The recent political attacks on the adult game industry seem to have stirred up a hornet’s nest in defence of the eroge makers, but the makers themselves seem to other concerns, claiming their industry is in imminent danger of mass bankruptcy, not due to the depredations of populist politicians, but due to that most reviled nemesis of software developers everywhere, piracy.
The “Protect the Children” gambit by the Democrats actually seems to have backfired; we hear that the response prompted actually turned out to be so reasonable and convincingly argued that in the end the only recourse of the Member concerned (Madoka Yoriko) was to close her blog and refrain from responding to any of the rebuttals whatsoever. It seems, however, that this is of no reassurance to the makers of the games.
We hear this from someone in the industry:
“Honestly, we’re not that bothered over what the representatives have to say. Even before the prospect of these regulations the adult game business was in a precarious state. We’re said to be in the midst of the “Moe Boom”, but in fact our sales are decreasing. If we leave out the software developers who are successfully adapting their works to anime and non-adult games, it wouldn’t be surprising for most of the makers to be bankrupt soon.”
“We don’t know the true extent of the damages to the industry, in our little business if you sell 20,000 copies you’ve got a big hit on your hands. Now, even if you pour big money into promotion, you still see the copies up for download on the net on the day of release. Makers try to strengthen their protection, with such countermeasures as needing the disc in the drive to run, but after all’s said and done we’re just repeating what’s been done before. Even when we promote sales with limited edition goods and release events, these cut into development budgets and the quality of the games suffers, and so we are further distanced from fans… it’s a vicious cycle.”
Some very self serving comments there – blaming piracy is the perennial excuse of weak software developers the world over, even when sales are growing and unauthorised copying plays a vital role in promotion, and it is interesting to note that he excludes the most successful developers to reach his dire prognostications, by leaving out the many highly successful ports.
Also blaming others fatalistically for repeating the same ineffective strategies over and over strikes me as being folly; shouldn’t they be exploring new business models and methods of content delivery rather than simply rehashing code, CG and voice in the same pattern over and over, with ever more expensive protection for crackers to break on the release day? Easier said than done, evidently.