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Fate/Get Licensed

February 11, 2012

This is an open letter to any companies that are either currently localizing visual novels or are interested in getting into that market.

Imagine this. Some company like Manga Gamer or JAST USA that already adapts Japanese visual novels into English wants to bring out Fate/Stay Night. It is a highly demanded title with a ravenous and dedicated fan base. The problem is the licensing price on a high-profile game like Fate/Stay Night is equally high to the point where it would need to sell more copies than any other visual novel ever has in the English-speaking market to break a profit. Despite the number of people who say they would pay there is a readily available fan translation of the game from Mirror Moon so the question always is how many of them will actually buy anything. I know there are manga that English publishers won’t pick up because they feel the scanlations make them worthless to license. How many people will buy a game they already played for free?  I am sure many companies have run the numbers and discovered that the risk to reward ratio is far too great to take a chance on the title. As it is it might not even be viable at all. I myself can’t blame them. They just want to keep the lights on.

But now that Kickstarter has created a viable method of getting funding and support to what would otherwise be high risk niche projects. I wonder if a title like Fate/Stay Night could be viable. I am not going to even pretend like I am an insider. I don’t know what the licensing fee on visual novels are nor how much the assorted overhead costs are with releasing a title like Fate/Stay Night. Even with a Kickstarter it might still be ridiculously prohibitive to even attempt such an undertaking. But I feel a well orchestrated and promoted Kickstarter just might be able to make this a feasible idea. It removes a good deal of the risk involved in licensing such a big named title and lets the companies involved get a real sense of how many people would buy such a title before any money exchanges hands. It is a great time to run a kickstarter for such a project and a title like Fate/Stay Night will definitely get people talking. No one is assuming you are every going to raise Double Fine money but you could easily make Barbara money. And that just might be the boost the game needs to actual make it to its English-speaking fans.

I can’t help but be fascinated with this idea. If any one has any idea of how to make this happen let me know. If any company wants to take this idea I am leaving it on the table. If any company was toying with the idea before I wrote this post then I am showing that it has some support. Otherwise if you support this idea just leave a comment below and pass this post around to show this idea has support among the fans.

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8 comments

  1. I would love to see a visual novel, or games of other genres in general, really, brought over this way.

    …unfortunately, it will probably never happen. Various stories from JAST and MangaGamer have made it clear that the Japanese side of things would never try this kind of business model. :x


    • I admit I might be utterly naive in this sense. I don’t know the finances involved nor the politics. But it is worth bringing up to see what story of support it would have.

      If they don’t try something like this I am sure there are legitimate reasons why they can’t/won’t. But you never know until you try. I want a legitimate version of Fate and my brain is determined to find a way to make it happen that does not require a company to go out of business or for me to win the lottery.

      - Hisui


    • Isn’t “the Japanese side of things” just a few people in this case? Or are the rights tied up with bigger organizations than just the TYPE-MOON folks?


      • It very well might be. But if those people are not willing to play ball that is all you need as a roadblock.

        - Hisui


  2. This article actually touches on that, but the short version is that Kickstarter might be a great service for developers, but it isn’t really viable for publishers, in part because money isn’t always the greatest (or sole) reason why a title doesn’t happen.


    • The Rose of Versailles is the clearest example of the author being INSANE therefore preventing an English release. I fully admit sometimes there are problems that we can’t see on the fan side of things.

      Also as that article states there is a good deal of problems for a publisher as opposed to a developer.

      To be the Barbara kickstarter has shown be it COULD be done. It would take someone actually at a publisher to run the numbers and try and broker the deals to determine SHOULD it be done. I understand that not every plan that looks good superficially is actually a good plan practically.

      - Hisui


      • If a comment from Shaenon Garrity two years ago is any indication, The Rose of Versailles is a money issue.


      • Well from what I understand it is a money issue because they lady is crazy. She wants a large sum of money and has a bunch of stipulations. The people who had the money for the show could not handle the stipulations and the people who could handle the stipulations did not have the money. So overall it just means that we will not be getting The Rose of Versailles until someone a little more reasonable in in charge of her properties.

        - Hisui



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