Ikaruga Devs Fought Hand-To-Hand With Steam Contract And Won

By Eugene . October 21, 2013 . 1:02pm

As previously reported, Treasure have managed to wrangle its way through a Steam Greenlight to get things ready for classic shoot-em-up Ikaruga.


However, gamers chomping at the bit for the game will have to wait a little bit longer. While Ikaruga is pretty much ready to go—complete with mouse and keyboard support!—it still needs to be run through bug testing and be integrated with Steam alongside some other, minor adjustments, Treasure have revealed on Twitter.


It seems as though those aren’t the only hurdles to getting the game onto Steam—especially since Treasure are a Japanese developer, and and Valve apparently use non-Japanese-friendly English contracts from the sound of things.


Treasure say their reading of the entire English contract was a complete “hand to hand fight,” when one has to not just read a long contract but one entirely in a foreign language. Luckily, they’re being good sports about it. “It is entirely a company’s important mission to fight hand-to-hand with contracts,” they tweeted solemnly.


We can almost imagine them with a dangly cigarillo and bloodied fists, the crumpled remains of the contract signed messily in their blood. Oh, and expect Ikaruga on PC to be here either by the end of the month or possibly early next month, they added.


You can read more about Ikaruga’s features that will make it to the PC version on its Steam page here.

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  • Barrylocke89

    It’s unfortunate that there’s not only the issue of potential conflicting ideas with the contracts between the Western company Valve and Eastern developers such as Treasure, (which makes some sense due to different ideals with cultures on business practices), but also an issue of just READING the darn thing.

    I know that Valve has made recent efforts to reach out to Japanese developers (such as when they made a presentation at Bitsummit earlier this year about Steams advantages), but even things such as contracts being easier to read can make a difference. A smaller developer that doesn’t have a strong English speaking group in their team, but still wants to publish their game to the West on their own may elect to seek another, more Japanese friendly platform (such as Playism), go through an Western publishing team after all, or worse, be intimidated from striking out West in the first place.

  • thaKingRocka

    Valve should make some efforts to translate their contracts, especially if they’re standard. I understand that it’s Treasure’s responsibility to read through the contract and that Valve is a corporation built on the English language, but if Valve is looking to encourage submissions from all over the world, they should be looking to have the standard Greenlight contracts and such translated by professionals. Not all of the world’s talent can speak English.

    I think this is a perfectly acceptable reason to delay the process. I would hate to see Treasure or anyone get burned for lack of understanding of the finer points of a contract. Treasure worked hard on the game and they will do so again to make it work on PC. They are wise to take their time to protect their art and their product.

    • foopy

      The recent influx of Japanese developers, in particular, is a pretty new thing on Steam. I’m sure it is in the pipeline over at Valve to make the process more accomodating for developers worldwide, but I’d imagine that it’s hard to find a Japanese-fluent lawyer in the 11th hour to write up a gigantic contract.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        Yet, one could argue the current PC gen JP doujin scene was established far before the current PC gen US indie scene. Valve just never paid them much attention from the start. The existent Half-Life and CS audience was pretty much ported over as the core of the initial Steam crowd, so it can’t be surprising that their audience isn’t all over such unusual things.

        • Shady Shariest

          Valve very much has gone with safe bets, with Asia in general being very much unknown ground for them…
          Thankfully Greenlight exists now :3

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Ya but the Greenlight audience is only starting to show they are much broader in knowledge. Ikaruga is already very established and the ELVN games approved have all been readily available as well.

            It also can’t be said Valve is unaware of Asian things. Both Portal and TF have their fair share of animeish tropes.

          • Shady Shariest

            Not only broader in knowledge, but in numbers…
            The team behind Greenlight seems to try get more attention from people with bulk approvals. It seems to be working to some extent :3

            As for the tropes: I had no idea… Sadly i neither know many animes or play Valve games (Portal 1? I had all my attention on the @£[email protected] puzzles :) )

      • thaKingRocka

        I’m saying that this should not have been an 11th hour situation. Valve should have been thinking proactively and globally all along. There is plenty of talent all around the globe, and if Greenlight is meant to be open to all, I think their standard contracts should have been drawn up in many languages. The doujin scene has been strong for many years. Valve could not possibly have been ignorant of this.

        • foopy

          Again, the influx of Japanese developers to Steam is incredibly recent, especially without the aid of a western third party. If you look at most of the doujin games that had been released on Steam before the Greenlight service had started, almost all of them were released via some western publisher. The ability for a Japanese developer to bypass that situation and self-publish on Steam is a byproduct of the Greenlight service being embraced by the entire Steam community, and is a really new situation for both Valve and the developers to learn.

          Valve did not anticipate this tool being used the way it is being used. And, as a result, there are communication snafus. I don’t really think that Valve is using this to press an advantage over foreign companies and screw them out of something they rightfully deserve. It’s just lack of foresight on Valve’s part. Again, I have faith that they will work toward being much more inclusive now that Greenlight is being used in this fashion. But to fault Valve for not anticipating that its service would be used in this fashion is kind of jumping the gun. However, now that the situation has arisen, it is absolutely in Valve’s best interests to fix it as soon as possible.

          If anything, I think that this is a spectacular problem to have because it means that an opportunity is being created for both sides to hammer out self-publishing and/or assisted publishing in a way that will mutually benefit everyone. And it is forcing Valve to work out independent distribution on a global scale.

    • Setsu Oh

      with the kind of money they make, paying 8-4 for a translation should be nothing to their wallet! what the crap! i m kinda pissed at them more now…

      • thaKingRocka

        I’m not sure that 8-4 would be too keen on translating contracts. That’s not really their area of expertise. Video games and legal documents are very different media.

        • Setsu Oh

          u ndever know, maybe some of them have a legal bacground

  • Bruno

    Valve should try to improve their presence in Japan.

  • DesmaX

    Not surprised by this, but it’s still a sad thing to see. Must’ve been hard for them

  • NoOneSeesWhatWeSee

    Wow, it’s sad that Valve, a company with such an important presence in the industry today, has these flaws still.

    Steam is a good service, but still flawed. Valve really need to fix and improve it to being the industry standard they want it to be. I don’t want more developers and publishers to have to go through this. I don’t want Valve to scare away Japanese developers by being difficult to work with.

    Valve, please work harder with Japan. And become a better, more international company.

    • Shady Shariest

      To be fair… They have little experience with Japanese developers, so for the next year approx. These developers are taking first steps in interaction with Steam.

      It’s very much unfair to blame them being flawed for not having any idea of people they have just begun to work with :3

  • TrevHead

    This is so like Valve, they really are hopeless when it comes to niche Japanese games.

  • Peter Le

    *Salutes* Thank you Treasure! I will not let your sacrifice be in vain.

  • I wish Valve had more presence in Japan or a some Japanese company came up with a Steam like service.

  • Baby steps it seems. I think that while it’s great to see Ikaruga hitting Steam, it still feels rather bittersweet. If Treasure have had trouble working with Valve’s formal stuff, just how many other opportunities with eastern based developers have been missed out upon to this date?

    I am confident that there is a market for everything, and I earnestly hope Valve aim to improve upon their relations with developers across all territories to make this more a reality. Improving their relationship could open up a lot of avenues for localisation, worldwide releases, and effectively improve the overall experience of Steam, not just for its consumers, but also aspiring and existing developers alike.

  • Göran Isacson

    One hopes that kinks like these will hopefully be ironed out. While steam certainly isn’t hurting for money and may think they don’t need to hire someone to translate their contracts, I’m certain that once they realize they could make so much MORE money by easing up the process we will see japanese contracts.

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