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This Week in Games - What's up with Sekai Project?


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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4431
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:11 pm Reply with quote
Expression Amrilato certainly has an interesting enough premise.
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Merxamers



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 613
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:18 pm Reply with quote
I haven't heard of the Etrian Odyssey series before, what are those games like? May be tempted to pick it up if it sounds interesting.
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Wtv



Joined: 02 Nov 2014
Posts: 123
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:27 pm Reply with quote
Amrilato is pretty cute. I played a little the demo and it was nice.
The sad thing is how there isn't a lot of yuri games being produced in Japan, so event if Mangagamer looks open to bring more from the genre, they won't have much to choose.

Well, at least Amrilato is getting a sequel, and maybe things will get better with other companies now that yuri mangas are more popular than ever.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1802
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:00 pm Reply with quote
FXXX Me Royally! also has the same translator (@verdelishjp) who worked on their previous Kalmia8 release Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome, another adults-only game for women that had an absolutely hilarious script. One thing not mentioned in the description is that the protag is canonically bi: according to Verdelish's tweets, if you don't go for either of the guys, you can get on the maid's route and get frisky with her instead.

A lot of knives are out for Sekai Project for their various misdeeds over the years -- releasing only all-ages versions of games that had been 18+, interminable delays actually getting games and Kickstarter rewards out, etc -- but losing them would be really bad for the already-tenuous English-language VN market. They're pretty much the only game in town other than self-publishing for OEL VNs (which have been getting a lot better over the last few years), and their Denpasoft division is a crucial resource for selling 18+ content when Steam/GOG/Apple/Google won't, including offering 18+ patches for all-ages Steam games.
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R. Kasahara
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 144
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:37 pm Reply with quote
Merxamers wrote:
I haven't heard of the Etrian Odyssey series before, what are those games like? May be tempted to pick it up if it sounds interesting.

Etrian Odyssey (or Sekaiju no MeiQ) is a first-person dungeon-crawler series where the main gimmick is that you have to draw your own maps-- as such, the series is very well suited to the DS/3DS.

The mapmaking involves placing floors, walls, special markers (for events, treasure chests, etc.) using the touchscreen, while exploring sprawling dungeons, typically set inside a gigantic tree called Yggdrasil. You can customize your entire party, and there's multiple classes, and sometimes races, to choose from. The stories aren't particularly deep, though they seem to be more detailed in the Untold remakes (I haven't played those, though, so can't say for sure). The games, especially the early ones, can be very difficult, and reward cautious play.

If you've played or are familiar with Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey or Persona Q, those were developed by the Etrian series team and have a similar play style, though they aren't exactly the same. Obviously, you can look up more about the series online. On a final note, even though Etrian is one of my favorite JRPG series, I feel it's best suited to hardcore dungeon crawler fans.


Last edited by R. Kasahara on Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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AiddonValentine



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 1363
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Now for us to speculate on what Blizzard characters could possibly make it into Smash Bros and then bug Blizzard to port Overwatch, complete with Nintendo skins
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Greed1914
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 2998
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:22 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, that news about Sekai doesn't sound good. Layoffs like that tend to be done as a quick method to stop the financial bleeding, but the trade off of spreading everyone else even thinner is tends to catch up eventually and compounds the problem of relying on crowdfunding. Eventually, word gets around and backing dwindles.
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TasteyCookie



Joined: 19 Jan 2017
Posts: 356
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:44 pm Reply with quote
The biggest question to me is how did Sekai Project get to this point in the first place? They've had some extreme success in Nekopara and the Grisaia series that you'd think they'd be able to manage.

The whole thing screams mismanagement. I haven't trusted them for years now because of shady business, not delivering on kickstarters, and games never being worked on. But their early works really were not bad at all. At least we still have MangGamer who have absolutely been on a roll.
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IanC



Joined: 26 Sep 2004
Posts: 618
Location: Essex, England
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:57 pm Reply with quote
Sekai Project got too big too quick. They have needed to slow down on licensing the past few years now, and it's caught up with them.
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Ojamajo LimePie



Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Posts: 690
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:07 pm Reply with quote
Wikipedia doesn't even show half of Sekai's licenses. Their VNDB page is more accurate. Dozens of unreleased titles down at the bottom. Rolling Eyes
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Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 704
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:57 pm Reply with quote
AiddonValentine wrote:
Now for us to speculate on what Blizzard characters could possibly make it into Smash Bros


Blizzard stuff isn't popular in Japan, so I'm going to say none.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2347
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:08 pm Reply with quote
R. Kasahara wrote:
The stories aren't particularly deep, though they seem to be more detailed in the Untold remakes (I haven't played those, though, so can't say for sure).


The Untold remakes have optional "Story Modes", where you get a pre-defined party of characters, each of whom has a pretty standard jRPG personality and backstory. The original labyrinth has been sprinkled with cutscenes where these party members interact, and both games have a new labyrinth that you explore throughout the game (similar to the way that the new content was integrated into Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux's story). Honestly, if you didn't need to be in Story Mode in order to access this new dungeon content, I probably would have just gone with my own custom characters like in the other Etrian games.
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encrypted12345



Joined: 25 Jan 2012
Posts: 454
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:25 pm Reply with quote
Personally, I don't think that Sekai is in a huge risk of bankruptcy because having a physical office and marketing employees who don't do much was probably hurting Sekai way more than it was helping them. That said, they really need to get their act together, and I'm personally boycotting them until I do. The only things I might consider buying are their EVNs (Starnova's surprisingly good even if it's not exactly Muv Luv Alternative), but I can't really get too motivated about that.

Probably the MG announcement in Otakon I'm most excited is Escalayer, even if that's mostly nostalgia. I should enjoy it since I thought Beat Blades Haruka was fun. MG's AX announcement of Rance X is probably the most impressive of the year though since it has the highest median score on erogamescape (a VN and eroge rating site. IIRC, Muv Luv Alternative has a slightly higher average but only has a median of 93 compared to Rance X's 99).
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srlracing



Joined: 28 Feb 2013
Posts: 63
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:13 am Reply with quote
I noted fears about the business practices of Sekai Project several years ago to some friends. The problem being that Kickstarters are a way to fund tomorrow's project. When you see a company abuse the Kickstarter process by continually announcing new projects before delivering on previous projects its a sign that they may be using funds from the new project to cover overruns in costs in the previous project. You can do this for a while before it bites you, but eventually the cash you can raise with this method will be outweighed by how behind you have become from cost and time overruns. If its not too late they need to reduce their cash burn, get some funding through either a bridge loan or some other method, and get caught up on their backlog so they can establish a more sustainable revenue stream. I'm not saying this is necessarily the position they are in but I believe it to be highly likely due to how behind the delivery of their products have been.
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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 921
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:29 pm Reply with quote
Getting Kickstarter money today to deliver an eroge game next year is a 2018 update of the old Popeye joke and constantly using Kickstarter is a questionable business model. That Sekai continues to put up new Kickstarter projects while delaying the release of games gives the impression that they might not be in business a year from now. After cutting most of their employees I do wonder what will happen to that backlog of delayed games.

I have heard about a good number of otome games but FXXX Me Royally does have one of the more unique descriptions. It will be interesting to see how the game sells since I have heard people say that an aggressive protagonist would work better in the western market than a passive protagonist. Well soon enough there will be an otome game which has exactly that and based on the trailer it looks like it is a well made game.
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