by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
game, japan, translation, unauthorized

Japanese Game Developer Thrilled That Fans Are Translating His Works For Other Markets

from the thank-you-for-loving-my-game-so-much dept

Richard 23 writes "07th Expansion is a dojin (amateur/hobbyist) software company in Japan that wrote and distributed the popular mystery/horror visual novel Higurashi naku no koro ni (When the Cicadas Cry) that went on to be a popular anime (originally fansubbed and eventually licensed and distributed). They have since released a new game, Umineko naku no koro ni (When the Seagulls Cry) which is currently being fan translated. The author of the game, Ryuukishi07, heard about it and contacted the unofficial group to personally give them a thumbs up.

Ryuukishi07 has also been contracted to work on scenarios for one of the big visual novel software houses: Key/VisualArt's, so he could have been a real jerk about it. But I think he recognizes that getting his work more exposure does everybody more good in the long run. It certainly didn't hurt his chances to land a professional gig with Key."

Always nice to see someone excited about free fan promotion, rather than freaking out about it. From his (translated) letter:
I did not think that our "Umineko no Naku Koro ni" would be played even by all of you in foreign countries, and I am very surprised.

Also, I am deeply moved by the passion which drove you to translate a tale that long into English.

Thank you for loving "Umineko no Naku Koro ni" so much!

If by your English translation patch, English-speaking people can also enjoy this work, it would make me very pleased.

I believe I will warmly watch over your actions hereafter.
And I would appreciate it if you would continue to enjoy "Umineko no Naku Koro ni".
Great to see someone appreciate the work of fans and their ability to help spread and promote the work, rather than freak out and threaten to sue.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 5:55am

    Respect and Responsibility

    These are two things that seem to be missing from an awful lot of people these days, no matter what country you are in. Apparently somewhere along the way we let the mentally and maturely adolescent start making decisions for us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Lucretious, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    He probably hasn't met the right western lawyer yet.

    give it time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Dan, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Just wanted to say

    As a fan of this series, I would just like to say that this is an extremely awesome series of visual novels (or sound novels as the creator refers to them).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Rod MacPherson, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    This isn't just free promotion... it's free labour in translation. Eventually, if the fansub version attracts enough of an audience to show that it may be a commercial success in an English market I'm sure the game will be officially translated (and hey, look at that, most of the work is done for them) It just makes sense to let people volunteer to do work for you. If I wrote a game and someone released a free fan translation patch I wouldn't be upset about it either. I'd be sitting back watching the increase in sales due to the foreign language market for whom I didn't have to pay translators, and if it is really taking off I'd hire translators to do an official translation. Once the official translation is on the market people will for the most part buy that, even at a bit of a mark up because they will trust that the translation is more accurate to the original intent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Washii, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 10:58am


    You do realize that very few visual novels actually get commercially released with English, yes?

    Besides that, I highly doubt any commercial interest could pick up their script. After all, I've not heard of a commercial sub for anime that used any of the best fansubs that came out years before (and most fansubs I've seen are of a much higher quality, too!).

    By your logic, they should definitely be using the fabsub texts!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Wesha, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 11:57am

    > You do realize that very few visual novels actually get commercially released with English, yes?

    Even better! Less competition for this one!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    This made me think of an interview I came across a few weeks ago:

    To quote from part of the interview:

    "The whole concept of viral videos didn't really exist as much as it does now. So people would link to my videos and I'd get mad. Like why are you doing that. Your stealing my content, and putting it on your website. Which is really now it's sharing, you *really* want that. But I used to get irritated, because it was mine. I didn't quite understand that that it was a good thing at the time."

    And according to her wiki entry she's been able to turn some viral videos into some success.

    So why is it a barely 20something kid can grasp a concept that most major media seem simply unable to wrap their minds around?

    Not only that, but what the industry is doing not only serves to protect certain business models, it denies people opportunities like this young lady had.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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