20 2 / 2013

Changing the tone from yesterday’s blog and the general dash wars/fandom wars I’ve seen today, I want to take a moment to do a late night tl;dr about something good. Last night I grumbled about some negativity surrounding the Sweet Fuse license but tonight, I’ll offer the flip side and show what makes this particular project REALLY exciting not just for people who wanted the game itself, but for otome and VN titles in the West in general.

I wanna talk about Bakudan Handan [the original title for Sweet Fuse] having been released last June. June 2012. And how Sweet Fuse could very well release by June 2013 in English. Think about that for a minute. An otome game, brand new, licensed and translated within a year of its release without ANY prior buzz.

Friends, fans, isn’t that amazing?! A one year turn around, like…Let’s get excited for a moment! Compared to other games, that’s fairly quick, in terms of localization. I mean, Hakuoki is old as DIRT [all the way back on the PS2 originally!] in comparison, VERY rarely do companies like JAST or Mangagamer license PC VNs that are less than a year old, Yo-Jin-Bo took over a year and 999 probably had the shortest turn-around at about a month over or shy of a year, give or take. For an otome adaptation to be picked up and given a release so close to its first release, as if it were any other sort of game in any other sort of genre is exciting. It speaks INCREDIBLE volumes as to the faith Aksys has in the game, in the genre, in the visual novel format. It would’ve been easy to pick up another Hakuoki game instead to supplement Warriors of the Shinsengumi. It would’ve been easy to pick up another older game with lots of publicity or an anime adaptation behind it, like Hiiro no Kakera. I don’t claim to be correct, but it is possible that IF would license its older properties off for a little less than something relatively new. But nope-we got Sweet Fuse.

This move, and the recent talk from producers and stuff like the ANN one from earlier discussing how games like, say Norn9 could make the jump overseas with enough interest, that these companies are even THINKING of the West at all, the fact that we now have dedicated sites like Otome Jikan, can be viewed as things of massive encouragement. I mean, obviously, otome gaming will never be “big.” We won’t make Call of Duty money. But the fact that this tiny niche is growing, just a little bit, is awesome.

So in light of LOTS of recent events, it merits saying again: Let’s compound on this good news. Support these games, voice your thanks and your requests for more to publishers, even to Japanese devs if you can. Tell friends about Sweet Fuse—lord knows most video game “journalists” won’t, outside of an “LOOLJAPAN” article or two. Share trailers and let friends try out your games to get them interested in getting themselves a copy. Build excitement, and let’s do our best to make sure this release is only one of many more to come! c: Let’s support the localization of niche video games in the West~

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