one completely unimportant part of the game.
            There’s a big difference between “I have to cut this, because if I don’t, the media and moral pundits will rip us apart” and “I have to cut this, because if I don’t, my potential customer base will be so small that it isn’t even worth releasing it”. The first is due to external pressure, the second due to business decisions. Having the freedom to decide for yourself what parts of a game you’re going to release is freedom of speech, not matter how absurd you think that is.

          • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

            That was exactly my point. The only way this would be a “freedom of speech” issue is if game publishers were facing mandatory, government-enforced censorship of their content, which is not even remotely the case here.

          • Logeres

            Sorry, got a little worked up. This is what happens when you start raging without reading first. :)

          • wyrdwad

            It’s not an issue with freedom of speech per se, but it does set a precedent for future releases that I believe could easily snowball into a freedom of speech issue if left unchecked.

            After all, once the “norm” has been established, people rarely stray from it, and the status quo eventually becomes an unwritten rule, then perhaps a WRITTEN rule with time. And we’re well on our way to voluntary censorship being seen as the norm.

          • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

            First off: no, this will not turn into a freedom of speech issue unless the US government decides to pass a law declaring cartoon porn to be illegal, which I have a very hard time imagining given Americans’ intense protectiveness of the First Amendment. Regardless of the “norm”, as long as companies are free to make the choice for themselves, there is freedom of speech (and creators who are invested enough in the artistic integrity of their work will always have alternative channels of distribution open to them).

            And in addition to that: so what? What if self-censorship does become “the norm”? (For whom, exactly? You haven’t made this clear.) We’ll have less video games on these shores with cartoon sexploitation in them? I’m not really seeing the danger here. The removal of content from games during the localization process is already an exceedingly rare occurrence in this day and age, and the rare exceptions are typically bitched and moaned about at great length on the internet by members of the niche audience to whom the kinds of Japanese games most likely to experience content removal for a US market are usually targeted. (Never mind that the removal of explicit content from visual novels for the purposes of wider distribution is already SOP even in Japan, which you acknowledge but seem to treat as if it’s irrelevant to this conversation.)

            Also, the suggestion that a publisher occasionally removing pornographic or near-pornographic content from a game during localization is some intangible hair’s breadth away from the death of artistic freedom in the games industry is an absolutely absurd slippery slope fallacy.

          • Morricane

            The thing is that the console ports get different CGs and scenes added in exchange for the 18+ stuff…

          • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

            But my point is, the only censorship you’re going to ever have to worry about coming out of Japan is of these highly commercial, niche-subculture products (and believe me, incidentally, that there are plenty of good arguments for why the moe aesthetic is artistically poor, though that is a different debate); while I agree in principle that I do not want to receive a censored product, picking that battle over a product like this – for which the censorship was voluntarily implemented by its own creators, in a way that is consistent with an already-existing industry trend – seems like poor form. Reminds me of the people who were whinging about censorship for that game that had loli bath scenes removed for the US release – not as bad, but still a pretty suspect grounds for argument.

            (And the implication that censorship is some kind of endemic problem in American media relative to Japan – aside from being just plain wrong – reminds me of the time that MangaGamer, the publishers of such artistically relevant products as “Boob Wars” [http://www.jlist.com/product/MG013 - NSFW] was complaining that Americans don’t like visual novels because they’re too dumb to read, unlike the sophisticated Japanese.)

          • wyrdwad

            “Reminds me of the people who were whinging about censorship for that
            game that had loli bath scenes removed for the US release – not as bad,
            but still a pretty suspect grounds for argument.”

            I was one of those people, and I actually think that was a far WORSE example of censorship, since there’s no way the ESRB would’ve rated that particular game AO based on the removed scenes. That was voluntary censorship at its worst IMHO, and that’s a game I will definitely never buy in English as a result.

            I don’t see why opposition to removing something from a work of art solely because it offends our puritanical sensibilities is “suspect grounds for an argument,” personally. To quote Neil Gaiman once again, “The Law is a blunt instrument. It’s not a scalpel. It’s a club. If there is something you consider indefensible, and there is something you consider defensible, and the same laws can take them both out, you are going to find yourself defending the indefensible… because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.”

            Seriously, more people need to read that blog entry of his. It’s so perfectly reasoned!

            http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html

          • Logeres

            Yeah, but as Project 2501 pointed out several times out now, this has nothing to do with the law. They didn’t censor it because they were forced to, they censored it because they can hopefully attract more customers that way (I mean both Riviera and If my Heart had Wings).

          • wyrdwad

            And as I’ve said several times too, that’s the part I find so reprehensible. This was VOLUNTARY CENSORSHIP, which sets an absolutely terrible precedent for the future.

            I think we’re pretty much just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Because yeah… I will never believe that censoring Mugen Souls was right. It shows a real lack of faith in the final product, and a lack of respect for the artistry of it.

          • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

            I am pretty okay with “puritanical sensibilities” when blatantly sexualized representations of children are what we’re talking about.

            But seriously, in what way is the game COMPROMISED by the removal of content, originally included to appease a niche audience of perverts, that (rightfully!) offends Western moral and aesthetic sensibilities? What substantial aspect of its artistic whole does the game lack for the absence of this scene?

            How far are you willing to extend this philosophy? Should the developers, while making the game, include absolutely any idea that pops into their heads, even if it adds nothing substantial to the experience and will likely offend a large portion of their user base – just because they can? Would you take issue with the removal of such a concept, at the developer’s own discretion, before the game was even released in any territory? Does the Japanese censorship of American cultural exports (e.g. Grand Theft Auto, Modern Warfare 2 or Homefront) outrage you in the same way? Or are you only concerned with export to America?

            Also, what Neil Gaiman’s talking about, just like anybody else discussing “freedom of speech”, has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. “Freedom of speech” refers to the right of citizens to express themselves without fear of being silenced BY THE GOVERNMENT. No government is involved with this. These are strictly business decisions, made with the intention of either reaching a wider audience than might otherwise be available or to avoid damaging a brand’s reputation by releasing content that will upset and offend their potential consumers. Either way, the developers and publishers of the game are FREE to not do either of these things, release the content as is, and face the potential consequences, none of which involve criminal prosecution. And if they cared so much about the artistic integrity of their own games, why wouldn’t they stick to their guns, and demand that the content be released either uncensored or not at all? Plenty of artists – and even game developers – have done this.

          • wyrdwad

            “Would you take issue with the removal of such a concept, at the
            developer’s own discretion, before the game was even released in any
            territory? Does the Japanese censorship of American cultural exports
            (e.g. Grand Theft Auto, Modern Warfare 2 or Homefront) outrage you in
            the same way? Or are you only concerned with export to America?”

            Yes I would, yes it does, and no.

            My Neil Gaiman link may have been situationally a bit different, but my beliefs are hard and fast on this point. Once a piece of art is created, it doesn’t matter how offensive it is or WHY it was created, it is part of the final product, and it deserves to remain part of the final product. Period.

            More Japanese developers need to take a stand on this IMHO, and it upsets me greatly that they don’t.

    • Stranger On The Road

      Actually the game is going to be sold as a physical copy as well; the article makes a reference to Play-asia and J-list.

      This is just my opinion; but I believe that they are hoping to get the title to reach a wider audience by getting an ESRP ‘T’ rating. Which would mean that ‘normal’ retailers might be willing to sell the ‘game’ as well. But whether those retailers would actually stock the ‘game’ or not is a different matter.

      I am of the opinion that they should have licensed the ‘all-ages’ version (if one existed) instead of censoring the PC version. Plus they should have considered a console digital release instead of a PC one. PSN/SEN has allowed a VN release before, so we know that they might be open to the idea of selling this VN.

      But this is my opinion.

    • Foryth

      That’s pretty much the issue for me as well. I would be very excited to buy this if it had originaly been all ages, but I hate censorship and content removal.(and some people have claimed there is a considerable amount of ero, though this point is moot.)

      Some people’s arguments here and over at Fuwanovel have made me reconsider my position, but I’m still unsure yet. On one hand I want to support any new company trying to bring over visual novels, on the other I don’t really want to support content removal. There’s a decent chance I’ll end up buying it since it’s only 30/35$, but for now I’m still thinking about it. Maybe I’ll try the demo when I have some free time to try and make up my mind.

      (Also, you’re kinda making me doubt myself about changing my mind doh.)

    • Sergio Briceño

      I agree with the digital part of your comment. There is no reason to censor it, I mean the only way kids oblivious to toon porn could get it is by accidentally downloading a pirate torrent, which has nothing accidental about it. But still, if a porn game finds it’s way to retail, no matter how exclusive that retail channel may be it would be a lot worse.

      I don’t agree with the rest of your comment though. While I approve your sentiment about always trying to get the uncensored version of anything because that’s how that something was supposed to be experienced, I really doubt the creators wanted anyone to buy their game for virtual sex, they just knew that they wouldn’t buy it otherwise and they needed to create an audience for their games. What they wanted them to buy it for was the story.

      Now that the game is out in Japan and reviews have been written and can be found on the internet, then it’s safe to release it censored outside of Japan. Censored versions let you focus on the important part of visual novels, the story (yes, sometimes sex is important to the story, but that is like 1% of the time like with Type Moon games). It would be different if anything fundamental was censored and of course I do not approve of that.

      And really, half an hour per route of having to read through moans hardly contributes to the game. There are people who buy these kind of games for the sex scenes. Well, those people don’t really need a visual novel for that, there is plenty of sex to be found on the internet.

    • Ladius

      While I understand your position and really appreciate this kind of stance from a localization specialist, I’m sure you also know erotic events in PC visual novels are often added only to appease the particular niche that buys them, and they’re immediately removed by the publishers and authors when the game gets a console port in the same market.

      That alone shows how that kind of content is often not an integral part of the story, but a simple marketing tactic that is used or dismissed depending on the hardware they’re working with. In some instances the ero scenes aren’t even wrote by the same authors as the rest of the novel, too.
      Of course this choice could be unimportant or serious depending on those events’ impact on the game’s story, but you should also consider that Moenovel is an emanation of the game’s developer, and the censoring was confirmed by the Japanese side.

      Also, I feel the “I will boycott if it isn’t the full experience” card is kinda risky to use considering the localization process is all about changes (someone could twist that line and use it against games that removed the original Japanese dub track, for instance), as you surely know far better than me given your position.

      • Juuu

        The issue is apparently they may also be removing simple kissing scenes, leaving in only the sound effects, which is going a little bit above and beyond for an all ages release. :c While often times, ero IS superfluous, this is a story billing itself as a pure romance, and skirting around that makes me worry. While I may buy the game “in good faith” [I'd like to see the company improve, one day!] I think I’d rather prioritize JAST’s Saya no Uta or Aksys’ Sweet Fuse in terms of a summer VN purchase.

      • wyrdwad

        While that kind of content is usually NOT an integral part of the story, it sometimes is. And again, this is all about setting a precedent — if the sex scenes are removed from this game, that’ll make the process of removing sex scenes from games in general all the more accepted, which may result in a title where they ARE an integral part of the story getting the same treatment in the future.

        It’s as Neil Gaiman says, “If you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.”

        http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html

        And I’m not saying I’ll boycott the game… I’m just saying I, personally, won’t buy it. I’m not going to insist other people not buy it or start a huge campaign around it or anything… instead, I’ll either not play it, or I’ll buy the uncensored version in Japanese and play that.

        It’s also a bit different from the localization changes you’re suggesting, too, because in most cases (and in all cases, for us), those are done out of pure necessity. We would never release a game without the original Japanese language track if it were possible to leave the Japanese language track intact. In the case of this game, it sounds like it was possible to leave the ero scenes intact, but MoeNovel has VOLUNTARILY ELECTED to remove them. And that’s what I’m finding indefensible here.

        If I am incorrect, however, and MoeNovel was legally forced to remove them, then I retract my statement.

        • Ladius

          I agree that erotic events can be important for a vn’s plot, games like Swan Song or Kara no Shoujo would be deeply different without them. That said, the vast majority of the eroges I have played would have been identical (or even better off) as All Ages in terms of narrative, and while I would never campaign for censorship I’m not going to attack publishers for the removal of said scenes when the Japanese scene itself does it all the time.

          Again, I feel it’s important to stress out the fact that visual novels get their ero scenes removed all the time in the Japanese market, too: if doing an AA Japanese console port of an eroge is fine because of that market’s rules, why is it different to see the same choices in the context of the mainstream western market, which would never allow said contents to exist, just as the Japanese console market? And the one approving this choice is the developer itself, not some 100% western entity with no previous investment in the game.

          Also, Moenovel doesn’t simply want to bring an eroge to the west: they’re trying to make the whole genre more relevant with an All Ages release aimed at a wider audience than your usual Mangagamer nukige or JAST eroge, and they’ve even got ESRB and PEGI ratings. Apparently the game could have a chance to get on Steam (at least according to Playasia), the only platform that could allow a vn to break free of the usual niche, and an eroge would never be accepted by Valve.

          • wyrdwad

            The difference is, we’re not Japan. Japan has never had the same freedom of speech laws that we do — they’ve never purported to be a land of the free as we do. Simply put, it honestly feels to me like censoring a foreign work for domestic release goes against everything this country stands for.

            …As I said in my original response, this is simply a hot-button issue for me. I know it seems like I’m taking a hard line, but that’s only because as far as I’m concerned, this REALLY MATTERS, and I hate to see people dismissing it as no big deal. If MoeNovel succeeds in bringing visual novels to the masses, that just means it’ll pave the way for more publishers to bring more all-ages visual novels to the masses… which will establish a market that’s even MORE hostile toward uncensored eroge than ever before. It seems like a great idea right now, because hey, more visual novels… but if we begin accepting only all-ages visual novels in the mainstream, that’s just going to further perpetuate the belief that games — and now visual novels — are primarily targeted at children. And once that notion sticks, changing it will be an absolute nightmare…

          • Ladius

            Don’t worry, I know you’re one of the good guys and I really respect what you’ve accomplished through your work at XSEED :)

            It’s just that I can’t see a single All Ages game compromising the erogenukige market; if anything, it’s the AA games that have been sorely lacking, and even quality eroges like Kara no Shoujo and Ef (two games that wouldn’t even been released if they hadn’t a fantranslation ready to license) have seen poor sales since the niche seems only able to support nukiges those days. If we had more AA games the audience for vns would be able to expand, and some of those new customers would eventually support eroges and nukiges, too.

            I also agree that censorship can be an issue in terms of principles, especially seeing some extremely troubling stances (I’m thinking about Schreier’s insults against Kamitani, for instance) seen in the last months in the videogame industry. The market is what it is, though, and even you guys at XSEED seem to have some troubles with the Senran Kagura series (I remember one of you guys saying that its contents would make it difficult to do a retail release), so this matter isn’t strictly confined to PC or to eroges.

          • wyrdwad

            “The market is what it is, though, and even you guys at XSEED seem to
            have some troubles with the Senran Kagura series (I remember one of you
            guys saying that its contents would make it difficult to do a retail
            release), so this matter isn’t strictly confined to PC or to eroges.”

            …Troubles which would be easily alleviated by censoring the game, which I’m proud to say has never even come up as an option during my time here. And if it ever does, let me tell you, I will RAISE HELL. ;)

          • Logeres

            That’s because the gratuitous fanservice, silly as it is, is an essential part of the Senran Kagura series. That’s simply not the case for this game. It has sex scenes because it wouldn’t have survived otherwise in the japanese VN market. If there is a chance it could reach a bigger audience here by cutting them out, then I say good riddance.

          • landlock

            Since School Days HD got a retail release in America on the PC. I doubt this game would have any problems.

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

      Or, you know, it’s being released on Steam and as a DVD on Play-Asia.

      • Ladius

        It would be wonderful if you could contact Moenovel and ask them about this game’s Steam release. Apparently Steam was only mentioned in the Playasia preorder page, but there is no Greenlight for this game, nor is it available on Steam’s database.

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

          Yeah, we’re already talking to AGM about a lot of this stuff. They’ll have things to say soon-ish.

    • http://www.benspants.com/ Belisarius

      Publishing a game with explicit sex (to clarify: sexual content which shows penetration, whether it’s obscured by a mosaic or not) immediately limits a publisher’s possible audience and possible sales outlets, and not just for that title—for the foreseeable future. You can bemoan American prudishness if you want (and I do too, from time to time), but the reality of the market is that unless you want to publish nothing but eroge, making your first title one of the aforementioned is a terrible business decision.

      The larger market is not okay with eroge, and isn’t likely to be okay with them for a while. Insisting that the erotic content remain is only going to drive eroge and visual novels deeper into their already tiny niche. Making all-ages versions of games is more likely to expand that niche, which (eventually) will make the market more receptive to the uncensored versions.

      As to the “experience the developers intended”: If removing the sex was so abhorrent to the developer, why did they sign a deal with a publisher, especially a brand new one? There are several other companies bringing over VNs these days, and many of them don’t appear to have a problem with eroge—why not sign with one of them? Publishers don’t just run roughshod across Japan, snatching up titles from the arms of mewling developers to butcher them.

      • wyrdwad

        And that’s my point: MoeNovel shouldn’t make an eroge their first release if they don’t plan to include the ero scenes. It’s setting themselves up for failure, as either they establish themselves as a “purveyor of porn,” or they offend the sensibilities of people like me who get indignant when content is removed (and my initial comment on this has received a whopping 54 likes at this point, so it’s clear there are quite a few others like me out there!). It’s very much a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation, and while I don’t envy them their position, this is a bed of their own making.

        Personally, I honestly believe it would be better for them not to release the game at all than to release it with content removed. Leave it for JAST or MangaGamer proper, or fans who are willing to take the time and translate it out of love for the content in its entirety.

        As for why the developers accepted MoeNovel on their offer, I imagine it’s because MoeNovel made a good offer and the creators are seeing yen signs. Artistic integrity doesn’t mean anywhere near as much to a lot of Japanese devs as it should, IMHO, and I honestly have a lot of respect for those rare devs who turn down potentially lucrative publishing deals because the terms are simply unacceptable to them.

        • http://www.benspants.com/ Belisarius

          So the intent of the developer is only relevant up until the point where they want to make money off of their investment?

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

          Leave it for JAST or MangaGamer proper, or fans who are willing to take the time and translate it out of love for the content in its entirety.

          Sorry, I hate to resort to sarcasm in this scenario, but boy, “leaving it for JAST USA or MangaGamer” has really expanded the reach of visual novels, hasn’t it?

          No offense to either of those companies. I’ve played and loved games from both, and both have some very interesting projects coming up. That said, I think games like Ace Attorney and Virtue’s Last Reward are far more important to the future of the genre than the kinds of games you’re talking about.

          If we want to see more visual novels brought over in the future, and we want to see the genre recognized as a legitimate part of videogames, things need to change.

          • wyrdwad

            Well, and no offense to the devs of If My Heart Had Wings either, but do you really think this is the game to change things? A moe romance novel is not going to appeal to the mainstream U.S. audience like a mystery or crime drama would. It’s a niche even in Japan, and there’s no reason to believe it will ever be anything but an even smaller niche here.

            If MoeNovel’s goal is to reach a wider audience and make visual novels more mainstream, then they definitely should’ve picked a more suitable game with which to do it. If you’re releasing a moe romance novel, you might as well go full ero with it — why censor it to try appealing to the mainstream when you could instead find something with more mainstream appeal and localize that instead?

          • BTA

            If the game is actually on Steam, it will definitely sell much much more than it would in the ero market.

            I mean, have you heard how horribly these games sell to their niche? Put this in a Steam sale and people will certainly be curious enough to make up for those numbers and then some.

            And regarding a moe romance visual novel’s audience being niche, the advantage of Steam is really that they no longer have to sell to their niche!

    • seiya19

      I rarely see such eloquent and thoughtful posts on gaming sites as the ones you made here. I just want to say that I fully agree with your views on the matter, and to thank you for expressing them. It’s always great to find someone that strongly believes in freedom of speech/expression and is willing to defend it like you are. And as someone that lives outside the US, I can tell you that this is one of the things I respect the most from US culture.

  • Mister_Nep

    That’s disappointing. Would’ve wanted the adult version. I’m on the fence right now, but I might still get this. I’m just not sure right now.

  • Mir Teiwaz

    There had better be quite a bit of content there if it’s going for $30, with or without the adult scenes.

    Katawa Shoujo set a really high bar for me when it comes to expectations in a visual novel >_<

    I'll have to wait and see what people are saying about this VN when it comes out.

    • TiredOfMyOldUsername

      It’s almost twice the size of Katawa shoujo and it’s fully voiced.

    • りんごタルト@エスカのアトリエ

      You haven’t touched the surface of eroge yet if you say Katawa Shoujo set your standards for what is good.
      Katawa Shoujo is mediocre at best.

      • Mir Teiwaz

        The eroge parts of KS were hardly the reason I find KS to be so enjoyable. I don’t even really consider KS to be an eroge because they aren’t necessary.

        If I wanted porn, there are better (and quicker) ways of getting it than spending hours in a VN.

        • asch999

          Actually, almost all of visual novel can be categorized as eroge in Japan. Perhaps what He/She mean is the visual novel itself not the h-content.

          And I must agree, as someone who into VN. My opinion regarding Katawa shoujo is average

        • りんごタルト@エスカのアトリエ

          Eroge is what pulled KS initially, then the “feels” came in and those weren’t even good. There are a lot of eroge which can top those “feels” from KS.

          Even the drama from the up-and-coming If My Heart Had Wings was way better and had more emotional impact than those of KS, and 2012 wasn’t a good year for eroge too.

  • Zoozbuh

    What’s the big deal about the hentai content being removed?? If you play VNs for that, then surely there are several better (more ‘adult’) titles out there to play through. The H-scenes usually feel tacked on to me, and not part of the actual story, so I’d be more than happy to give this a go :P

    • wyrdwad

      It’s more the idea that content is being removed from the game solely to avoid potential problems with western morality. I don’t think anyone would actually miss the content itself, but this is supposed to be the “land of the free,” where free speech and artistic expression have no boundaries. It’s the principle of the matter that I personally find offensive — the mere idea that the creator’s vision is being compromised for no reason other than a general fear of public outcry or litigation. It’s decisions like this that set back the cause of artistic freedom by many years every time they’re made — so even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal in this particular case (even if it’s NOT a big deal!), the precedent it sets perpetuates a highly damaging viewpoint for future games with adult content that might be more central to the plot.

      • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

        I agree with both of you. I don’t dig H-games, but a lot of visual novels have great stories. I say include an option to play with the H-scenes cut, rather than exclude them completely.

        • Barrylocke89

          I actually feel exactly this way. On one hand, I understand where Wyrdwad is coming from (If a company were to cut content like this out due to fear of getting a higher rated game, then they could very well cut out other types of content from later games in the future). But on the other hand, the content itself does tend to feel almost gratuitous (or if not gratuitious, then the main reason may just be to squeeze out those extra sales in the original market).

          Robert’s idea creates a happy medium for the consumer at least, and would be my preferred option (if the player doesn’t want to view such content, they have the option to do so), The big problem is that if the company were ever to try to release such a game on a larger platform than mangagamer, the company might not be so approving of this style. Visual Novels already get a pretty bad rap from many mainstream players after all. Leaving scenes like this would only validate those claims.

      • Anime10121

        And yet there are cases where people get locked up for having pictures of hentai lolis on their pc’s. They just don’t want to be shut down and FBI raided for selling “child porn” (not my opinion just the way America is). I personally could give a rat’s tail if the cg is left in or not, because its just art and not real children, but unfortunately America does not seem to hold the same views as me. We are a free country, but only if it ain’t got anything to do with that gosh darn sex (ya know the thing that got people here). But whatevs not a big fan of visual novels anyway (unless they’re turned into an anime) so hopefully it all works out in the end.

  • TiredOfMyOldUsername

    From what i heard mangagamer is trying( or tried) to convince them to release the adult version by saying Kirakira 18+ version sold 10x more then the all age version.

    • Ladius

      He tried to do so, but they already decided to go the All Ages way.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    Unless a good chunk of the game involves H-scenes or involves h-scenes with plot I can live without them. Not every story needs to become hardcore porn every once in a while and I have to admit I found it distracting in Saya No Uta (The story can go from extremely well written horror drama to shitty erotic novel).

  • Muhammad Haris

    like hell i care.
    there are tons of adult visual novel out there with fan made translation.
    this is “PC” guys, not console.
    everything is possible in “PC”.
    Just buy jp version and hope someone will translate it for you.
    fortunately, for me this kind of game is boring and unattractive.
    the only jp adult game i played is Sexy beach 3. LOL

  • Stranger On The Road

    Interesting, if they have gone out of their way to get an ESRP rating; and also censor the game to get the ‘T’ rating. Then why bother releasing it on the PC? Wouldn’t PSN/SEN* be a better choice? (with piracy removed from the picture).

    * To my knowledge, XBL didn’t release any VNs in the west. Although, Nintendo Network might be open for new stuff if someone ask them.

  • りんごタルト@エスカのアトリエ

    Pay for ero DLC. Not bad if you ask me.

  • Fondue

    Not going to support the hypocrisy which is western morality. The United States for example believes in freedom of artistic expression and speech and yet due to the fear of backlash they’ve cut/censored content and as such this is a no buy. It is not the content actually being cut I can live without sex scenes but it is more about the mutilation of the original idea that I cannot abide to.

    It is a real shame because if this game actually was the complete and full version I likely would have picked this up in a heartbeat as it is in its present “all ages” state this game will simply be ignored and will make no one any money.

    The treatment and the way this game is being handled is appalling and I and many others will not support it. Censorship is the destruction of an idea and seeing as how this game is losing aspects of it which actually make it a romance it’s hard to say what this butchered game actually has going for anyone.

    If they ever release a full version of the game no censorship and no other bull then I will pick up this game and happily pay for the complete version. Until then though I hope this idea of cutting content dies and never becomes a norm because it would be quite sad to see one of my hobbies destroyed by poor decisions.

    The current information about this title is also very misleading because not only is the H-content gone but so is anything that could possibly show a physical relationship. For example in this game there is a kissing scene and it was cut in because one of the girls is what some would call a “loli” and the publishers did not wish to take a risk on freedom of artistic expression and speech and potentially have the game considered child pron simply because of a child in a physical relationship. The problem with this however lies in the fact that outside of hugging the emotional attachment that the characters have with one another will simply not be seen. The tale of youth and the love of the sky and one another will simply fail to transfer properly. For a visual novel with a heavy emphasis on romance to not include aspects of the romance it is appalling. The fact that hugging is the farthest the game will actually go in the physical department rather sickens me…they got rid of the kiss scenes (all of them) for the same reasons they got rid of the h-content.

    As it is I implore people to send messages to the publishers about their bad decision while also boycotting this game until we get the full uncut release; even if we never do we need to send a clear message that this type of marketing will simply not be tolerated.

  • DyLaN

    As long as the H scene isn’t important to the plot, I have no problem with them being removed.

    Hmm… Looks kinda interesting.

    • Raze

      H scene isn’t really important…
      But still…
      It will boost the sell I guess…

      The art is pretty good…
      And the story….Anyone know?Good or Bad?

      • LynxAmali

        It’s kind of the middle of the road in terms of story.
        It’s not bad but it’s not great.

        But damn, is it enjoyable.

        • Raze

          Is it just vanilla?
          Or there is some twist or rage event there?

          • Logeres

            Well, the characters got their ups and downs. But if you mean the sex: Pure vanilla.

          • kroufonz

            pure vanilla.

            it’s a ren’ai game with purelove/junai theme, no dev will dare making some twist rage stuff in that genre after what happen to elf with kakyuusei 2 famous ntr sh%tstorm.

        • Logeres

          You’re selling it short. It has some of the best characters I’ve seen in an eroge. Admittedly, the plot itself is… standard. Group of friends comes together through a school club, blah blah. It’s just that most eroge use that as a setup for the protagonist to get his hands on some nice ass without having to walk through the whole school, while this game uses it as an opportunity for character development, especially for Kotori. Plus, it’s got some pretty interesting information about gliders and gliding, of which I didn’t understood half. ;_;

  • landlock

    I’m not really interested in a all ages version. I won’t be getting it to make the point that I want the full version. In the end the best idea would have been to do both like MangaGamer does.

  • Fondue

    Not going to support the hypocrisy which is western morality. The United States for example believes in freedom of artistic expression and speech and yet due to the fear of backlash they’ve cut/censored content and as such this is a no buy. It is not the content actually being cut I can live without sex scenes but it is more about the mutilation of the original idea that I cannot abide to.

    It is a real shame because if this game actually was the complete and full version I likely would have picked this up in a heartbeat as it is in its present “all ages” state this game will simply be ignored and will make no one any money.

    The treatment and the way this game is being handled is appalling and I and many others will not support it. Censorship is the destruction of an idea and seeing as how this game is losing aspects of it which actually make it a romance it’s hard to say what this butchered game actually has going for anyone.

    If they ever release a full version of the game no censorship and no other bullshit then I will pick up this game and happily pay for the complete version. Until then though I hope this idea of cutting content dies and never becomes a norm because it would be quite sad to see one of my hobbies destroyed by poor decisions.

    You don’t cut a romance game of the romance and expect to get sales. You don’t piss off the majority of the fanbase by attempting to be mindful of hypocritical western morality. Seriously nothing against Mangagamer (aside from the fact they are being used as a place to sell this butchered monstrosity) but I really hope this game flops/fails to get any sales simply to show the people attempting to make it into this industry that one does not cut content just to make esrn or pegi rating. seriously if they are anything liker hirameki they can rot. Hirameki cut all the mature content (both h-scenes and simply mature situations be it romance or violence) from their games and they died due to poor sales. Hopefully this new publisher will realize their mistake and fix it otherwise this company will go the way of hirameki and it would deserve to.

    • Stranger On The Road

      Just my opinion. I believe that you misunderstand; cutting the contents had nothing to do with moralities; but to do with getting an ESRP rating that would technically allow them to offer the ‘game’ to more retailers. Whether retailers would actually stock it or not is something that we will have to wait and see.

      Ether way; wishing them to just disappear is uncalled for. Not many companies exist in the west that would release a VNs. Bigger companies censored their releases for no reason (Nintendo come to mind); at the very least these guys seem to have a reason: the ESRP rating.

      • Fondue

        I would have to disagree with people who say they are simply trying to get the game out in the market…now with many games cutting content is usually not that big of a deal because it is not one of the focal points of the actual game. Cutting the romance out of a romantic visual novel is a travesty and is ridiculous. That would be like taking guns out of a shooter or roleplay out of DnD. It doesn’t happen.

        This company may be trying to take the visual novel to a wider market by making it make esrb and pegi ratings but when it comes down to it the only people who generally care about these games in the first place are the ones that knew about them already. To throw a regular gamer into the vice of a visual novel like this is going to simply confuse them especially if the game itself is choppy or seems to have scenes missing. Even if it did get people into the idea of visual novels it would cause a precedent of future visual novels getting censored/cut and that would not be a good thing. .

        The game was not originally made for esrb ratings so to actually force a game to become a mockery of what it originally was in order to try to appeal to a wider audience is ridiculous. It is unlikely to work especially when many of the actual visual novel fans will simply boycott (or pirate) it just means that this is something new. The problem with this however is that this will not simply become a one time thing. Even if sales do well (of which I highly doubt) this sets a new standard and future releases will likely be based upon cut and censored products and thus the full experience will be lost to most of us. Censorship will become more and more commonplace.

        Regardless of what one thinks however the game is only being censored/cut to make the ESRB/PEGI ratings in order to make more sales…the reason for this is that they believe having some of the content in it will not get the rating they want or will cause public controversy. I personally hate both the ESRB and PEGI because games are not required to abide by these followings unless they wish to make money as such this publisher really irks me because they are willing to damage a product in order to make a sale.

        the people who may think I’m being harsh with this new developer one has to understand that the visual novel community is constantly being jerked around by publishers. Even the two companies that I like have done so on numerous occasions. First Hirameki released visual novels that had content cut anything that was believed to be over the realm of 15+ roughly was cut.. Phantom for example had entire scenes cut and hell just wasn’t the same version as the Japanese game. Jast USA has previously censored X-Change 3 and Family Project and often do not let us know about changes until after or right before the release of the games. Mangagamer has refused to release games with actual voices unless it got a certain amount of sales or in the case of higurashi have completely changed most of the music in the game due to copyright issues but which end up making it a very different game from what it was originally intended.

        My greatest hope is that this company realizes what a bad idea this was (hopefully the game fails to sell well) and either they release a second complete edition or they in future releases actually bother to include all the content. Hopefully moenovel can learn from this mistake and if they do not consider it a mistake or fail to learn from it then they deserve to die out. Not many companies exist in the west that would release visual novels mainly because too few companies have the balls to do so. Sadly this company could have taken any number of really good all age titles to license but instead they took a game with content that they knowingly knew they would have to cut or censor. It doesn’t matter what excuse or reason someone gives for having censorship it should be understood that censorship for any reason is never a good thing.

        • Stranger On The Road

          Note, I am not disagreeing with you regarding the dislike of censorship; but the reason behind it. It have nothing to do with neither morality nor controversiality; but a business decision that hopes to reach a wider audience. Again; just my opinion; we won’t know the truth until someone from MoeNovel come out for an interview.

          From your writing you are a VN fan -like myself- and as such you should know how few copies these titles sell. We can’t really blame a publisher for trying a new approach* just to try to bring new fan. Piracy might have nothing to do with it and many have argued this point. Which means that VNs aren’t as widely known as we hope for them to be; or the rumors are true… western fan can’t be bothered to ‘read’.

          Note, I would be in support of them getting the Japanese console version (if one exist) and releasing a digital copy of that one; instead of butchering the PC version. But it is a bit late for that now.

          * well not really new, but this a different market from the days of Hirameki.

          • D H

            My only problem with this as a business decision is that the only “new” place it’s being sold is Play-Asia, and I’m not even sure that Play-Asia doesn’t stock other English eroge. If they had lined up retail stores, or as previously mentioned, the digital platforms, it’d be one thing, and I could see them making a “business decision that hopes to reach a wider audience.” Instead, they are creating a hampered version of the game, selling it only at places alongside arguably better stories with all of their content included. It just seems like business suicide in this case, with the information given so far, as they are basically saying “Hey visual novel fans, we licensed this eroge and took out all the ero, please buy it instead of the non-censored/content-removed games on these websites, ‘k?”

            Like another person said, I just tired of all of these cuts. What’s the point of freedom of speech and expression when you don’t actually have it? Why can’t people understand that a bunch of pixels/ink/polygons are not a real person and just because they do something or are treated some way in a game doesn’t actually link anything to real life? I don’t have any interest in real underage females, yet I do appreciate well done loli artwork. They don’t look anything like real people, and it doesn’t hurt people, and it’s not going to make me hurt real people. Is it going to affect someone? I’m sure it will, the same people that are affected by games, movies, TV, etc. The same type of people who are causing problems for the video game industry because a small handful of people take violent video games and do horrible things, and somehow it’s the game’s fault, despite the other 10 million people playing them and not having any problems…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jin.lee.7927 Minasuki Sasuko

    It wouldn’t be a problem if this was already all ages there are plenty of games that are all ages or have all ages version but actively censoring something that wasn’t already watered down for the market you want to sell to is not good at all. H scenes or not it’s not ok to censor.

  • piichan

    I’m ok with this ONLY IF…they also release the full, proper and uncensored version on pc. Thank you.

  • Crevox

    Nice art

  • Rad

    As someone who has played the japanese version I wonder if a certain path can work if you take out the erotic secnes. Im not going to spoil anything but really I think if you remove that segment, then players are going to get really confused on that path. Im intrested to see how they fix that path if they remove these scenes.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      Pretty sure they can make it work FSN did it just fine.

    • neocatzon

      I have a question, how important and how much proportion the H-scene get in this game? Katawa Shoujo can survive without H but Yume Miru Kusuri need H-scene to fully understand the character. Asking your opinion, will this VN’s story hurts without H-scene?

      • http://twitter.com/magusgs Magus Sorcerari

        There’s a total of 17 H-scenes in the game, about 3-4 per character. That’s over 50% of the CG in-game that will have to be removed or altered (keeping in mind that this counts CG will small variations).

        CG count from a VNDB user: http://vndb.org/t4066/7#168
        Non-H: 463 (includes swimsuits, wet t-shirt with bra showing through, scene where it looks like a girl has nopan)
        Ero: 646 (includes CGs that are part of H scenes and bath scenes with visible nipples)
        SD: 110 (chibi characters)

        • neocatzon

          Is that including sample h-scenes in vndb? Those two seems safe enough and nipple blocking or ray of light won’t hurt much.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          But that certainly doesn’t tell that 50% of the game needs to be adjusted in any way shape matter or form. Both major localized ero game companies here have made adjustments to in-game pictures in H games.

      • Logeres

        That makes it sound worse than it is. The game uses very few CG’s during the story. About the importance of the H-scenes for the story: It’s definitely more Katawa Shoujo than Yume Miru Kusuri. Characters discuss their relationships during (or rather, before and after) the scene and make frequent references to them, which in itself is pretty rare for Eroge, but the sex isn’t central to the story.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          That latter sounds as if something which could be handled very easily with the dirty pics removed. Writing expository about one lover thanking the other for last night and that it was ‘very special and important to them’ is far different than a blow by blow graphical record of said night.

          • PandaTurtle

            I think you’re right. from a email a vndb poster got from MoeNovel support (http://vndb.org/t4066/6#136), it seems like the scenes will be cut, and player will need to “use their imagination” to fill in the blanks.

            Kind of a funny way of putting it, but it’s a good substitute, in my opinion.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            It wasn’t a cut from one version to the next, but Ever 17 did just that — with what might just be the most crucial event in the entire tale.

      • Rad

        For most paths taking out the H won’t really matter. adding them togther probably won’t even equal 1% of the whole game.
        It just one path that bothers me.

        In my own opinion, If they remove those sences, the Player won’t see them, but they have to still happen. So i expect they will be summed up in a few lines, cause removing it means the rest of the story just won’t connect right.

        But that like only half of one path, so were only talking about only a few hours of gameplay here.

        • neocatzon

          Good enough, I expect this like little buster and little buster ex but in reverse this time.

          There a troubling proportions on vndb though. It’s saying ecchi+hentai scene amounts more than half of total cg. Same with you, I wonder what will they do, moenovel seems confident about it.

  • AlphaSixNine

    I THOUGHT IT WAS COMING OUT THIS MONTH! Damn playasia for misleading me and getting my hopes extremely high on playing it very soon…D:

    Oh well…. still pre-ordered my hard-copy. First time I’m actually buying my VN…. Hope for more soon on MoeNovel. KEY VN would be a dream come true. <3

  • Luna Kazemaru

    TM releases an all ages version of FSN. (A ok)
    This gets a all age version (all hell breaks loose)

    what?

    I’m not to ok about removing content but this might work out for them as a good starter. It depend on how its done IMO but maybe they should have picked a VN that was all ages or so.

    • ChiffonCake

      Those are two different circumstances that can’t really be compared. Realta Nua had other scenes added in to take the place of the removed h-scenes. For Konosora here, unless MoeNovel worked with Pulltop to get replacements for the things they removed, it’s just plain censoring.

      I was really interested in this when I first heard about it, and I’ll probably still get it, but I really wish they could’ve released the original version along with this all-ages one. Oh well.

      Either way, I have high hopes for MoeNovel, and hopefully in the future they’ll focus on VNs that already were all-ages to begin with, like Key’s stuff. Visual novels are still a young medium, after all, so I can at least understand their decision here.

      P.S. holy shit Kotori is so adorable

      • Luna Kazemaru

        If its just plain censoring I can see the point but they really should make that more clear

    • Ladius

      Yeah, some people seem to have missed how lots of successful visual novels are stripped of their erotic contents as soon as they’re ported to consoles.

      The only thing that could invalidate this reasoning is if the scenes have been removed without changing the dialogues to avoid creating a hole in the script (something that console ports always do afaik, since they’re developed by the original publishers and authors): if they asked the author to modify those events the comparison is fine, if they simply deleted whole chunks of texts without altering the script I can see why people could be disappointed. So far I haven’t read anything that points to either outcome, though.

      • Luna Kazemaru

        pretty much I’m still wondering how they did it myself I still don’t get why they went threw the ESRB tho kinda new to me seeing a VN with a rating from them.

    • http://twitter.com/ChestnutBowl Chestnut Bowl

      The difference, of which I’m sure you are aware, is that the Japanese had access to BOTH versions of FSN, the adult version and the all ages version. The people who wanted the erotic content in tact could purchase that easily (and play without a translation patch at that). Censorship in cases like these only becomes an issue when it limits a person’s choice.

  • http://twitter.com/ChestnutBowl Chestnut Bowl

    This wouldn’t bother me if they had just released two versions of the game, one with the erotic content and one without it. I can respect that they are trying to reach a broader audience, but the people who are going to buy this more than likely would have bought the uncensored version anyway.

    I’m not as bothered about this as I am about the Mugen Souls censorship, though. Being on PC, I’m sure bold individuals will find a way to have their cake and eat it, too.

  • Laith Rem

    Not caring about the ero content, shocking I know, and since I guess I want more all age stuff brought here, I’ll get it.

    Sure would be a step in the right direction to get more non–ero VNs.

  • Ladius

    I’m really glad to see another publisher in the English vn scene, and I hope they can be successful in expanding its audience.

    That said, I think they will fail if they’re unable to get on Steam, something they aren’t even trying to do afaik: if they censor a game in order to make it more viable in the west and then try to sell it on Mangagamer, JList and Playasia the only ones who will know the game exists are the usual vn fans, and many of them will boycott it because of the removal of the ero contents (not that quality eroges are able to sell that well to begin with, considering nukiges like Boob Wars have outsold games like Kara no Shoujo and Ef).

    Instead, if they were able to get on Steam they would be the first quality, high budget Japanese visual novel there, and they could hope to expand the genre’s audience in a new context where vn are almost unknown.

    • Tenetan
      • PandaTurtle

        Wow! I wonder if it’ll be up on Steam’s catalog when it’s released? That’d be really insane!

      • Ladius

        Wow, this could be absolutely awesome, thanks.

        I imagined they had to go through Greenlight since it’s their first game on Steam, I wonder how they were able to get approved outside of it or if we’re misunderstanding something.

        • Tenetan

          Greenlight is just one way to get games published on steam, it’s nott a requirment. And no this game as far as I know have not been greenlith, it’s not even listed.

          • Ladius

            It’s a requirement for publishers that haven’t published a single game on Steam, or at least things have been like that so far.

            For instance, a legitimate publisher like Ghostlight had to put Agarest on Greenlight (despite that game being already released worldwide on both PS3 and X360) simply because it was their first time on Steam.

            That’s why I’m really surprised to see Steam mentioned on that page: either they’re very confident in their ability to get Greenlit, they have a deal with Steam or that’s an error on Playasia’s part. The fact that no one from Moenovel or Mangagamer has mentioned Steam so far is also worrying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442928254 Zak Ledward

    *Company wanted All-Ages Game*
    WTF Happened to Clannad and Little Busters? (Just saying)
    That aside, while I’m disappointed they won’t be releasing an original content version for those of us that prefer that cup of tea, I’m glad more VNs are coming over, especially in a legit, HARD COPY, available to the everyday public, kind of way. I’ll definitely get the disc form of this game just because I prefer physical copies and I want to enjoy the artwork (If this game actually comes in an actual box with a disc inside and not some sleeve with a disc (the lame-o way)

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Key has never been as open to localizing their titles as Will/Pulltop. And Pulltop especially has been just as known for titles very much on the story and character side of the ero game world. Games in which a lot is done without the use of a sex scene. I think it is a very good place to start. Folks get their fill of cute anime girls and new folks aren’t sent running to the hills because of some poorly implemented sex scene with stupid SFX.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442928254 Zak Ledward

        I know, I was just going along the lines of “non-ero” VN. I mean a company that cancels the translation on Dote up a Cat is definitely not interested in localization.

        In my opinion the success of a game w/o sex scene is definitely up to the writer. Da Capo 1 and 2 could have definitely been just as good without the H-scenes. Of course, having that one good H-scene can sometimes be the icing on the cake; if implicated correctly like you said. All-in-all, I raise a glass in hopes for the success of this game. And to all who are on the fence on getting the game just because its a VN; never hurts to try something new.

        Yes, H-scenes with bad SFX are a nightmare *shiver* too many bad memories

        • M’iau M’iaut

          But doesn’t everyone sound like they are walking through a swamp while making love? :P

          To think folks wish to die on the molehill of squish squish slurp.

          I am certainly not saying a love scene can’t greatly impact and change forever the lives of the characters involved. Just that such great impact isn’t always what is accomplished.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442928254 Zak Ledward

            If they do then I think I’d like to become a Wizard now <_<

  • PandaTurtle

    I’m so glad that this is being publicized! It’s exciting to see VNs come west, and hopefully the trend continues.

    The lack of ero and all that is odd, am I’m sure it may be off-putting to some, but I’m optimistic about it. I doubt the story will be negatively impacted by it’s removal. There’s still kissing scenes, and descriptions and whatnot. MoeNovel & AVG seem aware of what they’re doing, so I’ll just trust that they can pull it off. Maybe they’ll release a patch or DLC for the Ero content, since there’s such a large negative response.
    I’m not a fan of Ero in my games anyways, though. And after a simple google search for the CGs from this game, I’m kind of glad it’s gone. It kind killed the pure feeling I got looking at the PV and reading the plot summary on the website.

    Here’s hoping we get a solid release date and more VNs to come!

  • M’iau M’iaut

    (Steps out of mod mode.)

    Sorry guys, but where the bloody you know what is there censorship? It is an all-ages version, something hardly unique within the Japanese VN community. Both ero VNs have been turned into all-ages and all ages made ero. Both types of games are fully accepted within the Japanese VN community.

    Something very clearly different is being tried here. Guess what, both Peach Princess and MangaGamer have all-ages games in their portfolio. Some amazing titles too like Yo-Jin-Bo, Aselia and Higurashi. But guess what, in order to get them or learn about them, you are going to the same sites as some very hard core h games. Yes, MG does separate the storefronts some, but the BIG ‘adults only’ section button is always there. Not the most welcoming sight in the world for someone new.

    So here we have a company taking an incredible chance. Completely as possible starting anew, focusing on the characters, stories and anime art to sell a product to folks different from well, those who have been Peach Princess and MG’s core customer in the past. Folks who know 999 and Ace Attorney, but who won’t have anything to do with English-translated VNs as long as they are only things like “My Sex Slave is a Classmate”.

    There hasn’t been an attempt like this honestly since Ever 17. And well, even though that particular experience is not one most folks can easily enjoy now, without it 999 and Virtues Last Reward would not have the groundwork they stood upon. I think most of us would note that gaining those experiences is a very good thing. Let’s not turn our backs on new possibilities just because someone is ‘denying’ a handful of ero scenes.

    • PandaTurtle

      +1 for this post. I’m the kind who’s familiar with 999, VLR, and Ever17. I’d add Ace Attorney to that list if only Capcom would release the HD Trilogy…. But I’m not going to get started on that… Anyways, those are three VNs that I absolutely LOVE! It’s a shame Ever17 is pretty much unobtainable in English though. I wonder if MoeNovel is the kind of company to go back to popular old VNs and bring them back in print…

      I really hope this game will be decently supported so we can find out.

    • Ladius

      I have to absolutely agree, seeing a publisher trying an All Ages release with the objective of expanding the western vn audience is exactly what I wanted to see from Mangagamer and JAST in the last years (Aksys has done a wonderful job in the console space, though). This doesn’t mean being against quality eroges, in fact expanding the All Ages userbase may very well help good eroges like Kara no Shoujo and Ef to get more sales since at least a fraction of the new fans could try them because of their interesting plots despite the ero.

      That said, the success of this initiative largely depends on the kind of distribution the game will have: if they plan to expand the genre’s audience by selling an All Ages game on Mangagamer and JList they’re going to have a nasty surprise, but if they manage to get on Steam (Playasia hinted at a Steam release, but apparently they don’t even have a Greenlight page) this could indeed turn up to be a great opportunity for the genre.

    • ChiffonCake

      Well, personally the problem that I have here is not with it being all-ages, or with an eroge changing into all-ages, but rather with a foreign publisher doing so without the original developer helping fill in for the removed content. Of course, we don’t know if that’s the case, or if it isn’t, how they’ll work with that, buuuut I’m still a little worried.

      I do agree with everything else you said, though… visual novels still have a pretty bad reputation over here, unfortunately enough, so I’ll welcome anything that improves that.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        At least the first glimpse of the situation is that Will/Pulltop is handling the changes themselves, perhaps with the input and guidance of AGM. Businesses have been making changes in products to suit the needs of different markets since the days peddlers walked the streets of Ancient Babylon.

    • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

      But, but, but, the PURITY of the ANCIENT JAPANESE ART of kawaii loli fap material…!!!!

      • M’iau M’iaut

        Hey I didn’t say there isn’t a place for such material — just that this isn’t the place for such material :P.

  • Zero_Destiny

    Well the plot from the basic synopsis sounds alright enough to me and the art looks pretty awesome too. I can see myself buying this when I have the chance to, especially since it’s been an honest while since I played VNs and really been meaning to get back to the genre. And honestly I haven’t even really looked at MangaGamer’s store in a long time. This sounds a lot better then some of their most recent pick ups. >__<

    The hard copy is tempting but I'll have to make sure my ducks are all lined up in a row for that. My summer spending is probably more then it should be already and with SMTIV I foresee my summer being filled to the brim with too many games. lol

  • Niyari

    i mean, wouldn’t be possible for a third party patch to add all the ero stuff back in anyways? if it is, then both sides win. VN’s with ero will NEVER gain any traction in the West.

    edit: wow i just realized what i got myself into. i will now quietly go back to my corner and enjoy the bliss of not caring about hcg’s.

  • Keko

    In all honesty, I enjoyed Princess Waltz a lot and I’ll buy this VN just so I can help companies bring over more VNs. It is a shame they removed content from the original, so I hope they stop doing this if they manage to sell a good quantity and listen to the fans.

  • Haku_Luvs_You

    I’m very excited. I want to get more into the Visual Novel genre, and this looks great! But I guess unlike most I’d like my VN to come without the ero in it. Just a personal preference I guess.

  • bVork

    I think it’s a little premature to complain about censorship. This is nearly unprecedented: a visual novel localized at the behest of the original publishing company, altered for the Western market. There’s almost no telling how this will pan out, so I think all concerns about censorship and the possibility of missing key scenes should be put on hold until the full game is released and we can see for ourselves.

    What DOES concern me, however, is the quality of the translation. The trial has a number of really questionable lines that don’t make much sense in English. “So this is how surprising it is to be suddenly attacked by an animal.” What? I can’t see any English-speaking person ever saying or thinking this. It would probably be better written as “So this is how it feels to be attacked by an animal.”

    There are some weird line breaks, too. Look at this:

    [first box]
    [Girl]
    ‘……I left it in my room.’
    [second box]
    she answered, dismayed.

    While this is grammatically correct, it doesn’t make much sense to break it into multiple boxes. No well-edited novel would split that across two pages. The visual novel already uses single quotation marks to denote dialogue, so there’s no reason to not include both dialogue and narrative text in the same box.

    There are also some tense issues. “‘That’s why I thought of another way to call for help.’” is immediately followed by the line “‘That way, if there is someone who can get my SOS, and come here for me……’” This strikes me as a little weird, as the first is clearly past tense. Both lines refer to something that has already happened. I’d have written the second line as “‘That way, somebody could get my SOS and come here for me…..’”

    It seems like the translators are going for an extremely literal translation, which I think will limit the audience more than any erotic content would. Everything sounds stilted at best and only barely recognizable as English at worst.

    • ChiffonCake

      If I remember correctly, it was said in a thread in the MangaGamer forums that the translation in the demo is not final and still needs to go through editing, so the release will most likely not have such problems.

  • Natat

    I don’t mind there not being Ero, it’s just… it’s still censorship. And it’s not something that only happens once like Tharja’s pic in FE, there’s quite a bit in this game. For example, if there was an All-Ages version of this game, and that version was the one decided to be translated, I wouldn’t have any problems at all… Ah well, I’ll still pick up this game anyway, I love how the art looks.

  • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

    Hey, everyone bitching about “censorship”, here’s a fun fact: the USA, unlike Japan, does not enforce censorship laws at all, except in cases of child pornography and national security risks. In Japan, legally-enforced censorship is a thing, and even outside of that, American cultural exports being censored for their Japanese release is a much more common occurrence than the opposite.

  • TiredOfMyOldUsername

    Being released on Steam could explain the ESRB rating and why they deleted the h content.

  • Wondering_Zero

    *Insert obligatory statement of wanting to get it into the hands of as many users as possible while making as much money as possible*

    Now that that’s out of the way, isn’t the target audience for this type of game the otaku? People who do (or should) know that visual novels, which 80% of, (at least on PC) are in fact eroge? I applaud them for going as far as getting it through the ESRB and releasing it on Steam as an all ages title, but I don’t think a good chunk of their sales will be coming from steam.

    I honestly can’t understand why they don’t release the original uncensored game to Mangagamer and JAST, both of who publish all-ages and H-games side by side, while leaving the all-ages version to steam. Too much effort, or are Japanese companies still cautious because of the whole rapelay fiasco years back?

    I’m on the fence about this because sometimes all-ages games that spawned from H-games are a mixed bag. Visual-novels like AIR(haven’t read but if the anime is anything to go by…), FSN, and MLA all are great because their plots don’t need H-scenes. Unless it’s plot can survive by itself like those three, then I don’t see myself buying this day one.

    • BTA

      If you don’t think a good chunk of the sales for a game on Steam are coming from Steam, I don’t know where you’ve been.

      • Wondering_Zero

        I meant overall in sells. If you think that a visual-novel is going to sell on steam then you’re being very optimistic.

        • BTA

          It doesn’t even have to sell well on Steam to sell more than it would in other places.

          Of course, we already have VN-ish games (like Analogue) selling pretty well on Steam. At this price, maybe people won’t bite as much, but if it’s on sale for a bit lower…

        • BTA

          I replied to this a few hours ago, but I think my crappy internet ate it, so I’m going to try to think of what I wrote and write something that’s hopefully not worse… Or a double post…

          Even if this game does not sell relatively well on Steam, its Steam version will probably outsell every other version of it. Especially because it’s a visual novel, which don’t really sell all that well even in their niche.

          And games like Analogue (which is either a VN or pretty darn close to one) have sold pretty well on Steam. Maybe this wouldn’t sell great at its normal price, but during a sale… it has potential to do pretty well. And if it’s a good enough game to get people talking about it and the possibility of bringing more VNs to Steam, that’s definitely a very very good thing for all of us regardless of whether it’s breaking sales records or not.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Just getting it on Steam allows for the chance it gets included in some 80-90% sale. One of those where folks pick it up because of the price point, boot it up — and want more.

            Also, there is something to be said about being in a place everyone trusts, and where potential customers don’t have to step over some humiliation violent sex simulator to get it.

  • WonderSteve

    I am kind of on the fence for buying this game.

    I don’t like the fact content is going to be removed. At the same time I want to support VN localization, but I am afraid by buying this, I am telling the publisher cutting H-scene is the way to go.

    Perhaps, a rated M DLC for adding back the content?

  • http://www.youtube.com/Lyonharvestmoonfan Eduardo Rocha

    Am I the only know that doesn’t likes using their computer as a console?

  • SupaPhly

    Honestly, i don’t care about the ecchi scenes taken off, i dislike them mostly because i just want to carry on with the story. The way they suddenly f*ck like pornstars with awkward slurping sounds.
    Just got out of a life threatening situation, what do we do? Lets 69 on the table!
    A character that was completely secluded from society and forced not to read books or watch tv? Lets do it doggy style and scream out porn slang.

    I never understood having them in a well made story, it feels out of place in my opinion. Im looking at you sharin no kuni

    • SupaPhly

      Disregard my comment, i suck dicks, and haven’t played much vn’s with H content

  • BTA

    If this game is on Steam, as it supposedly is, it will sell a ridiculously high amount of copies compared to how many it would otherwise. It cannot be on Steam with H content. Do the math.

    I understand the people who are complaining about censorship, but it’s really not that big of a deal, and it appears to be something done with the original developers behind it. Unless you’re arguing that the sex itself (like, the sex scene, not even just the idea that they had sex) is monumentally important to the game’s plot, cutting it isn’t that big of a deal.

    You can blame it on Western morality if you want, but look at the fact that the only thing keeping this T-rated game from an AO (I doubt it’d be rated M) rating was some porn. Because let’s not kid ourselves- this isn’t “sex scenes”, it’s porn. And that makes people not want to play it. Even if the adult version somehow got on Steam, more people would pick up a “moe visual novel about high schoolers” than a “moe visual novel with porn of high schoolers”. I know I’d rather buy the former than the latter (and I plan on doing so). Sure, the adult version might sell 10 times as much (as another commenter said) in the otaku market, but that’s definitely not going to be true in a mainstream place like Steam. And we know from the Koihime Musou incident that these games sell an atrociously low amount of copies in the otaku market. So…

    The porn was taken out of this game so more people would be able to buy it (and, by extension, more people would be able to enjoy the game). This is not a sign of the rise of censorship; it’s a sign of realizing that over here, adding porn generally hurts titles instead of helping them (which I’m guessing is why the game had porn in it to begin with).

    …also, are we really pretending that there’s not gonna be some fanpatch to add the removed content back in? Because there surely will be, and then anyone who wants it can go find it.

    • WonderSteve

      I just want a clarification. Does Steam have a policy saying H content is prohibited?

      • BTA

        We know from other games that Steam would not accept games with that kind of content. They’ve also removed games (though only non-VNs have tried, I think) with adult content from Greenlight.

        They have a lot more to lose from doing it than they do from not doing it, to be clear. For example, by selling this with the H content included they are essentially selling porn alongside normal games. Other companies, quite reasonably, don’t want to have their games advertised directly alongside such things… And so on.

        And, well, I have no idea how the laws for these things work, so I don’t really want to say something stupid, but I’d imagine that they might need to go out of their way to make sure that no minor is buying porn on their service.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        At least anecdotal. Peach Princess has made mention of being turned down with titles. The ELVN-type games and doujins which have found their way onto the network are all from companies very public about avoiding ero material.

        • WonderSteve

          I guess Steam isn’t as “free” as I thought. I suppose sex is still a much more sensitive topic than violence.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            The point has been made by others that true adult material requires a whole different level of actual legalese requirements from the business side.

            In such situations, the only move can really be not to play.

          • BTA

            While it is true that what our culture considers acceptable may differ oddly between sex and violence, again, this isn’t a “sex scene” we’re talking about here. This is porn. They’re not really the same thing.

    • Cerzel

      “…also, are we really pretending that there’s not gonna be some
      fanpatch to add the removed content back in? Because there surely will
      be, and then anyone who wants it can go find it.”

      I remember some time ago that Andrew Dice of Carpe Fulgur (Recettear, Fortune Summoners) was talking about the issues in bringing eroge to Steam. He said that more than just simply removing the adult content from a localised game, that they would need to go to lengths to ensure that that content couldn’t be restored or modded in for Steam to possibly accept it.
      I have a general dislike of any game having an axe taken to any of its content, even if it is porn, (largely in part due to some of Hirameki’s absolutely butchered releases back in the day) but this game will be a good benchmark to see what is possible with the releases.

      • WonderSteve

        I find this be a tricky benchmark.

        The company will only look at the sales data after all. If I buy this, I am telling them this practice is okay?

        To me, it is not okay. I wouldn’t mind buying it this time to give them support, but I would also want the publisher to know I wouldn’t tolerate this again.

  • parterre

    Like I posted elsewhere, I wish people would look past the censorship argument to have a little clarity on Moenovel’s probable strategy.

    If eroge makers have had dwindling sales in Japan, and serious attempts at all-ages games (like Minori’s recent one) are disastrous for them, then Jap companies can’t make a base game without ero. Let’s say, even for an ero game with a great story, if it was ported 1:1 to English, the best the Japs could hope for was 2k or so from current localisers. What’s more, they’re only ever chasing the same vn buying group, and one which seems to demand ero at that. Ever diminishing returns.

    Meanwhile, several non-ero games are selling (relatively) swell numbers, and there’s a new surge in indie game support in the West. Without making a whole new product that might burn them at home, how could they jump in with what they’ve got? That’s right, re-purpose one of their current games. I think it’s a brave experiment, and I’m willing to buy into it if it has the slightest chance to rock the boat a little.

    tl;dr. For the industry to survive, they’re going to need fans to support a variety of games again. Keyword: variety. I’d be more than happy to get good all-ages games coming over again. Maybe this is a start.

  • parterre

    All said I’m glad there are people like you in the industry, wyrdwad. I just think we, as customers, need to give these companies the chance to change. Even if it’s going to be messy or disagreeable at first. If they do it right, and all the game makers can move on to embrace variety, to become bigger and better within their medium, it’ll be a rising tide that lifts all boats.

  • revenent hell

    Just leave in the erotic bits please!
    Cant we have a little bit in these types of stories?
    It really irks me how they censor games like this and its the main reason I wont buy them, I’m old enough to want a little bit more than fluff in this type of “game”. Censoring games like this is a travesty, children aren’t the only ones who are interested in playing them cant we let older people see more than a kiss? I know without a shadow of a doubt i’d buy every game IF they weren’t censored. Why ruin a perfectly good game as is?
    Also MangaGamer has this game rated for All not Teen

    • M’iau M’iaut

      All ages isn’t censorship, and not every adult needs, wants or demands erotic in their games. The goal here is to grow an audience beyond the denizens of Peach Princess and MG. If you need want or demand erotic bits, both companies have options for that — this will just be something different.

      • seiya19

        There’s no “All Ages” version of this game in Japan. The game is being censored for the US/West, just like any other censored localization before it. And it doesn’t cease to be censorship because of money being the reason for it or because the developers are fine with it. I’m sure Monolith Soft and Namco-Bandai were fine with Xenosaga being needlessly censored in the West to avoid an “M” rating and get more sales, yet that was censorship too. It’s self-censorship, and I for one am not fine with it.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-censorship

        The question that I have yet to see answered here is, why didn’t they choose an “All Ages” game from Japan ? I find it really hard to believe that there were no options there at all… Or, given that their idea is to localize only “All Ages” VNs apparently, why not go for the console ports through digital distribution ? Or maybe even porting one of those to PC for the West ? It’s not like they aren’t doing any code work here.

        And of course, it’s also not the same situation as an “All Ages” release in Japan because there people have a choice to go for the 18+ one, unlike here.

        “…not every adult needs, wants or demands erotic in their games”

        The same could be said about violence, yet that argument is never used as a justification to censor violent games and not limit your audience… It’s pure hypocrisy. And there’s lots of gratuitous violence in gaming, purely justified by being entertainment and nothing more than that. Or is someone going to argue that all the gore used in games like God of War, Mortal Kombat and Manhunt is completely justified ? That you absolutely must have dismemberment, decapitations and so on with that level of detail in those games ? Why should explicit violence be protected and accepted but not explicit sex ?

        Finally, on a more personal note, I would like to say that I happen to enjoy erotic art, and I don’t consider it to be inherently less valuable than non-erotic one. To me it makes no sense to argue otherwise, as if the value of an artistic expression depended solely on the moral values of a particular individual or society. As if the moment the artist drew something you don’t like, it ceased to be art. To pretend that the H-CGs didn’t require skill and creativity to be created while the non-H ones did is asinine. It’s purely rooted in prejudice, having little to do with the work itself.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          So then Will/Pulltop are creating an all-ages version for the states. Why is that somehow bad? A company is taking one of their own products, a newer title that has been well received and sporting characters and a story line deemed comfortable and recognizable enough to translate. The changes being made are all by them and no different than if they were making a Japanese all ages product. Smart business choices all around.

          One doesn’t make violent games targeting customers who don’t play violent games. This game is not targeting those who already play eroges or nukiges. This game is designed to bring new players to the world of visual novels. A genre that has seen many attempts peter out and which yes, perception has largely been something you keep behind the green door.

          Between the otome market, various portable hybrids and the indie ELVN scene, a new customer base has started to develop. Will/Pulltop is taking a chance and playing to this new market. So it isn’t your market, and thus things sold to this market won’t interest you. Just keep it at that and play some of the other games PP or MG are releasing this year. Saya and Tick Tack aren’t targeting the new folks.

          • seiya19

            “So then Will/Pulltop are creating an all-ages version for the states. Why is that somehow bad?”

            Because the initiative to do so didn’t come from them originally, but as a way to get the game on Western shores, despite the fact that it could’ve been localized as it is. Basically, the reason this censored version exists is to get to those in the US who would be offended by its original content (while the rest are ignored), and we don’t know if it would have existed otherwise. Not all eroge get an alternative “All Ages” version in Japan, nor they should, from my point of view.

            Besides, if the idea is to separate this release as much as possible from the original version, how is it not enough to create a new label with its own website and such ? Do we know whether Steam would refuse to accept this version if JAST or MangaGamer localized the uncensored version separately ? And again, why did it have to be this particular VN ? No one would be complaining if this had been a non-eroge VN originally, or if we had the choice of getting the uncensored one.

            Also, using sales as a justification for all this doesn’t fly with me. While making money is a requirement in a capitalist society, is not the “end all be all” that justifies anything. And if its that all Will/Pulltop care about, one has to wonder why are they working on the most niche of gaming genres in the first place…

            “One doesn’t make violent games targeting customers who don’t play violent games.”

            And the same could be said about eroge… This game was created as an 18+ game, and no amount of spinning can change that. Censoring the sex scenes with the excuse of appealing to more people is akin to censoring Mortal Kombat by removing its fatalities and blood with the same purpose. This line of thinking only leads to avoiding any controversial content with the idea of never offending anyone, limiting creativity and diversity in the process. Should the entire gaming industry dedicate themselves to make only “E” rated games because those always have more potential customers ?

            “Will/Pulltop is taking a chance and playing to this new market. So it isn’t your market, and thus things sold to this market won’t interest you.”

            I have no objection whatsoever to the creation of non-eroge VNs and the attempt to expand their market with them. In fact, I welcome it. And I don’t need to have sex scenes or fanservice to enjoy a VN or any other genre, so I can be just as much part of this “new market” (which I wouldn’t say its new…) as with the “old” one. But does it really need to be at the expense of the “old” market ? How does this make business sense when you could be appealing to both markets ? And how are the views of those who would prefer to play the uncensored version less valid than the rest ?

            PS: Sorry for the long post…

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Changing one game will not ruin the translated eroge market, even with as small as it is. If the passion is there, then isn’t it better used towards ensuring those who want translated eroge purchase the options already out there? We can’t deny the business side of things and that very good games already go wanting for customers. I also go back to the impetus and actions regarding this title seem to be all on Will/Pulltop. Regardless of their reasons, do they not have the creative right to do with their product what they wish? And as regards those who play eroges more regularly, this game in this format does not preclude them from experiencing the uncensored version.

            Peach Princess has Yo-Jin-Bo, but you have to go to their site to download it. Their attempt to set Aselia somewhat apart was rather half-hearted. MangaGamer themselves seem to go out of their way to announce how poorly all-ages and yes their eroges do in relation to sex romps.

            This is a place where the greater separation of MoeGamer should be of benefit. Note the mentions made below about what Carpe Fulgur experienced. Yes, they had to make (or would have had to make) adjustments so that a Steam release could not just ‘magically acquire adult properties. Both PP and MG have noted that Valves response to their overtures was absolutely no way. We also know how the ESRB and PEGI react when their ratings are involved.

            From folks who have played the game and reported on it, it seems there is only one route where eliminating the sex may be an issue. Yet, we can’t at this moment the events don’t happen — just that we don’t have the pictures and sounds to go alongside.

          • seiya19

            If they’re successful with this attempt, what makes you think it will be the last of its kind ? It will clearly set a precedent, proving that you can remove the sexual content of an eroge for the West without any negative repercussions sales-wise, taking away an option for the “old” market. And after that, what stops them from adopting it as a common practice ? Buying other uncensored eroge won’t make the censored ones get released unedited…

            “And as regards those who play eroges more regularly, this game in this
            format does not preclude them from experiencing the uncensored version.”

            I don’t understand your point here… Are you refering to the Japanese version untranslated ? If so, it makes no sense to me… Obviously not everyone has the time or is willing to learn a new language…

            “Regardless of their reasons, do they not have the creative right to do with their product what they wish?”

            Yes, but that doesn’t exempt them from criticism, nor does it adress the underlying issues at hand…

            “Yes, they had to make (or would have had to make) adjustments so that a
            Steam release could not just ‘magically acquire adult properties.”

            Yeah, I know, but I don’t see how this could stop JAST/MangaGamer from releasing the original version as if it were a different game while MoeNovel does its thing, similar perhaps to how Aksys and Ignition will end up releasing their own versions of Muramasa on Vita/Wii. As long as the versions have clear distinctions in their titles/covers and the censored one doesn’t include any trace of the sexual content within the code, it could theorically work… I realize this is a bit far-fetched, but without knowing exactly what Valve demands, it’s hard to say what could or couldn’t be possible…

            In any case, I can’t accept the notion that getting into Steam justifies all this, nor do I believe that it’s the only way to create a viable VN market, long term. And on a related note, do we know anything about gog’s policy here ? It’s not Steam, but it could help…

            “From folks who have played the game and reported on it, it seems there
            is only one route where eliminating the sex may be an issue.”

            The thing is that, from my point of view, the removal of the H-CGs is already an unacceptable loss, regardless of its relation to the story. Once the game is created, I want to be able to experience it in its entirety. If they had removed only a few, “trivial” non-H CGs or a few of the voices it would’ve also gotten a negative response from me. And of course, the reason behind it only adds frustration to it all…

            Anyway… I think I already said my piece… I’ll read anything you want to add, but I won’t post again unless you have a question for me.

  • nothing956

    “Meanwhile, If My Heart Had Wings is rated T (Teen). The reason
    it isn’t rated M is because the erotic content from the original
    Japanese release has been removed.”

    Not only that, all kissing scenes have been removed along with all sexual innuendo and somebody on VNDB has gone though and counted all the H CG’s and Non-H CG’s and OVER HALF of the CG’s are pornographic. (I was going find exact numbers but it turns out mangagamers forums are down.) So yeah we’re basically getting 25% of this game.

    Who would have guessed 4kids would have come back like this.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Let’s not show up and claim that somehow 75% of the story is gone just because you don’t get your sex scenes. Most VN exposition is done without art, or with only a picture or two. Always has been, in both ero and non ero games. Pulltop is no exception.

      The goal here is to present a tale that is compelling and folks will buy sans the naughty bits. The changes to all ages are being made by the original developers themselves, so the result will be as much a creation of those developers as the original work. Everything seems to show that an all-ages game is more than viable.

      Take your ’4 kids’ assumptions and attitude to another site.

      • nothing956

        If they wanted to cut out the sex scenes fine. It’s the fact they went farther than that which pisses me off.

        And the 4kids thing was just a joke about how they edited out kissing and 4kids was the only other company I could think of to unnecessarily edit content like that.

        I’ll also admit my 75% is gone is too much so i’ll change that to over half of the art is gone plus kissing and any sex jokes.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          No kissing is certainly silly and maybe a bit beyond. Thank you for the explanation.

          The western market has been just so darn fickle about this genre. Just look at MGs own portfolio — KaraNoShojo is there (a game we pushed heavy on the site, regardless of the ero) and so too is Suika. Peach Princess brought over YumeMiru and Family Project. All games where the impact of characters and story far outweigh the erotic scenes. For the tiny H-games niche, all received more publicity than normal.

          And the result? These titles got outsold by very hard core titles from folks like Zyx and Liquid. I’d love to have the chance to experience more quality eroges, but those are by their nature, more expensive licenses. The takeaway from a business sense? Give the tiny current market in the states the nukiges they desire.

          So this company is working from the other end. Finding the players of Professor Layton or games from Winter Wolves or Hanako Games. Giving them company created story driven titles, and yes perhaps being a notch or two high on the ‘careful’ scale. These folks know the ‘other’ games exist but don’t want a nukige. Give them something comfortable to start and perhaps they might just be willing to try an eroge later.

          • nothing956

            Personally I think it’s kinda MGs own fault that the story based games don’t do so well I mean they release a lot of pure porn like 10 pure porn games per every 1 story based game so I think the porn overshadows any story based games.

            YumeMiru was my first VN a few years ago and I think the VN market has changed since then and jast edited out a route of Family Project so that’s probably why that didn’t do well.

            I think they should continue with the all ages release but release an adults only patch. That way they can still get play-asia or wherever to carry it and they won’t be screwing over the established adult fanbase. So basically I don’t have a problem with them releasing it as an all ages game I just think it could have been handled better in a way that everyone can be happy with like with the patch idea.

            Also I don’t think targeting layton fans is the way to go (Never heard of Winter Wolves or Hanako Games before.) because layton is a puzzle game while this is a pure VN which is just text. Personally I think that if you want to broaden the market for VNs you should first target anime fans as there are lot of anime fans who don’t know what a VN is or that quite a few animes are based off them, like jast has been teasing on twitter that they have managed to licence Steins;Gate if they get the word out and say “Hey we are releasing the original VN, the anime only covers 1 out of the 5 routes.” (Or however many there are not counting the fan-discs and sequel.) I think thats a better way to go about widening the VN market than trying to appeal to puzzle game fans with a heavily edited a VN that nobody outside of the VN community has ever even herd of.

            Also here is a better description of what was changed/cut from the game than mine. http://vndb.org/t4084

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Winter Wolves and Hanako Games do some of the best commercial grade products in the English language ‘doujin’ scene, for lack of a better descriptor. Stat building sim games, otomes, adventure titles and the like. The English VN scene is really growing at the moment with things like renpy and similar engines. It is certainly a market I would suspect MoeNovel would be reaching for.

  • Strid

    Pass; censored eroge games are generally terrible in my experience (especially when compared to their original). Like someone else already said, what’s an eroge without the ero?

    If this is MoeNovel’s idea of how things should be done I can stop being excited about their arrival on the scene, because I’m not buying anything they release if this is their approach.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      It is a visual novel, which is what this title is being presented and marketed as. One of the reasons Peach Princess took a chance with Aselia was that the all-ages version is considered the more complete and canon one. Going back even further in translated games, the same is true with Hourglass of Summer. Tears to Tiara is a very prominent example in Japan where removing the ero in general opinion improved the game.

      Ero games become all-ages and all-ages become ero all the time. Making changes either way is not something MoeNovel just created for this release.

      • Strid

        I realize MoeNovel is not in their own here, that it has been done before; I figured this to be clear and obvious. As well, it’s my experience, my enjoyment, and my opinion I’m talking about; do you get where I’m heading with this?

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Quite acceptable and I wasn’t trying to challenge on that front. Just noting some ‘conversions’ which might not be all bad.

      • Strid

        Whoops

      • kroufonz

        yeah but some of those are port/ re-release/ remake and have additional content in place of removed ero scene

  • kroufonz

    man this like lightning strike in the middle of the sunny day, even more surprised that it’s a 2012 titlle they brought.

    i have mixed feeling about this, didn’t like the censorship, but i can probably get pass that just because i want to support so that more bishoujo game get localized (I wouldn’t bitch about no H scene if THIS A PS3/console/ handheld PORT and have additional scene/character to compensate the removed content)

    my biggest worry and deal breaker is the rumored DRM/online activation for retail release, since this looks like it would use steam works,why can’t they did it like other mangagamer title and just make the retail release DRM free. i believe even the japanese version DIDN’T have that kind of crap.

  • katamari damacy

    If this is the ‘all-ages’ version I would like to see a small print run on the ps3 instead of on PC. PC should be allowed to have the full version.

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