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MangaGamer talks about voices in Koihime Musou

September 8th, 2010, by zalas
Posted in Translation , Tagged: , ,

With the English trial version of BaseSon’s Koihime Musou nearing completion, MangaGamer brought up an issue concerning the voice acting present in the game. In short, licensing the voice acting for the enormous cast appears to the game’s parent company NEXTON to be too high a cost for the amount of potential sales they feel they will see. However, they have agreed to a compromise with MangaGamer where a patch will be released with the voices should the game sell more than 2000 copies. The price of the game has also been reduced from 44.95 euros to 39.95 euros to reflect the loss of voices.

The long story is that due to MangaGamer’s investment structure, BaseSon parent company NEXTON has been shouldering most of the costs for the localization. Since the game has an extremely large cast of characters, the voice acting licensing costs in this case are also quite high. Even in the original game, there were so many roles that some of the voice actresses had to work on more than one role. This issue, combined with the fact that NEXTON feels that MangaGamer’s current sales haven’t been all that high, has led NEXTON to conclude that it is currently too expensive to license all the voices for the game.

Obviously, the permanent removal of voices from a game would decrease its value and sales. Therefore, there were discussions internally within MangaGamer about a way to solve this issue. The compromise reached was two-fold:

  1. that the price of the game would be ddropped from 44.95 euros to 39.95 euros, and
  2. if at least 2000 copies are sold, a patch will be created that will add the voices back in.

There are currently 663 users on the MangaGamer official forums. Hence, the blog post states that if every one on the forums got 2-3 friends to buy a copy, they would reach 2000. Considering what is known about their sales numbers, it will be difficult (although not impossible) to accumulate that many sales. However, Koihime Musou is also MangaGamer’s first game to feature a lot of gameplay, so its sales performance may differ from other games in the catalog. In either case, this situation should reveal information about the extent of MangaGamer’s current (potential) market.

UPDATE: With the release of the trial version, the game now has been given a February 28, 2011 release date.

UPDATE 2: The release date has been changed to January 31, 2011.

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  1. Vuvuzel Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    what? Such visual novel with no voices? This is madness! And to pay 40 euros for it?
    capitalism, ho!

  2. Roll Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Hideously expensive VN with no voices?
    Stop copying Type Moon!

  3. Ingame Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I believe NEXTON gets a percentage of each sale. If I’m not mistaken, lowering the price more would theoretically mean they would have to sell even more than 2000 copies to get the voice-patch.

  4. wtf Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    it’s still expensive … wtf no voices are they serious

  5. nebosuke Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Let’s see 663 times 3 equals 1989; 2 times 663 equals 1326; both short of 2000. KM fans, you are boned

  6. Eric Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Guys, I might be such a noob when it comes to patch and hacks but I think some people might make a “voice patch” for Koihime Musou just like Clannad Voice Patch. Please tell me if its possible.

  7. ReMeDy Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    This game is going to tank then. Why would someone buy a game without voices when they can wait for the game to potentially hit 2,000 purchases OR Pirate it, and keep it on the HDD as they wait for either the 2,000 plateau or a cracked voice fix?

    Basically everyone is going to be waiting on everyone else to up this game to 2,000 purchases and I sure as hell refuse to be one of the 2,000 guinea pigs. I want to enjoy a game the way it was envisioned as soon as I pop in the game. I’m not going to replay through the story just to hear voices either.

  8. ReMeDy Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Hey, this is just theory crafting, but what were to happen if a rich hentai schmuck donated $1,000,000 to MGGamer for the benefits of fostering better “cultural understandings” with Japan? :P If anyone has money to burn, now would be a good time to donate.

  9. Tweets that mention encubed » News Archive » MangaGamer talks about voices in Koihime Musou -- Topsy.com Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shuhei, zalas. zalas said: *sigh* Cue the complaining… http://bit.ly/cE0B2J [...]

  10. RR Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I love all the complaining here. 2000 sales is pitifully small and the fact that their sales are almost certainly below this normally makes it apparent that MG’s not financially viable in the current situation. The fact that the response to this move is to then say you won’t buy the game now completely misses the point – if people aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is then you’re not going to get the games.

    I do wonder how many people claiming they won’t buy the game now would have bought the game in the first place? 1%, maybe?

  11. ImWithStupid Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 2:42 am

    WHAT NO VOICES? I am in such a RAGE!! This means I have to pirate an unvoiced game. Dammit I want to pirate a voiced game!! This is so unfair!!

  12. butseriously Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 3:09 am

    This could also affect other games as well, though – including those from Innocent Grey and other publishers that people are really interested in. Time to pay up.

  13. SkyPirate Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 4:24 am

    i believe no one in their right mind would make a torrent or dl link for km i mean if you don’t upload it then people will have no choice but to buy the game reaching 2k sales maybe when they release a voice patch then someone will upload it (this is just my theory and i believe its the right thing to do)

  14. Veni Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Sengoku Rance was an awesome game and it had no voices so I don’t really see this as a problem… *shrug*

  15. Anon Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Sengoku Rance never had voices to begin with. With KM the voices are being removed for the English release. Big difference.

    Not really blaming MG or Nexton for this. It’s clear that this venture hasn’t been as profitable as the parties involved thought it would be. Nexton doesn’t want to risk their money on what could be a losing bet.

    To all the fanboys who are raging over this: MG will probably be out of business within a year, anyway so you won’t have anything to whine about.

  16. Swiftnissity Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Note to self: buy 3-5 copies to help MG

  17. Anonymous Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Very courageous turn.
    Maybe i buy more than one copy to provide support, and suggsest it to my friends, of cource.
    Support MangaGamer, don’t pirate localized novels!

  18. mstrchef117 Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Admittedly, I think I could understand why Koihime needs the minimum volume of sales, considering the scope and the number of name seiyuus (because there are Loads and Loads of Characters, according to TVtropes) as compared to other MG eroge. Frankly, I’ll buy, but since I’m anal about a moege having voices, I’ll get the unofficial voice patch.

    Still, it sucks that the Euro is still stronger than the dollar. But it still beats importing this stuff. Eroge in japan seem to cost more than actual games (based on U.S prices for Mainstream VGs, may be different in Japan) so I really don’t see why people complain about the price of localized eroge. There is already a significant markdown for the fact that there is no physical copy. From like 90 bucks to 60 avg.

  19. wtf Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    @27
    send me one copy plz… lol

  20. Manix Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    @30 you completely missed the point

  21. tk Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    A little conflicted…I wanna buy to support MG….but im tired of the whole BS of essentially buying DLC to get the full experience of the game

  22. thanon Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    @32

    voice patch will be FREE for everyone. Kouryuu already said that. So stop complaining.

  23. Anonymous Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    >>32
    The voice patch is free. The problem is they can’t afford to license all that huge cast of voice actors, they need a lot of sales first before it’s possible. We really need to help them through this or it’ll turn out really bad…

  24. spike2000 Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    What if the unofficial path actually only MG’s version of Koihime? Would that actually force some pirates to buy a copy if they wanted to use the patch? I know its impossible to actually have some responsibility from the sharing community but can we agree that as it stands now we either support the eroge industry with our purchases or see it disappear really soon.

  25. tk Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 4:03 am

    @32 + 33

    yes I know its free, but it raises similar feelings like companies that sell DLC right after game release.

    Like if we don’t hit this number in sales, you don’t get the full game. Or we’ll release portions of the game piece by piece when we hit a sale number…

    I’d hate to see that come around on either console/mobile/PC games

  26. Anonymous Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 4:54 am

    >>36
    Sometimes you can’t afford a new computer. Sometimes you can’t afford a new car, or a new house. You can understand those feelings, right?

    It’s no different for Mangagamer. Koihime Musou is a huge and very expensive game to license. The best and most constructive we can do now is helping them by buying it or make other people buy it.

  27. pondrthis Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 5:17 am

    While I understand NEXTON’s decision, I feel really bad for Mangagamer. I’ll buy KM, but they’ll be getting flak from weeaboos for a long time over this… despite it being out of their control.

    @35: That would be great, but impossible to implement. Whoever cracks the authorization for their faggoty pirated version has cracked the best protection available for the program. The only other option would be limiting distribution of an unauthorized voice patch to those who could prove they paid for the game. If you were referring to an authorized voice patch only being available to customers… I would hope so, there’s no reason to give it to anyone else.

    @36: The only way that would happen in the mainstream would be if there was no doubt they’d reach that sale level… which defeats the purpose. Companies won’t waste resources on making things that they won’t sell, just hold hostage. The only way this is applicable is when there’s a lot of licensing involved… so games that use unoriginal music (like all the Rock Band/Guitar Hero/Tony Hawk games), rereleases, and translations are the only ones being threatened.

  28. tk Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    @38: well any games being translated includes all major companies in Japan.

    …Sega with Yakuza 3 determining the fate of 4 for the US :P

  29. Anon Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    You know MG is going to die soon.

    I don’t see how they would make any profit in anything.

  30. SkyPirate Says:
    September 11th, 2010 at 4:53 am

    just saw it just now km will be release feb 28 2011

  31. tk Says:
    September 11th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    fail release date

  32. ReMeDy Says:
    September 11th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I’m just curious, but from a marketing strategy stand-point, did they really need to accompany this announcement with this image?:
    http://mangagamer.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/chousen-kiss.jpg

    Let’s just say this image is not making me in any hurry to buy the game…

  33. bogg Says:
    September 11th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    @43 just look at the images on the official website and then see if you want the game

  34. Hamu-Sumo Says:
    September 12th, 2010 at 6:31 am

    The trial was quite interesting. Not (only) the common read, click, read, click, make love, click. Hope’s not lost regarding the voices and 40 € is the normal price for newly published computer games in Germany so I think MG will get my support.

  35. dontkickmydog Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 12:27 am

    well i just tried demo too but whole battle system threw me off
    because i’m so used to just click and make some choices VN… D:

  36. Gogetters Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    No voices? No problem i’ll just download a voice patch that will be made at some point.

    Definitely and must pirate imo :)

  37. ICanHazCat Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Has anyone pulled the ‘you wouldn’t download a car’ analogy yet? Coz I have the followup reply right here: F**k you, I would if I could.

    Also, who said don’t pirate localized games? Localized, if you mean localized to the quality of something like Recettear was? I 120% agree, that quality is a buy.

    Mangagamer? Localization?

    >Mangagamer
    >Localization
    >Quality
    >My face

    Not only do they have the balls to dare to charge 40 euros for their games, their translations BARELY pass off as English. 40 euros for something the quality of Mirrormoon’s localizations sure, no problem. 40 euros for their usual shit? PFFT.

    Mangagamer going under in a year? With their bullshit DRM and barely passable english translations… Yeh I saw that shit comin’.

    If they don’t want people to pirate their shit, how about making something worth buying first? Carpe Fulgur did an awesome job with Recettear… and what DRM is on that again? Well? Yeah, thought so. It’s the #1 selling indie game on Steam. Mangagamer can learn a thing or two.

    Obviously though, they still don’t get it. If they go under, then nothing of value was lost. Maybe someone else who DOES get it will step in and show em how it’s done.

    First in line to pirate this bitch with an unofficial voice patch when it’s out. You know it’s gonna happen. Not IF, WHEN.

  38. mstrchef117 Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I admit previous MG tls were pretty bad (namely Edelweiss) but when I played Suika and Kira kira, the English is good, with a few typos (but definately not the “barely” passable that you are talking about). And aww come on, at least don’t pirate it if its so bad that you don’t want it. That justs make you look like a dick.

  39. zalas Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    @ICanHazCat (48)
    ROFL Hilarious, will read again. A+++

  40. Anon Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    U DA MAN 48

  41. anon Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    btw… is this game legal in usa

  42. Anonymous Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    @48
    Steam is DRM. It’s consumer-friendly as far as DRM goes, but it’s still DRM.
    And Recettear contains ‘translations’ such as “How much should I sell it for?” turning into “Capitalism, ho!” – please don’t use it as an example of as a quality localization.

    Also, what #49 said.

  43. random.idiot Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    [offtopic]
    this is my personal and biased option:

    I believe that Recettear is selling because it is in the *frontpage* of Steam. Many gamers might be anime fans as well, they might have bought it because of the anime drawings they saw.

    MG could try to sale their all ages titles on Steam as well, this might help spread the word about their existence to many potential customers. I honestly do believe that having eroge titles appearing for a short while on the frontpage of online stores (like Steam and direct2drive) is the best advertisement western eroge could hope for.
    [/offtopic]

  44. Anonymous Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    @54
    I believe kouryuu confirmed in a thread on the MG forums that they approached steam about their all age titles too and they said something along the lines of “not at this time”. So it’s not like they didn’t try.

  45. random.idiot Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    @55: Anonymous,
    ;_;

  46. ICanHazCat Says:
    September 15th, 2010 at 12:46 am

    @53

    That’s what a ‘localization’ is, as opposed to a ‘translation’. Translation is where you keep the text as accurate to the original as possible and simply make it ‘readable english’ at the risk of sounding very wooden. Localization on the other hand takes liberties to convey the material in a more ‘natural’ sense for the intended audience.

    What Mangagamer does, at best, is a base translation. What Carpe Fulgur did with Recettear is a localization. It IS a quality LOCALIZATION, in that it contains memorable lines that, while getting the general implied meaning across, are memorable enough to stick with the intended western market.

    Even so, they didn’t have the sheer audacity to dare charge something like 40 euros for their work, and the quality of the localization is far higher than Mangagamer’s bang up slapjobs.

  47. Anonfag9001 Says:
    September 15th, 2010 at 12:49 am

    To whoever said Steam was DRM…

    Steam is DRM but it’s not the activation crap that mangagamer’s piece of shit is. If mangagamer’s DRM was anything as fair as steam’s then there wouldn’t be a problem.

  48. Rin Tohsaka Says:
    September 15th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    @58

    There wouldn’t be a problem if Steam actually allowed MG’s games. (MG already tried once, see the forum topic about it)

  49. Anonymous Says:
    September 15th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    @57
    So bowdlerizing a creative work is acceptable if your target market likes the result? Do you enjoy anime? There’s an up and coming publisher called 4Kids that it sounds like you’d love.

    Additionally, MangaGamer’s Koihime Musou is 50% of the original Japanese list price (less if you live in a country whose currency isn’t faring pitifully against the Euro); Recettear costs the same as the original list price, despite being a digital download instead of a hard copy. Who’s being audacious here?

  50. Gogetters Says:
    September 15th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    @52

    Yeah it’s legal…

    Why are you asking?

  51. Sacchinftw Says:
    September 15th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    @57

    I like how people who don’t know Japanese are giving an opinion as if they are somehow qualified on the subject.

  52. ICanHazCat Says:
    September 15th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    @62

    >Implying I don’t know Japanese
    >Implying you know me at all
    >Implying YOU have any qualifications to speak of
    >My face

  53. mstrchef117 Says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    @62
    Well obviously the US fan-base wants “localizations” considering every one likes to say offical subs suck because they try to localize\americanize some of the tl. Look at what all the fansub groups are doing and I guess MG thinks less people will rip them for doing “base translations” since its closer to the original language/intent that so many fanbois love to bitch about.

  54. mstrchef117 Says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Correction, I meant @63, not @62

  55. Sacchinftw Says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    @63

    If you know Japanese, then buy (or pirate since you’re just that awesome) the fucking Japanese game and quit your bitching since none of this even applies to you. It’s not fucking rocket science, dip-shit.

    If you don’t like Manga Gamer’s work, then go with the fucking original since there will ALWAYS be something lost in translation. If you knew anything about translation, interpretation, and localization then you’d know at least this.

  56. random.idiot Says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    guys… even an idiot like me knows that you shouldn’t feed a troll. Once you feed them (and name them)… they won’t go away.

  57. asdf Says:
    September 18th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    @63
    >Implying nobody else knows Japanese
    >Implying English is everybody’s first language
    >Implying localization to US English is a universal localization from Japanese to any foreign language ever
    >mfw U MAD

    I’d rather get a direct translation that localization filled with cultural references I wouldn’t get because I’m not from master race North America.

    Also,
    > If they go under, then nothing of value was lost. Maybe someone else who DOES get it will step in and show em how it’s done.
    T.H.E.R.E. .W.O.N.T. .B.E. .A.N.Y.B.O.D.Y. .E.L.S.E.

    MG is a joint venture between several Japanese software companies and publishers that is trying to make it profitable to sell VNs outside Japan. They been also trying to gather as much as support/money from other companies and have, because of that, gathered a lot of attention in the industry. If they go down, it will be noticed, noted and remembered, and nothing similar will appear for at least half a decade. We’ll be stuck with JAST as no newcomer western company will have enough starting capital to pay for licenses.

    Recettear is a partnership deal between CF and EGS, with no license fee, but with EGS getting most of the profit. MG is in the same relationship with it’s Japanese parent companies, that’s why Overdrive could just take their translation of KiraKira and use it in iPhone port. In fact, in case of KM, it was NEXTON who actually payed for translation, so they made a direct investment into MG. I don’t think they would do it if they believed there was no long-term profit there. Again, if MG dies, these kind of partnerships will prove to be unfeasible.

    And if MG could get KM on Steam (not gonna happen due to 18+), you can be sure they would get a level of coverage comparable to Recettear.

  58. Astraea127 Says:
    October 22nd, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I support this game but…ITS DLC…/faints , voice is a big deal but DLC deals the final blow to me, ugh.

  59. Cable Says:
    February 3rd, 2011 at 1:39 am

    I’ll buy it. I’ve played VNs without voices before and it didn’t take away from the experience. If I get the voices too, that’s nice.

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