Otome Visual Novel Releases of October 2015

Wow… This was the easiest Monthly Releases post I’ve ever written yet!

October 2015 is a pretty dull time to be an otome gamer unless you’re interested in any of the ports and remakes coming out this month. At least this month is a reminder for me to finally play Ayakashi Gohan. Speaking of honeybee, they’ve also delayed Starry Sky ~Spring Stories~ to be released during sometime in 2016.

An “announcement” of sorts: I’ve decided to no longer publish detailed information about fandiscs and direct sequels. The information of fandiscs/direct sequels can often be spoiler-ific (even without me realising due to not having played the original games) and it’s better off to just not include them. In the process of trying to police them, I’ve also come close to spoiling myself a few too many times so I’d like to avoid that as well.

Last, but not least, Art Move Corporation, a.k.a. QuinRose, has allegedly gone bankrupt and stopped operating as of 25th September, 2015. I’ve briefly written more about this after the “Read More” tab.

 

New releases

Title Release Date Platform
Ayakashi Gohan ~Okawari!~ [Info] 30-10-2015 → 27-11-2015 PC [Fandisc of “Ayakashi Gohan“]

 

Ports/Remakes/Re-releases

Title Release Date Platform
Ayakashi Gohan ~Oomori!~ [Info] 8-10-2015 PC → PSV [Port]
Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ [Info] 20-10-2015 English localisation [PSV]
Shinsouban Majo’ou [Info] [Cancelled due to QuinRose going out of business] 22-10-2015 PSP → PSV [Remake]
Shinsouban Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Twin World~ [Info] [Cancelled due to QuinRose going out of business]
29-10-2015 PSP → PSV [Remake]

News of QuinRose’s supposed bankruptcy spread amongst otome fans of 2chan and Twitter when the image above was uploaded by a yet-unknown source. If the source can be wholly trusted, this image is of the public notice found taped-on near the company’s entrance elevator.

The details pixellated towards the bottom of the notice is speculated to be the contact information of the company’s lawyers or some other organisation that is now responsible for QuinRose’s public affairs in the wake of their bankruptcy.

At this time of writing, QuinRose themselves have not confirmed nor denied the rumour. For this reason, some denizens of 2chan’s “Anti-QuinRose” thread have suggested that this is a publicity stunt designed to draw attention, but I can’t say that has much merit. Ignoring the fact that there are far more effective ways to draw attention… If it were the case, you’d think they’d spread the news all over. Moreover, I doubt potential customers would want to buy their games (especially download versions) after hearing that the company is going bankrupt. Doesn’t hearing that make you want to cancel your orders? I would!

So… What do I think? I definitely think this is true. It would certainly explain the slowed output of completely new games and the porting/remaking spree QuinRose has been going on. Perhaps the financial troubles had been mounting for some time, so QuinRose had to switch to the “low cost to make, high output to appeal to many” strategy…

The problem with this is that while ports are far cheaper to make, in the end, they’re the same game and very few people actually want to buy the same game with just a few new things. While R18+ porting to all-ages makes some level of sense, porting the same thing to a new console when some of the games they choose to port aren’t even that “outdated” seems like a waste of money to me.

Their first game came out in 2005, so QuinRose has been around for roughly 10 years… That’s not bad, really, considering how many otome companies don’t even make it through a third of that period. Why did they fall? IMO, the main issue with QuinRose is their lack of innovation… even for otome standards. Furthermore, they hired top-class seiyuu- which would have cost a small fortune- and they had too many love interests. This would only compound the seiyuu problem and create another- more money spent on writing and developing CGs.

Speaking of CGs, their artwork wasn’t varied enough. Fujimaru Mamenosuke’s clean, neat and “safe” artstyle- while not bad- isn’t very “unique”, and even if it were, people do get sick of seeing the same artwork if they’re flooded with the same content over a short period of time. I certainly do!

I even get sick of hearing the same seiyuu. Anyway, their character designs were quite uninspired and bland, even when the settings of some of their stories were the perfect chances to go nuts in the artistic department. In other words, the designs don’t “pop”. They don’t demand attention. While they won’t make me frown in disgust, they won’t even pull my focus. From a marketing perspective alone, that’s bad.

Some fans have been mentioning hopes of QuinRose getting bought out by a larger company such as Otomate, Rejet or honeybee, but I’d be surprised if that happens. It wouldn’t be a wise business decision, given QuinRose’s now fairly divisive reception in the otome game community and lacklustre sales.

While I’m not surprised this happened, I do think it should act as a reminder to all that even seemingly “big” companies aren’t safe. Latching onto the same “successful formula (in QuinRose’s case, this appeared to be famous existing story + in-demand seiyuu + titilating-but-not-outright-explicit content = WIN)” for years eventually makes it lose its lustre.

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Categories: Monthly Otome Release Lists | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Otome Visual Novel Releases of October 2015

  1. lmao oh god when I saw this pop up in my wordpress reader I was like LOOOLLLL at the quin rose bankruptcy thing

    Problem is quin rose latched on the same successful formula from 10 years ago. They have been stuck in year 2005 for 10 years. I read on twitter that they paid amazon to remove negative reviews of clover alice pc version because of all the bugs it had. (Could be a rumor but yea)

    If you look at their sites for example they all follow the exact same template. Same banner size, same wallpaper size. Their whole shtick was “we do the same thing you’ve liked for 10 years!” But people’s interests change, and when compared against other otome game companies they are basically just “stuck in their old ways” (which is pretty much a downfall of a lot of Japanese companies tbh.)

    I did buy WIzard & Master and Crimson Empire ports because I never played the originals and I wasn’t gonna sit through those awful battle systems. Those games are still from an era where they actually tried to make something original though so hopefully they won’t be too bad. Those will probably be the last QR games I play though. COol B calendar lists the fandisk for CE in December but with this whole revelation I wonder if they’ll even manage to successfully push it out.

    • Thanks for reading!

      It completely agree that QuinRose was too stuck in their own ways. The exact-same-website thing is just sad. Yes, Rejet uses the same basic template for their drama CDs one, but at least the designs are different enough to not look like recolours.

      God… about the alleged paying off Amazon thing you mentioned… If this is true, it really makes me wonder how many other companies are doing this. Even though it could be unfounded, it makes me trust Amazon even less than I already do!

      I have a couple of QuinRose games I bought some time ago, but I’ve lost a lot of motivation to get to them… =/

  2. Sad to hear about Quinrose, but can’t help but agree with you that their unchanging formula got incredibly monotonous…And yes, some CGs look like copy-paste of old ones which seriously turned me off too. Still…shame. :/

    • Hello and thanks for reading, Neko-chan!

      To be perfectly honest with you, I’m not too sad about QuinRose’s fate. While I’m not laughing, I’m not disappointed either. I mean this in the way that they were just spiralling themselves deeper with no signs of improving their games… So yeah, it could be for the best. No wonder the CGs looked copy-pasted… the artist for 90% of their later games is the same person!

  3. Hm well it’s sad that on otoge company might be leaving and since I’ve only started one of their games (Peter Pan) it’s a little depressing. I like how so many people praise their firey heroines who take no shit from anyone, which we need in more otoges. Sadly though, the whole issue of reporting and stuff really made me wonder when people would say this in reviews. I wondered if they weren’t doing well in business…guess I was right.
    Maybe this means that I can get their games at a cheaper price since they went under, but if they were the only company that made kick ass heroines, it definitely feels like a loss to me.
    And yeah…have to agree with you on the art.
    Also, good for you for not translating sequels or fandisks. I can only imagine how long all of that takes on top of your usual posts and there’s no need to burn yourself out (or possibly spoiler yourself like you said).
    Maybe this will give you more time to do things you like or idk lol. Anyways, great post!!

    • Hiya Leaf! =D

      While in all honesty I’m not too sad, I do agree it’s kinda depressing.

      Yes, their protagonists are comparatively more interesting than the “usual” archetype, and I definitely want to see more of them. That being said, even if you deviate from archetypes, if you keep on creating the same character, it’s just as formulaic as the bigger companies pumping out the more commonplace archetype.

      I do have some of their games already, but if others I only had a cursory interest go much cheaper due to their downfall (as terribly opportunistic as this is), I would consider buying it.

      About my decision to not write detailed sections about fandiscs/direct sequels anymore, thanks for supporting this. I won’t lie; the (slightly) reduced amount of writing is a bonus, but a small one. I really enjoy checking out the news sources and collating the information, so I don’t really consider it a chore… Even if it’s for series I clearly dislike or am sick of. The main issue is potential spoilers. It could even depend… say, if I get a flood of feedback saying that I’m paranoid and it’s not as spoilerific as I perceive it to be. Then I’d reconsider.

      Yes, it has given me slightly more time! Anyhow, October’s total lack of news to report is unprecendented… it hasn’t been this scarce since June of last year and this year. Hence why I took the opportunity to talk “”at length about QuinRose. It certainly gave me more time to polish my Yoshiwara Higanbana trial review.

  4. It’s that “titilating-but-not-outright-explicit content” factor that completely turned me off from Quinrose games. That and the rather poor writing. And I thought the art was rather ugly, but that’s just me. But really it’s the “mature but not quite” aspect that was the killer for me. It probably limited their potential market as well. RIP Quinrose.

    • Hi Kina!

      I definitely understand where you’re coming from. QuinRose just seems “meh” in most aspects of their games- being a Jack-of-all-trades didn’t serve them well after a certain point. The older art was certainly subpar, but at the very least, it caught my eye and is “unique”. It didn’t look like every second competent-but-nothing-noteworthy art of modern shoujo manga ever. As I said, Fujimaru Mamenosuke’s art is… vanilla, but not necessarily in a good way.

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