Anime Expo 2014
by Jacob Chapman,
The panel opened to a petite but enthusiastic audience for English language visual novel licensor Sekai Project. Head of licensing Chris introduced his team members Randy and Yui, and then dove into the team's current projects. The group was proud to announce an artbook production project for Narcissu 1st and 2nd, their first licensed and distributed visual novel on Steam, is now in the works, though a release date is still tentative. The game itself can be played on Steam free for PC, Mac, and Linux, and its OST is available for purchase on the platform.
The Moe Headphones Design Guidebook 2013, by doujin circle Lunatic Joker, is now available from Sekai Project, after being funded on kickstarter this past January. The artbook's creator, Tsukigami Luna, made a surprise appearance at this announcement and thanked the backers for all their support, saying that the English edition of the artbook was even more impressive than the initial Japanese printing. Sekai Project's current kickstarter focus is on Fault milestone one –director's cut-, a visual novel from doujin circle ALICE IN DISSONANCE.
Sekai Project then presented promotional videos for their slate of current and upcoming visual novel releases, which included World End Economica, PacaPlus, and Sakura Spirit. Episode one of Spice and Wolf creator Isuna Hasekura's World End Economica is currently available on Steam, while the concluding episodes two and three are in their waning days on kickstarter, and very close to reaching a stretch goal for the series to be ported to PS Vita. PacaPlus, the odd tale of an ordinary boy whose girlfriend mysteriously becomes an alpaca, will be ported to Steam upon its completion, but no release date has been set in stone yet. Sakura Spirit, a fox-spirit-themed bishoujo game, is Sekai Project's first English language original visual novel, developed by UK-based creators Winged Cloud, and being distributed by Sekai Project to Steam in the near future.
After the presentation reel, Sekai Project announced their new slate of acquisitions, the first of which, they were excited to reveal, was not a conventional visual novel game. Doujin circle RECTANGLE's Raider's Sphere 4th, a fighter pilot combat strategy game with visual novel elements. The title will be Oculus Rift compatible, with a tech demo available at their booth at Anime Expo, and ready to launch by the end of the year.
Two new visual novel acquisitions were announced as well: an all-ages port of Frontwing's Le Fruits de la Grisaia bishoujo title, which has an anime adaptation airing this fall, and Key Visual's kinetic novel planetarian –Dream of Little Star-, which will be ported to Steam for PC with hopes to release the game for Mac and Linux as well. Sekai Project said they hope to bring more unexpected releases to an English-speaking audience, and that no company is impossible to reach, in light of their successful acquisition of a Key Visual title for the Western market.
The panel concluded with a Q&A session and prize raffle for the audience.
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