Crunchyroll is moving into the business of video game publishing. Given their experience with anime localisation, publishing Japanese vidya seems like a logical fit for Crunchyroll. Who better to be able to connect with the sensibilities and needs of weeb gamers than a business that is familiar with meeting the needs of animu fans?
The market situation is very different between vidya and anime however. That is to say that if Crunchyroll drops the ball on their anime localisations then their customers will very quickly unsubscribe and get their anime from a free service like Kiss Anime, whereas if Crunchyroll drop the ball when localising a video game then anyone who wanted to play it is shit out of luck. Crunchyroll know both of these things, and as such they do not dare to fuck over their anime customers, but they are quite happy to censor the shit out of their vidya in order to satisfy their SJW sensibilities, knowing that gamers have no readily available alternative.
Basically any American business with a conventional HR department will over time become a pozzed hive of SJWs – no exceptions. Vidya and anime should be industries which attract based enthusiasts, yet the reality is that they end up staffed by people who have contempt for the medium. As such their first video game release has not fared as well as one might hope.
Crunchyroll have the rights to DanMachi: Memoria Freese. These days gamers take nothing for granted, and so a Twitter user by the name of Nathan Maruyama sought clarification from the official DanMachi Memoria Freese account about whether or not the game would be censored. The Twitter account replied simply “Nope!“, which sent a very positive message to consumers who were eager to play the game – this was March 30, two weeks ago.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and it quickly became apparent that a significant portion of DanMachi: Memoria Freese‘s gameplay had been cut from the game. The Japanese version of the game features a skinship mini-game similar to the one featured in the Fire Emblem series, which was presumably cut due to the delicate sensibilities of the localisation team. When questioned about this Crunchyroll gave the ridiculous reply:
“Hi! Official DanMemo Community Team here. The “touching” feature was removed from the English version of the game, yes. Not as a matter of censorship or depriving non-Japanese audiences of anything, but due to what is appropriate and not appropriate for English audiences. Hope that answers your question!”
So it was not a matter of censorship, it was just censorship? How does that work? Cutting a desired feature because you feel like nobody should get to experience it is the very definition of censorship! When fans of the game expressed their extreme displeasure, the community team peaced out with the passing shot:
“If you would like that feature, it is still in the Japanese version.
I will pass along your feedback, but the team stands by the decision. Thanks! :)”
Crunchyroll knows best!
This situation becomes even more uncomfortable for Crunchyroll when one considers that until this week Crunchyroll’s Youtube channel was advertising the Western version of the game using footage which depicts the removed skinship content – which is illegal in many jurisdictions. The advert even claims that:
“You can talk with the characters in the game, right? That’s not all! You can touch their heads and bodies!”
Of course Crunchyroll quickly deleted this video once angry fans pointed out their deceptive advertising. Crunchyroll later released an official statement apologising for any confusion caused by their deceptive advertising:
“We apologize if there was any miscommunication around game features for the U.S. version of Memoria Freese — addressing the specific issue at hand, there was an interactive “communication mode” that was inadvertently included in some of our early promotional content. However, that feature was never intended to be released in the U.S. version of the game. It was not our intent to miscommunicate to any of our players.”
Ultimately, being able to see that this sort of thing is part of Crunchyroll’s MO is really eye opening, because this is exactly the sort of thing that they would be doing to anime if they felt they could get away with it. Luckily they cannot get away with it at present, but it always bares thinking about just in case anything changes going forward.
NISA Made to Apologise for Badmouthing Sony
When SNK Heroines was announced, it was revealed on Sony’s PS4. Despite this, last week came the surprising news that the game would also be released to the Nintendo Switch, and that this version would be the only version to receive a physical version. It seems that Nintendo offered NISA a sweetheart deal, whereby Nintendo would gain full rights to the physical version of the game, and in exchange Nintendo would take over the publishing duties of the physical version of the game.
Part of this publishing agreement appears to have been for NISA to really talk up their positive relationship with Nintendo. Unfortunately this led to the company giving some very bizarre interviews wherein they appeared to take a bunch of strange swipes at Sony:
“influential people from SNK came to our booth and said: “Hey, Mr. Yamashita, is it possible to cancel our contract on PlayStation 4? Nintendo wants to work on this title on an exclusive basis!” So these third parties come together and the team at NIS and SNK decided to go with Nintendo for the western market. Physical copy-wise, it’s going to be a Switch exclusive. PlayStation 4-wise, it’s going to be just digital. That’s the deal. We will not release a packaged version for the PlayStation 4 format. Then Nintendo will act as a distributor for this game. Then they promised to buy a lot of units. I can’t reveal the number of units they’ve guaranteed, that’s secret talk.”
NISA would go on to suggest that Sony was not a good publishing partner because they do not care about smaller games:
“We’ve teamed up with Nintendo Europe for our other Switch titles. They support us in a good way. Compared to that, Sony is not friendly with small publishers like us. They just care about big Japanese companies. Also, if we simultaneously release a Switch version and a PlayStation 4 version of the same title, currently the sales trend is two to one. That means the Switch version sells twice as much as the PS4 version. Physically and digitally. A lot of PS4 titles are coming up, so the market is very competitive. Compared to that, the Switch market still has lots of room for publishers to make money.”
It is not difficult to sell many more games on the Switch when that is the only version of the game that is physically available. That said, leave it to NISA to give Nintendo a compliment which turns out to be an unintentional insult. When NISA talks about the Switch having “lots of room for publishers“, what they really mean is that the Switch has no games, and hence there will be little competition for SNK Heroines
It turns out that in talking up Nintendo by disparaging Sony, NISA has taken rather more liberties than their parent company, Nippon Ichi Software, was prepared for – causing them to lose face, and damaging their relationship with Sony. Subsequently NISA has been made to apologise for dishonestly disparaging Sony in a lengthy retraction:
“I must extend my most heartfelt apology to SNK and Sony Interactive Entertainment. The truth is that the Nintendo Switch exclusive plan was originally decided by NIS America, and only later among discussions with influential SNK people did we decide the best option moving forward would be to have as much exposure as possible. This is why that in the end, we are bringing the PS4 version of SNK HEROINES to the market, and even supported this version at the NISA Press Event and in the press meetings in February and March.
In discussing matters with MCV, I thought that some insider information would make them interested in the overall conversation, and such lip service did not stand on the side of truth.
Once again, I apologize to SNK and Sony if it made them seem negative towards the PS4 platform in any way, and stress that the original goal of a “Nintendo Switch exclusive” version of SNK HEROINES came from NISA.
CEO and President of NIS America, Inc.”
NISA’s anti-Sony rhetoric was was extremely ill advised. It might not seem like such a big deal to them as they operate in Burgerland, but their parent company has to operate in Japan, where honour is a much bigger deal. Publicly disparaging Sony by revealing private information about is terrible for NIS’s face. The situation is even worse if NISA were actually lying about their experiences with Sony, though that is by no means certain.
The False Flag Teabag
SJWs always lie. If you live by these words then you will never be disappointed. This week at PAX East an SJW accused a game developer of murder most foul! A rainbow haired SJW journalist by the name of Amanda Farough took to Twitter in order to claim that an unnamed employee of 1047 Games had killed and subsequently teabagged her while demoing a game named Wormhole Wars. Her story was then taken up by Game Informer editor, Mike Futter:
“Friendly tip for devs showcasing games: don’t intentionally team-kill a journalist and then teabag them… especially if she’s a woman.”
When devs responded to this by saying that is was not such a big deal Futter subsequently made the veiled threat that he would blacklist their game from receiving coverage:
“I see you’re working on your first game and may at some point be demoing it for the press. You might think it’s hilarious.
It is the quickest way to ensure you don’t get coverage. It’s not professional, and it could kill a publishing deal. Have a good day.”
The joke is on him though, since gamers do not pay attention to the legacy game media anymore. At any rate this posturing was all for naught. The problem with launching witch hunts based on a ‘listen and believe’ requirement for evidence will never lead to anything better than a shitshow. The claim was fraudulent. The alleged teabagging, which should not have been a big deal anyway, did not happen. It was just a feminist cat-lady fishing for attention:
“First, we want to thank everyone for supporting us and helping put an end to these false rumours. The support has been incredible, and we turned something that could have been terrible into something that helped spread awareness for our game. You guys rock.
Secondly, I want to reiterate that we did not teabag a member of the press, as it would be rude and disrespectful to someone trying our game for the first time (to my knowledge, this member of the press has never played our game).
Thirdly, the whole thing has been totally blown out of proportion in both directions. We don’t believe anyone involved in this (including the press) deserve so much backlash.
With that being said, we believe trash talking teabagging is a fun, silly, and competitive part of gaming as long as it’s done in good fun. It has been around since Halo 2 and 3 (the glory days). We miss those days, which is why Halo 2/3 have influenced our game so much. In fact, this whole thing has given us an idea. More to come….”
And that is how you deal with the maggots in the press. Not only do 1047 Games refute the things being claimed against him, but they also launch a spirited defense of teabagging. Nice.