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Monday, 22 April 2013

BLOG -- My Beef With The Idolm@ster Shiny Festa in North America...

Okay, so... this entry will be more of a rant. Just to warn you.

As some of you already know, I am a big fan of the video game series Idolm@ster. I've imported the first two games (Idolm@ster 1 and a spin-off) on the Xbox360, even though I don't even have a Japanese Xbox360. Then I imported one of the Idolm@ster games for the PSP. And then I imported Idolm@ster 2 for the PS3. Yeah -- I am a big fan. 

Anywho, back in December 2012, I came across an entry in Siliconera mentioning that one if its spin-off games (on the PSP), Idolm@ster Shiny Festa, was trademarked in the US. While I knew that Shiny Festa was more a rhythm game instead of the full-on idol management sim that I experienced in Idolm@ster 2, I was very excited. Finally, I'll get to play an Idolm@ster game in English!

Then... fast-forward to today. I wake up, turn on my computer, and get ready for the day. I browse through the headlines in Siliconera (it's my go-to site for video gaming news). Then I hit this article about Idolm@ster Shiny Festa being localized in North America... and anger / frustration ensues.

Why am I so pissed? Here's why:

- In Japan, Idolm@ster Shiny Festa was released for the PSP.

- In North America, Idolm@ster Shiny Festa is being released for iOS... for $54.99.

I can't even begin to fathom how or why the publishers thought this would be a good idea. In my opinion, it is definitely not a profitable move. I could go so far as to say that it's almost an insult, to believe that the fanbase would be willing to:

1) pay that much for a digital game
2) buy an i-device just to play the game (if they didn't already have one)

I just find it so... boggling. Why change the platform? Did the publisher think there wouldn't be enough revenue if it was released for the PSP? I can almost say with utmost confidence that any existing fanbase for Shiny Festa (back when it was released in Japan) would either already own a PSP or would be planning to get one. I can't really say the same thing regarding owning an i-device or intending to own. I definitely had no plans to own one.

And I REFUSE to believe for one second that the publisher could be targeting a casual market, or even a new fanbase -- not with that horrible $54.99 price tag. It's one thing to pay $54.99 for a game on a video game handheld ($54.99 is still expensive); it's another to pay $54.99 for a game on an iOS. Those who are unfamiliar with the game will stay unfamiliar, seeing its ridiculous pricepoint and not looking into it any further. Only the current fanbase is really being affected, and they are suffering. 

One way to rectify this is to release Idolm@ster Shiny Festa for PSP as well. *fingers crossed* Otherwise... it's importing time!


Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to comment. Have a good week! :)

2 comments:

  1. I totally understand your frustration. However, there is one good reason why the PSP version isn't getting localized. Because the PSP is pretty much dead while the iOS is still very much alive. Yes, it's annoying to find that you don't have the correct platform to play this, but there are quite a few fans out there who do. The only thing that's ridiculous is the price.

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    1. Well, if the PSP version was also compatible with the PS Vita (I am not 100% sure if it is), then I'd see no problems with it being released digitally for the PSP, reaching PSP owners and PS Vita owners.

      I've got three things to say regarding the iOS decision (haha, another rant...):

      1. One of the worst things about this move is that nobody was expecting it. Every fan that really counted (because they are the ones that would have bought it -- and at that ridiculous price), was expecting it to be released for the PSP, its original platform in Japan. I can't seem to ever recall any other game that was localized for a platform that was different from its original platform. Giving some advance notice and an explanation of why they went with their end decision could have lessened the rage they've ignited. Though people would definitely still be pissed.

      2. Even though the iOS scene is more alive than the PSP scene, there's no way of knowing how many current fans are also owners of i-devices. Sure -- the game on the iOS will be available to more possible customers, but are they the customers who would buy the game? Releasing it also on the PSP would ensure purchases from both sides. I think they needed to do some market research before making this decision...

      3. If this is the publisher's way of "testing the waters" with Idolm@ster games, and if the game sells poorly, I would bet with 99.9% certainty that the publisher would blame its failure on the game just not being profitable overall, and not on other factors like price, and platform (which would then be the publisher's fault).

      Seriously... they had a bunch of dedicated fans, just ready to fling them money, and they just put up a wall, cutting us off.

      Sorry about the rant. It still pisses me off. I just wish there was a way to show them just how much potential revenue they've lost with this.

      Sega better take notice of this flamepool, in case they even think of possibly releasing Hatsune Miku games only on iOS. :p

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