KanColle's Real-World Fish Festival Falls Victim to Scalpers
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Pacific saury is a traditional fall dish in Japan, and some places even have festivals where visitors can eat free fish. The Kantai Collection (KanColle) game has mimicked real-world festivities with an in-game "Chinjufu Sanma Matsuri" (Naval District Saury Festival) event held every fall since 2015. Staff decided to go full-circle with a real-life saury festival in 2016, and the event is returning this year for a second run.
The main Tokyo venue will hold the event from October 5 to November 4, and the satellite locations in Sapporo, Nagoya, Kyoto, and Hiroshima will hold events from October 5-14. KanColle fans can choose from a variety of elaborate saury-based food and drink courses. Each reservation also includes various themed bonus items such as T-shirts, acrylic key holders, fans, tin badges, and stickers. Prices range from 3,900 yen (about US$34) for a 10-dish course to 7,400 yen (about US$65) for a 15-dish course with many bonus items.
The reservation period opened on Tuesday night, and many fans jumped on the opportunity to reserve their places as soon as they could. It seems that the promotion's staff were surprised by the popularity of the event. The KanColle franchise's Twitter account posted on Wednesday that staff initially arranged for a total of 13,000 seats to be available. However, in the first few hours of the reservation period, people had already reserved more than 10,000 seats. As of Thursday, the Twitter account reported that the campaign is already 95% booked.
Online commenters soon discovered that many of the reservations may not be eager fans making reservations for themselves and their friends. Net users have shared screenshots of reservations listed on auction sites at about double the purchase price. Other commenters noticed people buying multiple reservations only to tweet an open call for interested people to fill the purchased seats.
There appears to be a limit of four seats per each reservation attempt. Unfortunately, that alone was not sufficient to dissuade scalpers and other people from trying to exploit the reservation system for personal gain. It is unclear if more seats will become available due to the event's popularity, but staff have already cautioned that some varieties of bonus items may run out.