Music of the Month; Crusader

This one will be short. For a while now I’ve been emphasizing on these Music of the Month bits how I’ve been living in a period of change and how I have been busy with work. Well, let’s just say that work business has now died down, and I will be busy with other matters. That said, I will not put the blog down and will continue to do two posts per week, more if possible.

This week we recorded a podcast with Evan from the Alternative Projects and few other special guests. This is one of those special podcasts that will appear on this site, but it’s a long one and as such will take some time to edit down. It was supposed to be ready today, but I had a two-day gig again, which took all of my time.

All previous ideas from last month are still valid and on paper. I tend to play the long game. You might remember it took almost two years to make that laserdisc player review. To continue from that on, there’s is nothing new on the Muv-Luv front. Sure, Schwarzesmarken first part was just released and I have read it a bit, but it’s less relevant for the Western fan that doesn’t understand the language. What I mean is that currently the Kickstarter is at production phase, where some products are going through final revisions whereas others, like the reworked translations, are under being worked on. As such, this is pretty much the storm’s eye moment, where we went through the first part of the storm with the Kickstarter, but we still need to go through last gusts of winds.

And that spot is was worries me quite a lot. Recently you have seen some news of game companies refusing to release games in the West if they have sexy characters. Dead or Alive Extreme has been on the news for this and Koei Tecmo made an official announcement on the issue. Next to them, Idea Factory and Compile Heart have stated that they will follow the suit. This is pretty fat bullshit, and we all know it. Here’s the thing; no company or no person should be forced to censor their product for a foreign audience, especially if this product is already for teens or older.

I do understand why these companies want to avoid localisation. It’s not just about the bad press they would get, even if it really would be from limited sources like Gawker. It’s amusing to see how the US has become a hugbox where nobody’s feelings can be hurt in any way, and France is the nation that is picking up a fight. There’s also a monetary aspect, and just not having to deal with bullshit expenses is always welcomed.

Companies like XSEED have been treating their products and customers well. Degica, while a company that doesn’t put itself too much in the front, really need to be noticed. Not only they handled Muv-Luv’s Kickasterter incredibly well, but they’ve been pushing out games like Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours. Hell, Degica has been digitally publishing large numbers of shooting games, including a bit obscure titles like Judgement Silversword. Now if they could just partner with GOG to the same extent. However, I am expecting to see some level of shitstorm brewing about when Muv-Luv’s release draws near. I know NeoGAF already had issues with it, and whenever they release the patch that adds the ‘important bits’ back, things may get a bit heated. The best thing for Degica in this case would not to back on their word. After all, it’s a million dollar Kickstarter, breaking promises will affect their possible future fund raisers.

So, what’s store for us? I’ll be finishing year’s last TSF comparison, I wanted to do some more reading on it, but I feel all of it was for nothing. There’s that aforementioned podcast and then… something I need to check, I have a horrible memory. One thing I require to do is to take time for myself and make myself better at things. There most likely will be a personal entry, haven’t done one of those in a long time. Let’s have some more Keldian to lighten up the mood, shall we?

A service provider should concern themselves with the customers, not with the industry

When a service provider listen to the consumers, the question that they may face is to section of the consumers they should listen. There is no definitive answer, especially if you want to expand your market. On one hand, listening to the existing consumer base would seemingly give straight answers to what they want . However, it’s absolutely true that nobody really knows what they want until they have been given a series of options to choose from.

Observation is the key. You observe your existing and possible consumers to see what they need. This does not mean following news articles or the like, but actual people on the street. Follow the flow of the money, see where it’s going. However, it’s also true that service providers can’t ignore s the press too much as that could reflect them in a negative way. This seems to be the main fear Koei Tecmo has with Dead or Alive Extreme 3.

According to Koei Tecmo, they are not going to bring DoAX3 to the West because of the discussion how to treat female characters in video game industry. What’s there to discuss? Each and every developer has all the rights to decide how they treat and showcase their female characters, which are literal objects  and 3D models just like everything else in games. If it’s distasteful to you how a game portrays anything, you’re free to vote with your wallet. It’s a free market, and preventing anyone from publishing their product on the market is absolutely idiotic .

It is clear that it’s the social justice warrior  movement and Kotaku that has been driving an extremist feminist agenda in the game industry. Whether or not the developers listen to this movement is up to them, but they also need to question if this section of people are their targeted audience. Looking at the content of DoAX3, it’s highly doubtful that they intend for this group to purchase into the game. A laughable thing about this whole thing is that people who would rather not see DoAX3 released in the West seem to be either puritanical Christians or sex-negative feminists. Just like Bart Simpson once said, the human body is a thing of beauty.

There is a petition up for the release of DoAX3, so if you’re interested in the game, it might be interesting to you. It seems people have taken this to their heart and have been contacting Koei Tecmo directly via social media, e-mail and through their own sites. This is pretty much the exact opposite as the petition to remove Grand Theft Auto V from the stores a while back, but what makes this petition completely different is that the customers are behind this. The GTAV petition was from people who would not have bought the game anyway, which begs the question why would any company want to listen non-purchasing consumers and limit availability of their stocked product for paying customers? Then we return to the whole image thing.

Image to a company is their lifeline. Companies need to keep a positive image of themselves in the minds of the consumer. If negative views prevail, the image will become negative as well. This image is very rarely based on logic or reason, and has always something to do with the emotions of the consumer. Currently you hear these news  bits about university students getting their feelings hurt and needing safe spaces to segregate people from each other like back in the day, and so it’s not surprising Koei Tecmo would choose to keep itself away from this. Still, we need to question if it’s worth keeping a game unreleased from a region simply because of a fad in the West. However, DoA series already has a certain image of itself, and DoAX would not have changed it to any direction, thus making this more or less a completely moot point.

One thing I need to pick up is that what Koei Tecmo’s representative said is that the game industry is having problem in treating women, not the consumers. What the hell does a service provider care what the industry thinks is right if the consumers are willing to pay for it? This is like with Nintendo; the game industry applauds every time Nintendo does something that sells like shit like N64 or GameCube, but hates whenever they make money like the DS or the Wii.   It’s apparent that game companies need to stop listening to the industry itself, press and the like included, and concentrate fully on the consumers’ side and cater to them, not to the industry.

You’d think that in 2015 people would’ve already gotten over things like this. I used to be in disbelief  when I saw people getting offended over fictional characters’ proportions or the like, but it appears that fighting for fictional stuff is worth more than fixing actual problems in the world. At least I do this blog as a hobby, for free. Insert your own favourite meme here.