Eroge Fandumb, Let’s Choke on Maple Syrup


I was reading Bamboo’s latest blog post about the ailing sales of this stuff over there, and how it’s harder to make a living doing it now than before. Figured I probably should hit up some usual visual novel/bishoujo gaming conversational haunts I looked and then lost my motivation in trying to talk about this stuff. Why? Because the retard to sensible ratio is up in there. It’s not that people are stupid–most everyone have a good point or more they want to make. But that’s all they want to do. They don’t want to actually discuss stuff. I’m probably unfairly characterizing things but it’s sad and pathetic how people bicker over things like translation quality or release dates. It’s like they’re on a sinking ship, arguing what the shade of blue the sky is. It’s also probably a sign: that it’s a scene increasingly drowned out by the “vocal minority” given how it’s a very small scene to begin with.

So instead, I will just link to it here. It helps to have read Akira’s translation to this news bite to get the general background of what’s happening.

For what it is worth, after the interview with nbkz went public, I did buy a copy of ef. I think a big reason is that I realized it’ll never get a physical copy, which is what I really wanted, so I stopped holding out. This is why it will probably never get a physical copy.

Still, I think it’s such a pain to read these forums–it’s like you get the totally clueless-about-game-dev types (are they from the FGC? Please be from the FGC) crossed with the super-entitled pirates crossed with dirty redditors and on top of that, fansub snobs. It would not surprise me that this is partly why we can’t have nice things.

And if Bamboo calls it quits, we may very well have way fewer nice things! I mean, I think I spent like $100 minimum at the MG booth at AX every year. And that’s just AX. I’m seriously hoping that will not be going away. I hope someone can do Bamboo’s rant a reasonable translation, because as you know I can’t.

Finally playing the beginning of ef now, it’s really just a tortuously beautiful version of the anime. Should be a fun ride going through it on a flight or something. It’s also in some ways painfully ironic in regards to the severity of the situation.

Edit: I just found out I was linking to the wrong post. So the maple syrup thing probably didn’t make sense. This is the recent rant from Bamboo that was kind of an interesting read. This is another follow up that is, well…

8 Responses to “Eroge Fandumb, Let’s Choke on Maple Syrup”

  • Lifesongsoa

    It was depressing to read about how VNs are struggling in Japan but at the very least it is exciting to see that Mangagamer is having at least some level of success as we can see by their increase in staff. Even if it is thanks to the more erotic side of the businesses.

    I wish there were an accessible western community more friendly toward VNs but I’ve not found one myself. I think part of it is just the ostracization that comes from admitting you read VNs. In my experience even people who love figures, anime and Japanese games tend to look down on VNs and those who read them. You will find people who are willing to talk about them but they tend to be on the extreme side of things. I hope that begins to change as time goes on. Many do not realize what they are missing out on and most seem disinclined to say much to change minds.

  • omo

    A forum I’m a part of has a visual novel section. Too bad it’s really abandoned for the most part. The fandom has either grown up/out of it, and nothing really has replaced it–it’s just kids who would only deal with it at arms length and only via piracy.

    It’s really a tricky topic, because the adult nature that surrounds it. It’s like in order to engage it as a serious business you do have to first overcome that hurdle. And unless you have some personal investment there, there’s little inclination for casual fans in outside of the most famous/popular IPs.

    It’s also a very deep fandom with a massive learning curve. And it’s hardly very friendly, as you say.

  • Author

    Do you happen to know how well Toradora P did?

    • omo

      That did pretty well, but that’s not really in the same category of games as these articles are about. Toradora is basically a shovelware game based on light novel material.

      In these cases, we’re talking about actually creating IP from scratch as a part of the process.

    • DarkFireBlade25

      I’m starting to wonder if visual novels could be based on other things nowadays then, if people are liking all those other media more. That would mean that shovelwares should be a thing of the past or else it won’t work. Good changing the image of the Market I think. It will be hard though… Just a thought.

    • omo

      In modern parlance, the visual novel fits in the gap between light novel and anime and video games. It has some audio-visual components; it can be played on the go on handhelds and sold like handheld console games (most VNs that are ported/all ages are on the PSP), and it’s consumed like a book.

      By shovelware I mean it in the pure sense that “hey this thing is popular, let’s make a PSP visual novel port of the comic or light novel” which is really just a voice-over enabled choose-your-own-adventure light novels in most of these cases. Doesn’t mean they are bad, just means they are low-effort cash-ins.

      Which is on an entirely different scale than, say, the last 2 minori games. That market is what is causing all this suffering. But those games are, by and large, original IPs. They’re sold only to very dedicated fans of the scene or of certain producers/artists (hey Makoto Shinkai counts for something).

      The two kind of marry each other in cases like, say Da Capo III, where it’s outright a media mix project from the start. (The game and anime are produced at the same time.) But instead of a PSP game, you get an adult-only version of the PC game (I guess that is what sells for this IP). Maybe eventually it’ll get a port to Vita or PS3 or something, who knows.

    • DarkFireBlade25

      Wouldn’t it be a good idea to go for more mix media type of style for VNs then? It would be a great transition that Supipara was lacking to transition into a less… lewd market that is drunk on fast consuming media.

    • omo

      Well, in order to do that you need to create an attractive package of IP and approaches to solicit investors to put money into the project. DCIII is an established thing so that was doable. Supipara was not…although I guess it doesn’t stop others from trying. Typically eroge adaptations are something picked up after the item is in the market, and it makes sense since this way you can tell which ones have any kind of legs.

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