Visual Novels Outside Japan Domini Gee Geoffrey Rockwel Sean Gouglas
Higurashi: When They Cry (ひ ぐらしのなく頃に)
Developing Market What helped kickstart interest? • Early visual novel localizers, such as JAST USA and Hirameki • The use of the internet • Fan translations of visual novels: “We are definitely not here to help people steal these great games, so al of our patches require a ful version of the game to run. Fortunately, 07th Expansion is a doujin group, so their games are fairly cheap. Now that 07th Expansion has created a download version for al of the games we've translated, they're even cheaper and easier to get than ever. So please, support the incredible people who made these games and buy a copy!”
Collaboration between commercial and fan translators
Gamer Attitudes (Part 1) How do Western gamers feel about visual novels? • “Are visual novels ‘read’ or ‘played’? Your opinion? [….] I mean, you don't exactly play them, since they usual y have minimal gameplay (Except for stuff like, say, Professor Layton or Ace Attorney), but there's enough interactivity that you aren't entirely reading them”. • “Just make sure it’s more than words and pictures scrol ing by or you might as wel just read a book”.
Gamer Attitudes (Part 2) • In a poll asking what is the most important element of visual novels, 57.1% responded 'story' and 30.1% responded 'characters‘. HOWEVER: • Visual novels with more overt interactive elements tend to have greater profits than pure-text visual novels.
Obstacles to Localization Why is it harder to sel visual novels to an overseas market? • Differences in regulations • Attitudes towards over-eighteen content • Expectations for immediate, interactive payoff • Demands that players read.