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why does aniplex want mahoyo to fail

I love visual novels. being a long time fate/stay night fan and only having heard of mahoyo from hushed whispers about its cinematography, I was super invested when it was announced to be coming to the west and I could finally play an official version of it.

however, a lot of people interested in type-moon works had never heard of mahoyo, let alone it getting an official english translation. but how? aniplex is publishing the game and they’re one of the largest anime distributors in the world.

with the console release of mahoyo being almost exactly a year ago and the steam release being just 10 days away, I want to look over some of aniplex’s bizarre and nonexistent marketing for one of my favorite visual novels.

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I played over 100 visual novels in one month and here’s my advice to devs.

Surprisingly, the title isn’t clickbait. As part of my judging requirements for Spooktober Visual Novel Jam, an annual Halloween-themed visual novel jam I cohost, each judge had to play around 100 visual novels in the month of October. Each of the games were made in 1 month during September by teams or solo devs.

Together with my fellow judges, we’ve compiled a list of advice for visual novel developers based off of trends we saw while playing through the entries and ways to avoid common pitfalls.

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should I market my visual novel?

One question I get asked a lot is “should I market my visual novel? It’s [insert a lot of caveats and complaints]”. When people ask this, they ask me because they know I’m the marketing person. They’re usually not asking for advice, but rather either an easy-out (“she saw how many caveats my game has that’ll make it hard/not worthwhile to market and said I don’t have to!”) or a final push (“she gave me the push I needed to get up and go market my game”).

So let’s answer this once and for all (???)…

should you market your game?

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Where are visual novel developers going to after Twitter?

Twitter, X, whatever is slowly becoming more and more unusable by the day, ever since November 2022. Several times I’ve heard people ask “where are visual novel developers moving to?”, which is usually responded with “Tiktok” or “Tumblr”. But as of yet, we don’t really have any data on this.

As we get close to the one year mark since Someone took over Twitter, I decided to do a formal survey on this so we can see more definitively what social media developers are moving to.

Some notes before we begin:

  • This survey was anonymous and was shared via my Twitter, Tumblr, and various visual novel developer Discord servers. It was open for about a week.
  • Around 1/6th of the submissions were discarded due to high chances of them being bot responses, with very human responses such as “With the development of the Internet, social media also needs fans to support the development, which is abandoned by The Times for the independent development”.
  • All long-form questions were optional. All multiple choice / checkbox questions were required.
  • 55 developers took the survey, 56 including myself. This is the final count after discarding the bot submissions.
  • Sites like Patreon, ko-fi, and newsletters were not considered as social media platforms for the purposes of this survey.
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Developer Interview – Scene Direction in Of Sense and Soul

Hi everyone! This month I thought we’d try something different. I typically write articles based on my own experiences and research, but I want to include more commentary and experiences from other developers. I’ve tried this before with using surveys like for my TikTok marketing article, but this is a step furtherโ€”today I’ll be interviewing another developer!

ingthing is a visual novel developer and friend of mine who is currently developing Of Sense and Soul, a queer Victorian romance visual novel following a pair of men after a misconstrued newspaper ad.

Of Sense and Soul is a highly detailed, lovingly crafted visual novel that showcases how we can elevate indie visual novels to new heights. Its attention to visuals is something that can be felt throughout every store page and screenshot for the game but is even more breathtaking once you actually play it.

Today I’ll be interviewing the lead developer, ingthing! You may have seen her previously talk on this at Visual;Conference, an annual online visual novel developer conference.

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You’re marketing your visual novel – and you don’t even know it.

So often I hear questions like “when should I start marketing my visual novel?” or “how do I start marketing my visual novel?”. A lot of these people are actually asking “when should I announce my visual novel?” or “when should I make social media accounts?”. But what’s the difference? Isn’t that what “when should I start marketing my visual novel?” means?

It isn’t, because you’ve already started marketing your visual novel.

Today I want to go over what marketing actually means (and what this means for you as a game dev).

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