Could an English VN do well in Japan?

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PN04
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Re: Could an English VN do well in Japan?

#31 Post by PN04 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:05 am

papillon wrote:Yes, pirates and super-hardcore japanese fans (who hate anything western-made and call it weeaboo) know that dlsite exists. They're the "hardly anybody". It still is not comparable to how things actually sell on a site targeted to and advertising to paying western customers.

Remember, I sell games for a living. And you can see exactly how many copies I've sold on eng.DLsite in about four years: 12. It's not because nobody buys my games - I wouldn't be paying my rent if that were true! But people who buy these games in English are not looking for them on DLsite.

eng.DLsite's sales figures will tell you how much things sell on eng.DLsite. Not how much things sell in general.
Well, of course Eng DLsite only concerns English sales, I'm not suggesting anything different. I'm simply pointing out the higher traffic and a more focused audience by comparison suggests a potential for higher sales than the US site (regardless of the hardcores that drop the Weeaboo lable) if you can get their attention.

EDIT://
Before the edit I asked if you had done it but I just went ahead and took a look at your product listing on the JP site, and I see where you're coming from. Although your games look to be in english from the screen shots, had you translated more than the blurb for the game or was it sold strictly "as is"? Also I'm curious what other methods you used to advertise it.

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Re: Could an English VN do well in Japan?

#32 Post by papillon » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:39 am

Well, of course Eng DLsite only concerns English sales, I'm not suggesting anything different.
Not 'only concerns English sales' - 'only concerns English sales on DLsite'. Sales of English games in places that are actually focused on selling English games are TOTALLY different. Apples to redwoods.

I haven't done anything to advertise on DLsite because that's not where my customer base is. Why would I knock myself out trying to drive a totally new audience to someone else's website when I can easily sell a hundred times more than that on my own site?

Dlsite does not have an English customer base for this sort of thing. THat customer base exists elsewhere.

Anyway, I'm not making any statement about how well things can or can't sell to a Japanese audience. I have not TRIED to sell to the Japanese audience. I haven't released Japanese versions. I was just stepping in to point out the logical problems in making sweeping assumptions about Japanese vs English markets based solely on DLsite. :)

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Re: Could an English VN do well in Japan?

#33 Post by PN04 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:29 am

papillon wrote: Not 'only concerns English sales' - 'only concerns English sales on DLsite'. Sales of English games in places that are actually focused on selling English games are TOTALLY different. Apples to redwoods.

I haven't done anything to advertise on DLsite because that's not where my customer base is. Why would I knock myself out trying to drive a totally new audience to someone else's website when I can easily sell a hundred times more than that on my own site?

Dlsite does not have an English customer base for this sort of thing. THat customer base exists elsewhere.

Anyway, I'm not making any statement about how well things can or can't sell to a Japanese audience. I have not TRIED to sell to the Japanese audience. I haven't released Japanese versions. I was just stepping in to point out the logical problems in making sweeping assumptions about Japanese vs English markets based solely on DLsite. :)
I wasn't trying to make a sweeping generalization. I was making a best guess based on what I can observe since I've not used either service.

As someone who's only starting to consider making a commercial product at some point, I've been studying every potential venue for sales that I can use (As you can see my sign up date is 2010, that's how long I've been considering it), and I only made a comparison based on how badly the US version does compared to the JP version that appears to have a better market and that they seem to openly allow you to submit to. That's why I was suggesting the idea of making something to cater to a Japanese market more than a US one in my first post. I'm not trying to defend the English site or anything, it just seemed like their submission process would make it easier to sell to the Japanese, if that's what people wanted to try.

If you do better sales without them then great, I'd be very interested to hear what methods you use to market your works.

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Re: Could an English VN do well in Japan?

#34 Post by papillon » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:21 am

Word of mouth, ad banners, posting on VN-related forums, posting on indie game forums, getting reviews on indie game sites, striking distribution deals with people who have more advertising budgets (getting Cute Knight onto some casual games portals way back when was very helpful, although I no longer put games on those sites), and having been doing this for ten years to build up some presence and mailing list. :) Basically, a lot of slogging. I'm not particularly a great model of how to market as I hate talking to people and don't like to shill myself.

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Re: Could an English VN do well in Japan?

#35 Post by melodym3 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:49 am

Don't count yourself short papillon! A review/ad for one of your games is what initially taught me about the existence of visual novels. I had only heard of dating sims before that, so you're obviously doing a great job marketing yourself. : )
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Re: Could an English VN do well in Japan?

#36 Post by PN04 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:55 am

papillon wrote:Word of mouth, ad banners, posting on VN-related forums, posting on indie game forums, getting reviews on indie game sites, striking distribution deals with people who have more advertising budgets (getting Cute Knight onto some casual games portals way back when was very helpful, although I no longer put games on those sites), and having been doing this for ten years to build up some presence and mailing list. :) Basically, a lot of slogging. I'm not particularly a great model of how to market as I hate talking to people and don't like to shill myself.
lol, you seem to be doing well to have been doing it this long, but yeah I know the feeling you can be your own worst critic and such. In the social media age it seems you kinda have to learn to do it or at least create a public "face" for people to associate with the work and generate a community that will consistently search for your content.

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