After leaving us hanging for a day after posting a very mysterious phrase, Aaeru came out with some rather shocking news:

“Attention Fan Translators! Do NOT sell your translation to JAST USA! We have a much Greater Cause in Sight >Visual Novels for the whole world. Visit Fuwanovel.com”

It’s a very interesting concept that’s sure to be controversial, and while I think that it can be great, I don’t see much of a chance of this working as beautifully as Aaeru is hoping for. That said, I hold a bit of cautious optimism, not that everything will go well, but that the VN community isn’t going to explode and kill this project in the bud. From what I can see some of the comments are getting nasty already (this is despite what seems to be quite a bit of editing by the mods), but there are some very interesting and insightful comments into the state of the situation. Much of the arguments are about stuff that has been discussed before, but it would be really interesting to see the VN translation groups go down a different route than what’s happening in China right now.


9 thoughts on “Fuwanovel

    • Oops. I phrased that kind of oddly. The situation in China is pretty similar to what’s happening here, but with less flaming (or harsher moderating, hard to tell). I just thought that it’d be interesting to see how things would differ if the English scene had more solidarity.

  1. I might be a bit of a noob when it comes to the socioeconomic aspects of VNs, but rather than releasing the full game, I don’t see why aaeru doesn’t consider demos? they provide nearly the same experience, which is to showcase the game’s play style and content. not to mention, from the demos I’ve played, they go through at least one climax that lets you get a good feel of the interesting parts of the game. Also, it’ll be less work for the translators and provide a larger variety instead of waiting years on end for a single game to be completed without any real reception.

    the piracy bit on aaeru’s idea has been beaten to death, but VN localization really is a marketing problem. JRPGs have less of a trouble than VNs, because they have a fairly large niche audience, which was created through the ripple effect of having some standout hits (that ended up becoming franchises). Whether it’s books, games, or movies, if something clicks with the audience, they’ll look for more of the same (which is what genre study is all about). From what I’ve read (which isn’t much), it looks like licensing companies are sort of shooting in the dark on which products look promising.

    Introducing the audience to a wide arrange of VNs to show off the variety and excellence in the genre is a great way to pinpoint and stir up that ripple effect. however, releasing the full game doesn’t offer any incentives. surely, the ones that the translators will be time and effort into will be the higher-tier games. already having those, there’s no point in actually cashing into the VN field if everything good is already free.

  2. The problem with official releases compared to fan releases is that official releases cost $$$. Aaeru is right when he says that most people who play VNs in the West had never had to spend a cent to play these games. Getting these people to pay good money let alone any money for VNs is an issue.

  3. “Here, we offer to spread your game, JP -> EN service included, completely free of charge, to AN AREA OF THE WORLD WHERE THEY WOULD HAVE HAD NO CHANCE OF EVER REACHING ANYWAY.”

    This. I’m pretty sure a lot of us wouldn’t even consider touching eroge/visual novels if we had to pay for them.

    Personally, I don’t want no porn showing up on my credit card or have to walk into a store to purchase adult material.

  4. ^ A good point. But the inverse is also true. If they hadn’t been spread in the first place, no one would care, hence no problem. trying to form an audience is a good idea, but forming an audience mainly composed of “it’s free and good” instead of “it’s so good, it’s worth paying for it” won’t really get anywhere. to begin with, the people who want and can pay for it are already paying for it. releasing a free alternative mainly introduces more people to the VN industry that can’t/don’t want to pay for it. this might work better in the long term, when that generation does become able to pay for it, but who wants to take a dive in profits waiting for a chance like that to happen?

    a game that ignites the “so good, worth paying for it” has to be released in order for the VN industry in America to start taking off. good example is Mass Effect, which has a lot of VN qualities. A lot of successful indie games have a VN style too, so taking advantage of that instead of trying to appeal to import-lovers would probably be a better stance for JAST or other distributors to take =/.

  5. after some conversing, I really think the issue is mainly marketing. there’s just not enough support for VNs from the main industries in America. In Japan, there’s the anime/manga tie-ins that help spread the VNs out, but there’s no sort of cooperation here. nor is there enough advertisement for VNs at game conventions or game websites…

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