Yaoi Press Blog

Friday, August 22, 2008

Yaoi Computer Games Nil

A year and a half ago a Japanese shounen-ai game was offered to Yaoi Press for licensing in the US. This was a beautifully illustrated game with kemonomimi characters (not Lamento). Despite the quality of the art, we never got to the synopsis translation phase. We didn't consider the license because I knew how horribly online piracy had hurt the sales of other computer game importers. Online piracy is the *only* reason we did not look further into the game.

Two companies have imported games with BL themes into the US. One closed down. The other hasn't released a new BL game since 2006.

As of today I've removed the games category on our store site. Sales no longer justify the minimum orders we would have to place with the manufacturer to keep the games in stock. I know the remaining company I buy from is still selling copies of it's first print run of the game. This is typically only 5,000 copies.

At every convention I attend I hear one or two customers point to one of the games and say, 'Oh, I downloaded this one.' I don't have an emotional response to this sort of thing anymore since it's so common. There was a time in the 1990s when I didn't know better either (bought a fansub on VHS). However, I did get angry when one of my own employees gave out the link to a piracy site.

I really thought that BL games were going to be the next big thing. I wanted to see the library of imports grow as big as the BL DVD library has. Both categories have stunted growth due piracy. For the fledgling game category I wonder if it hasn't been killed outright. How can I blame other publishers for turning down imports when I did the same? I could be offered Lamento, a BL game hot enough in the USA to have the figures rapidly sell out at every convention, but I would have to say no. I know I wouldn't make back the licensing, translation, distribution, and production costs when I may lose around 50% of sales to thieves.

One go-around to the piracy problem would be a BL Massively Multiplayer Online Game. That's something I'd love to see. Perhaps it's something we could investigate.

3 Comments:

  • At August 22, 2008 7:42 AM , Blogger Linda said...

    That is quite disappointing to hear... since there are so many good bl games, but if piracy continues to be an issue, it would damage future opportunities.

     
  • At August 23, 2008 11:59 AM , OpenID ggymeta said...

    You mean like SIMS or Second Life? Or like a WoW style user ship?

    Sorry, I don't know much about gaming. =_=;

     
  • At August 31, 2008 11:01 PM , Blogger yakuri said...

    The most frustrating thing I find is that licensed BL games (Absolute Obedience, Enzai) are one of the ways I want to wholeheartedly support the market (as oppsed to buying DVDs). I've always tried to get licensed manga, but that's piracy to you.

    I'm not a saint and have my fair share of downloaded stuff, but I think it's pointless to download BL games when you can't even read what's going on. fan-translating them is tedious and takes so long people lose interest before the translation is finished. I rather buy a licensed in English version and be done with it.

     

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