Barbarian excluding eroge maker Minori is seemingly not content with excluding non-Japanese visitors from its site in retaliation for being forced into extremes of censorship by its own puritanical ratings body; the risible message on their site claims to be “defending our culture”, but in comments to prying Japanese media their CEO provides another excuse entirely, claiming they are protecting foreigners from making criminals of themselves by visiting their site.
For some reason their email response to the enquiries of Japanese news site J-Cast was made publically accessible to all comers; it can be seen here whilst it lasts (a proxy will be required for those outside Japan), or cached here.
Their CEO’s comments on their reasoning run thusly:
“If one of our products or the site itself were viewed overseas it might be a crime, and the viewer might become a criminal in their country. Since that would be our fault, it would be most regrettable.
We also take other measures, such as checking the user is running a Japanese operating system, to ensure that only Japanese users can run our software.”
Quite a different response to that given to foreign visitors.
Of course, on just about every other website on the Internet, the burden is on the viewer to ensure the content they are viewing is legal in their locality, not the publisher.
They also go on to rubbish the sale of eroge to foreigners as being a tiny market where they would have to translate their games into every language under the sun, presumably having never thought of just translating into English like every other company in the international market for visual novels…
Putting aside the suspect nature of the excuses they offer, it seems the real reasoning behind their ban is a lack of interest in the international market coupled with a desire to show that they are taking care to restrict availability of their products overseas, so as to undermine the notion that they are provoking overseas groups into Japan bashing.
Unfortunately, their real opponents are in Japan, and are interested in pursuing a domestic ban, not one on the tiny export trade…
Fans of the visual novel are doubtless well advised to support progressive, internationally minded companies such as Nitroplus, whose recent efforts promise a wealth of quality titles.