At this point, with the release of the last Tripri member’s SSR & the latest upgrades to social/opening up new game modes, I think we’re at a good place to recap the first 30 weeks of this game, and to look forward to the next phase of IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage. So let’s start here.
Just looking at the amount of money this game makes, it’s every bit justified to have a SMAP guy in your commercial. It’s gross, and it’s insane. I’m glad. I mean that’s about the same rank as Ahnold Schwarzenegger, right?
One point of curiosity is going to Reddit and skimming the reaction of that group of early adopters who would play Japanese F2P rhythm games with idols in them. How will they adjust to a post-voiced-idol reality in CG? There are no “trash idols” in CG, right? That speaks more to Love Live SIF than Deresute, but it’s a curious decision both companies have made creatively in the direction of where they’re going with all this.
The strong outpouring of support on DereSute has to mean well for the franchise. Does this mean we’ll get more CG anime? I think it’s not unlikely. It’s more a matter of timing and scheduling. All of 2015, in some ways, can be said as paving the way for this ultimate trojan horse that is DereSute–between all the IM@S 10th and DereAni promotions, at the least–and this is how they collect money based on all that good will. In the big picture, it’s not just a story of a big franchise putting on its walking shoes, so to speak, but it can even be seen as struggling development company hitting gold as the JP tech press may have reported, a different kind of Cinderella story in this unforgiving games marketplace.
The game itself probably have really pivoted when Tulips event happened. It’s full of post-newgene, small fries characters that barely got any DereAni treatment. It’s like the current event–like who are even the fans of these characters? Unless you are a dedicated CG P, which largely are hard to find even today…
Which brings back to my initial feeling about an English language port of this game. Will it happen? I don’t see why it shouldn’t, but it does make me think just how successful it might be. And if I, a cheerleader for the franchise for all practical purposes, question this, how does Bamco feel?
To go down on the nitty gritty, the event has cycled into steady patterns for gasha idols and on event types, although things do change from event to event so you are not always sure the type. To recap, we have the standard event song point contest, the medley event contest, and the caravan, which the goal is to farm SR idols (and now grindable goods) from playing songs. Each event has logically expanded from a previous iteration of itself. The new quest system adds greatly to the song events. The medal exchange for caravan events allows the system to be a lot easier to stomach.
Totally new is the 5-player multiplayer battle system, and in general the addition of the quest system that gives you rewards for various achievements. When this kicked in earlier this week a lot of hardcore players probably got ~1000 jewels…
Personally, I see my patience for the game waning a lot largely because I participated in the last 2 competitive events, only to fail or give up due to lacking the will and time to grind. The DereSute grind is fairly forgiving, but I just didn’t have that extra hour or two of grind time to give. Not getting Anya again was no big deal, but it kind of sucked not getting Fred… Well, I’ll get over it I imagine.
What is definitely fun in this game is the feeling of pulling those caravan SRs, and gacha in general. So I still gacha (responsibly…maybe). In that sense, DereSute has a good foundation to build on what success it has.
The main goal, as I see it, is for DereSute to reduce player attrition in a way that lets the game slowly get through this initial phase of decline while keeping the game rewarding for player sticking with it, without playing all its top cards. The new game mode maybe is necessary, as the multiplayer mode in DereSute actually seems a little bit complex, so it should give players something to think about.
From a more measured note, the competitiveness of the events have not let up, or rather it has seettled between 15k to 20k event-scoring-wise. It’s hard to say how engaged the tail end of the playerbase is, with 10M downloads, but this is a lot of ranking players still. Maybe a better measure of overall engagement is the stratification of lower tiers?
Having new features that deepens existing features is a smart approach to maintaining player interest, so I’m glad to see that happening with the way how the quest system is being implemented. I guess as long as their devs are using this idea cleverly it should yield a lot of joy for players over time.
The way I see it, in due time, the marketing engine will rev up again and the DereSute platform can be a better way to deliver content than it has traditionally, and that alone will drive users back to the game periodically. Imagine if they did something in DereSute akin to what Million Live is doing for its 3rd tour… for CG 4th event…
In that sense, it’s not just in-game feature that can interplay with each other, but in true media-mix form, everything in IM@S can tie into some other aspect of it in a concrete way to drive not just engagement and enjoyment, but add a new dimension to how we interact with the franchise. This is the good stuff.