Crowdfunding has come a really long way, and even well-established companies are now using it to test out new markets and products. If you have a product that’s expensive to produce and distribute, it’s a lot safer to ‘pre-sell’ it and see if there really is enough demand to make it worthwhile.
I actually couldn’t find many otome games on Kickstarter that were in progress, except…
THE BIG ONE (right now): Beastmaster and Prince, from the current Japanese otome game powerhouse Otomate (Idea Factory), is up on Kickstarter for a Steam release, and depending how well it does, possibly even a Vita release!
This KS is a pretty big one, not only for what it could mean for future otome localizations, but also the sheer size – b2g (or Gloczus,) is looking for $150,000 USD to fund this game. That amount, they say, will go primarily towards the payment of 3 full-time translators for 5 months, which in my not too knowledgeable opinion seems pretty reasonable. (That’s over a year of full-time translating, which at a decent salary I’d hope would be at least $100,000 (let’s all remember that this has to cover freelance salary and benefits). Then there’s the project management, coding, the merchandise, QA testing, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some things. And yes, let’s not forget that the company has to make at least a little money for it to be worth it to them. Perhaps they’ll wrap that into project management.
The Kickstarter itself has already had some adjustments, with a higher, $140 USD reward tier offered that’s currently the highest tier offered. For that you get a very nice amount of merchandise along with your digital Steam release of the game, a wall scroll, tote bag, pillow case, badges, and an artbook, and it will all be exclusive to the Kickstarter!
I just read through all the KS, and admittedly, the writing is not the clearest, but hey, they’ve already said they’re hiring professionals to translate and localize the game. Some clarifications:
There’s an FAQ as well, where the team says that they’re preparing a cost breakdown.
They also say that they ‘expect’ to be using the Japanese voices, but they’re still in licensing discussions – which reminds me, that would also be part of their costs (and potentially a large one? je n’ai aucun idée). I have to say, I’d be really disappointed if they didn’t have the Japanese voices and music and sound effects. Edit – they confirmed in today’s update that the original Japanese voices will be included (phew!)
Also, they mention that if they get only $1,000 over the threshold, they’ll do an iOS and Android version!
I’ve played both the original game and the fandisk, and it’s a really fun story with lots of adventure and a petting game that is adorable. I probably don’t even have to mention, the voice acting is great, and as you’ve seen the art is really nice too.
In short, if you’ve read posts on here and wished some of those great otome games would be localized in English, here’s your current best chance to show that there is a market for them, and get a really fun otome game as well (and some swag if you want, the extra rewards are pretty tempting!)
Sorry for posting this half-done earlier! Here’s the full review.
After finishing all of Beastmaster and Prince, or 猛獣使いと王子さま, from Otomate, I’m honestly not sure whether to recommend it or not. I enjoyed it, but it’s definitely on the fluffy side. So if you prefer deep gameplay, or a very drawn-out story arc (like Hakuouki), this game probably won’t satisfy you. HOWEVER. On the other side, you have:
1) Extremely cute art and animals (I’m a sucker for them).
2) Midorikawa Hikaru as Matheus and Toriumi Kousuke as Alfred – need I say more? Especially Mateus, who is a natural-born lady killer. And the other characters are good too – I couldn’t wait to do Silvio’s route.
I think the artist for this game, whoever it is (yeah I’ll add it later), really found their niche with this game. They also did the art for Petit Fours and Arco Baleno, and while those games were fun enough, the characters’ stories weren’t that deep, and the plot was pretty shallow as well, so the games overall felt thin.
Beastmaster isn’t extremely deep either in terms of having a long drawn-out plot, but the central story definitely has more action, and there are a couple twists in each route that keep your attention enough to play through several times. Also, the fantasy setting is great – the art is perfectly suited to the game, with rich colours and costumes, and of course the very cute animals.
Having completed the game, I don’t know what my favourite route is. I liked all of them, even though I didn’t expect to like Lucia or Eric that much, which was a nice surprise. And I would have liked to have more story for several characters, not only because it would have made the game longer but because I was interested in learning more about them. I’d actually consider buying a fandisk for this, or (I think this would be better) getting a PSP edition if they added more scenes. Hopefully they will!
So overall, I really enjoyed Beastmaster and Prince(s). Hopefully it will be adapted for the PSP, and then I think I’d recommend it for anyone who’s interested and is satisfied with just a small minigame (the mofu mofu game ^_^). For a full-priced PS2 game, I think it’s still a little overpriced, but if you love the animal transformation aspect, it might be worth it even so.