Visual novel publisher MangaGamer recently touched upon the subject of profitability. A fan asked the company how profitable they were, and if they were struggling to survive or doing well for themselves. Head Translator/Marketing Manager John Pickett (known on the company forums as Kouryuu) replied with the following:
During our early years, we were definitely struggling, but now, five years in, we’re rather stable.
We’ve reached the point now where we can generally break even and at least make some profit on every title we’re releasing, but longer, story-centric titles still run a risk of loss for us due to the larger costs involved with the extra text volume of such games. The cheaper nukige we release profit very well, and often help cover the gaps created by losses when story-centric games don’t perform quite well enough.
Overall though, we are slowly starting to make a regular profit, and much of those increased gains are being funneled back into improving our company, our presence, and our staff wages.
MangaGamer certainly have come a long way from a few years ago, with the company having branched out into a far broader range of visual novels and interesting experiments like Go Go Nippon and a Steam re-release of Higurashi When They Cry with a complete overhaul of the original art.
More recently, with games like Kara no Shoujo, Cartagra, Ozmafia and others currently part of their line-up, they’ve managed to put themselves on the map as a well-respected publisher of visual novels and are even helping with the distribution of all-ages doujin games. Hopefully, we see them continue to grow.