Developing MarketWhat helped kickstart interest?• Early visual novel localizers, such as JAST USA and Hirameki• The use of the internet• Fan translations of visual novels: “We are definitely not hereto help people steal these great games, so all of our patchesrequire a full version of the game to run. Fortunately, 07thExpansion is a doujin group, so their games are fairly cheap.Now that 07th Expansion has created a download version forall of the games weve translated, theyre even cheaper andeasier to get than ever. So please, support the incrediblepeople who made these games and buy a copy!”
Collaboration betweencommercial and fan translators
Gamer Attitudes (Part 1)How do Western gamers feel about visual novels?• “Are visual novels ‘read’ or ‘played’? Your opinion? [….] Imean, you dont exactly play them, since they usually haveminimal gameplay (Except for stuff like, say, Professor Laytonor Ace Attorney), but theres enough interactivity that youarent entirely reading them”.• “Just make sure it’s more than words and pictures scrolling byor you might as well just read a book”.
Gamer Attitudes (Part 2)• In a poll asking what is the most important element of visualnovels, 57.1% responded story and 30.1% respondedcharacters‘.HOWEVER:• Visual novels with more overt interactive elements tend tohave greater profits than pure-text visual novels.
Obstacles to LocalizationWhy is it harder to sell visual novels to an overseas market?• Differences in regulations• Attitudes towards over-eighteen content• Expectations for immediate, interactive payoff• Demands that players read.