Visual Art’s President On Prospect Of Publishing Visual Novels Overseas


Asked about MangaGamer publishing Visual Art’s games, the company’s president, Hiroshi Takeuchi, once revealed: “Visual Arts isn’t currently interested in the overseas market…but since their president is a business person, if there is a high demand for it…?”


It turns out Takeuchi’s guess was right on the money. This past week, Visual Art’s president, Takahiro Baba, left a few vague tweets on his Twitter feed, in reply to fans asking about the company’s recently released visual novel, Rewrite, produced under their Key label.


A fan tweeted to Baba: “When I tried to order Rewrite with Rewrite laptop, I couldn’t order thru VA [Visual Art’s] because I was in America. Can u change that?” To this, Baba simply replied (in English): “JPN sales only…”


Visual Art’s currently don’t even allow those living outside Japan to access their website, Visual Antenna. This block was implemented following the well-publicized Rapelay fiasco in 2009, after which several visual novel and eroge developers in Japan blocked outside access to their websites. Baba touched upon this on Twitter, too.


“Sory it’s a rule of Japan computer ethics,” Baba tweeted, after the fan expressed disappointment. Following a suggestion that fans would like for Visual Art’s to publish their games globally, he elaborated: “Ethics is different from country to country. So we are in our product abroad, I can not guarantee that the ethical concept is correct.”


Baba did, however, express admiration at Overdrive and MangaGamer’s efforts to publish more visual novels overseas and attempts at bringing more exposure to the genre. He later admitted that he was, of course, interested in the overseas market, but only if it would be profitable. A business person indeed.


Food for thought:

1. If you’re curious, the fan Baba spoke with eventually did manage to order Rewrite from an online retailer. Upon finding out, Baba replied: “ok! You are right…..if you are in the japan.”


2. Prior to this, a second fan joined in on the conversation at a later point, and began to discuss alternate ways to purchase the game with the first. Seeing their conversation, Baba jokingly replied: “Be alert! someone behind u!”

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.