Hey XSEED, I think you and Falcom should talk about Steam...

duckroll

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Just had this conversation with some buddies, thought I would share this thought. Falcom is sitting on a bunch of very high quality RPGs and action RPGs which are natively on the PC. The Sora no Kiseki games are very highly regarded JRPGs, while the Ys series are really highly regarded action RPGs. These games have been out in Japan for years, and can now be bought for 10-15 bucks at any Japanese store selling PC games.

XSEED now has a license agreement with Falcom to bring over many of their PSP titles (most of which are PSP ports of above mentioned PC games) in English to the US. The PSP is pretty much dead in the US. While the games will sell decently (maaaaaaaybe) to the niche audience, there will be zero chance for large scale growth for both series in the US. Yet we are seeing stuff like this work out pretty well on Steam. Recettear is a 3 year old doujin game which just got localized and released on Steam. It is supposedly selling very well.

Imagine if XSEED decided to take the localization work on the PSP games they're working on now, and double dip on Steam as well, charging 20 bucks for each title. The userbase on Steam is so much larger that the word of mouth alone should make every single title a very decently sized smash hit. The titles will continue to sell too, and every time there is a sale on the titles, there should be another sales spike.

What do you guys think of this?
 

Volcynika

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I'd support the everloving shit out of something like this. I'm surprised no one's done this yet.
 

Aeana

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This is something that's been talked about amongst Falcom fans for years and years. I don't think it's ever going to happen.
 

Man God

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Isn't FALCOM really down on PC development though?

And how many people really care about YS over here and also care about JRPGs on PCs.

I don't know if its worth the effort. It could be.
 

John

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Can't see any reason for opposing more games being available

I'll buy them if they're good, I suppose.
 

duckroll

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Man God said:
And how many people really care about YS over here and also care about JRPGs on PCs.
No one has to care about Ys in particular. That's the point. When you release an interesting game on Steam, it automatically has an huge audience ready and willing to shell out small amounts of money for interesting and unique titles.
 

Aeana

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Man God said:
Isn't FALCOM really down on PC development though?

And how many people really care about YS over here and also care about JRPGs on PCs.

I don't know if its worth the effort. It could be.
Falcom is done (for now) with PC development, but that doesn't mean they don't have a lot of games that could be localized. I think it would be very much worth the effort, as niche games seem to do fairly decently on Steam, and the Ys series itself has a very high amount of positive word of mouth.
 

Volcynika

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Yeah, and any weekend deal or something will make a lot of people on Steam bite. I always see a ton of people pick up things just because they're relatively cheap :lol
 

lordmrw

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I've wanted someone to do this for a long time now. The biggest reason it would benefit them is that they wouldn't have to deal with the distribution issues almost all of their releases seem to have. Shit if Xseed can't or won't, someone, anyone do it. Seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up.
 

Varion

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Man God said:
Isn't FALCOM really down on PC development though?
They've basically stopped, yeah.

Still, I think this'd be well worth doing. They've got their partnership going so I don't think licensing the PC versions would be a huge issue, and if priced right there's no reason they couldn't sell well.

XSEED don't seem to have ruled out the prospect at least - someone asked a while back on twitter whether they'd consider localising the PC versions and the response was "We're concentrating on getting the PSP releases out first and then we'll look into it."

Of course if that means they're getting all of their PSP releases out then we'll probably be waiting quite some time either way :/
 

duckroll

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Aeana said:
This is something that's been talked about amongst Falcom fans for years and years. I don't think it's ever going to happen.
Years and years ago Steam wasn't the platform it is now. Years ago who would even imagine that something like Recettear could happen? Who would imagine that something like The Last Remnant would be on Steam?
 

Man God

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duckroll said:
No one has to care about Ys in particular. That's the point. When you release an interesting game on Steam, it automatically has an huge audience ready and willing to shell out small amounts of money for interesting and unique titles.
I agree with that but at what price is it worth the effort for either XSeed or FALCOM after Valve gets its cut?

It makes sense on paper. They have a pretty big catalog of windows games but for some reason I can understand why they would be skeptical.

Recettear had a ton of low level advertising on various message boards and has done very well in an otherwise slow release period on Steam.
 

M3d10n

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Bridging the Japanese PC market with Western digital distribution platforms is something I'd love to see done. It's a huge no-brainer really: the developers are well adapted at profiting/surviving on low numbers, even terrible DD numbers would be enough to cover the localization costs of most games as well as generating profit. If I had the resources, this is something I'd invest on myself.

Let's hope Recettear does well and makes people aware of such opportunity.

Man God said:
I agree with that but at what price is it worth the effort for either XSeed or FALCOM after Valve gets its cut?

It makes sense on paper. They have a pretty big catalog of windows games but for some reason I can understand why they would be skeptical.
You mean they'd better not get $10 from people who would never order their untranslated boxed games off Japan?
I can see they being stubborn enough to say "yes"
 

Vic

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I've heard great things about the Ys series on PC. I would definitively buy them if they ever came out on Steam.
 

Enk

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duckroll said:
Years and years ago Steam wasn't the platform it is now. Years ago who would even imagine that something like Recettear could happen? Who would imagine that something like The Last Remnant would be on Steam?

Isn't Recettear doing really well on Steam too? Imagine if something like Felghana popped on Steam?
 

duckroll

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Man God said:
I agree with that but at what price is it worth the effort for either XSeed or FALCOM after Valve gets its cut?
It'll make both of them more money than any of the PSP games XSEED will release. I'm 100% sure of that.
 

Aeana

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duckroll said:
Years and years ago Steam wasn't the platform it is now. Years ago who would even imagine that something like Recettear could happen? Who would imagine that something like The Last Remnant would be on Steam?
Well, it's always been said that Falcom's licensing costs are really high. I agree that since XSEED already has the partnershiip, this would be the best opportunity to do it, but I'm still not so sure it'll ever happen!
 

duckroll

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Aeana said:
Well, it's always been said that Falcom's licensing costs are really high. I agree that since XSEED already has the partnershiip, this would be the best opportunity to do it, but I'm still not so sure it'll ever happen!
The problem has always been that Falcom's licensing costs are too much for a retail PC release format to work. The production costs and trying to get them into stores would kill the entire operation. It's just too hard to get shelf space and awareness for a niche Japanese PC game.
 
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This would be awesome. If Recettear can do as well as it seems to have been doing, I'm sure something like Oath in Felghana would be a hit. It would be very low-risk too, since Falcom has already developed the game and Xseed's already localizing it. Just some programmers to slap the translation in the PC version, and there you go.

In general, I'd love to see Japanese PC developers (pretty much just doujin now that Falcom is out) to embrace digital distribution and find the same success with it that Western indie developers have.
 

Man God

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duckroll said:
It'll make both of them more money than any of the PSP games XSEED will release. I'm 100% sure of that.
I'll be fairly amazed if all the PSP games are released and XSEED stays in business.

They have done some fairly smart moves like buying up a very good localization for one of the games, saving them quite a bit there. I still don't think it will be enough. :lol
 

Shard

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M3d10n said:
Bridging the Japanese PC market with Western digital distribution platforms is something I'd love to see done. It's a huge no-brainer really: the developers are well adapted at profiting/surviving on low numbers, even terrible DD numbers would be enough to cover the localization costs of most games as well as generating profit. If I had the resources, this is something I'd invest on myself.

Let's hope Recettear does well and makes people aware of such opportunity.


You mean they'd better not get $10 from people who would never order their untranslated boxed games off Japan?
I can see they being stubborn enough to say "yes"
This has already happened, just not in the way you might of expected, that is to say we have Japanese developers being series about the PC releases of multiplatform titles, which is about the best somebody could expect from those devs. The thing is Japanese PC development is rather slim; Falcom was the last holdout from a bygone era when there was significant amounts of titles built for various PCs of the age. These days, outside of the aforementioned multiplatform titles, Falcom games of recent vintage, abnormalities like Raccecater, and some faint rumors of Cave games on Steam in order to reach international audiences, there is not much left outside of the hentai visual novel genre.
 

zoku88

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Shard said:
This has already happened, just not in the way you might of expected, that is to say we have Japanese developers being series about the PC releases of multiplatform titles, which is about the best somebody could expect from those devs. The thing is Japanese PC development is rather slim; Falcom was the last holdout from a bygone era when there was significant amounts of titles built for various PCs of the age. These days, outside of the aforementioned multiplatform titles, Falcom games of recent vintage, abnormalities like Raccecater, and some faint rumors of Cave games on Steam in order to reach international audiences, there is not much left outside of the hentai visual novel genre.
I'm not sure why you would call games like Recettear rare. Almost all doujin games are released for the PC, given the closed nature of other platforms.
 

duckroll

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zoku88 said:
I'm not sure why you would call games like Recettear rare. Almost all doujin games are released for the PC, given the closed nature of other platforms.
Not to mention, the developers of Recettear have already released 2 games since then.
 
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thetrin said:
I've always wondered why Falcom hasn't pursued Steam. Seemed like a no-brainer to me.
Aren't they struggling in the PC and that was the reason of working on PSP?. Seems very stupid for them not even trying the Steam approach...
 

Shard

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zoku88 said:
I'm not sure why you would call games like Recettear rare. Almost all doujin games are released for the PC, given the closed nature of other platforms.
I call it rare for the moment since it is really the first game of its type to hit Steam, maybe this will change, maybe it will not, as of right now, it is more of an oddity then anything else. Moreover it is besides the point, most of the Japanese games developed these days we already see because they were designed by companies like Square Enix, Konami and Capcom. International firms that now have international sensibilities in mind, which includes PC releases worth a damn. Even the Cave example is borne out of this desire to reach an international audience by whatever means needed. Be it iPhone, XBLA, and if their commentary is to believed eventually Steam. The rest of the stuff, the doujin, the visual novel and the Falcom games, those are aimed for Japan. This is the essence of why Falcom is not on Steam, because they still don't really give a shit about the Western markets and as long as that happens, no Ys on Steam.
 

Acosta

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There is absolutely zero reason to not try at least. Of course, they would need to be clever about it and not assuming the typical Steam user knows about Sora no Kiseki or even Ys. They would need a demo, a good price and some clever guerrilla marketing.

With Recettear they made the right moves, offering a great demo, that got some glowing previews on reputable PC sites and a good inertia on forums.

In any case, worth trying, I don't think Falcom have anything to lose for letting XSEED try it.
 

Syril

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I can say that I'd definitely get Oath in Felghana if it was on Steam. I'd seriously look into Sora no Kiseki too. Even though I have a PSP, I haven't really found myself interested in getting much for it.
 

zoku88

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Syril said:
I can say that I'd definitely get Oath in Felghana if it was on Steam. I'd seriously look into Sora no Kiseki too. Even though I have a PSP, I haven't really found myself interested in getting much for it.
Yea, I have very little interest in playing my games on the PSP either. Especially since my UMD drive broke and I have limited amount of space on my mem stick. Would rather download from steam or gamersgate.
 

Varion

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So I asked one of their translators (the dude who got famous for those E3 videos) about this too. Response?

I've been barking up that tree since I got hired. :) It's not out of the question, definitely, but it's probably not in our immediate future, either.

I'll keep at 'em, though. :)
So it does seem to be on the table as an option, at least. Just... not something they're doing much with right now. Which they should be.
 

tokkun

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Recettear is only one data point. I think it's risky to look at that and extrapolate it out to the conclusion that any good niche RPG can be successful on Steam.
 

Fredescu

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tokkun said:
Recettear is only one data point. I think it's risky to look at that and extrapolate it out to the conclusion that any good niche RPG can be successful on Steam.
How risky is it though? How much does a good localisation cost? The Carpe Fulgur guys classify success as high three figures or low four figures which they've done easily. Sure they were doing it out of their bedrooms, but a company dedicating two guys to a six month project isn't exactly a massive outlay.
 
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