Series Future

Started by Princess Rescuer, June 21, 2016, 03:19:27 PM

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Princess Rescuer

Hi, my name is Princess Rescuer and I'm one of the biggest Umihara Kawase fans in the world. The original game (or rather, the enhanced 2015 version) is my favorite game of all time, above any other game in any other, more popular series. I'm very happy with the recent surge of popularity and availability it's gotten with Chirari, PSN, and the PC versions. But you know what would really put the series's big girl panties on? A one-disc trilogy on a current-gen console, preferably the PS4.

Allow me to explain- Umihara's been on popular consoles before, and was utterly trounced by the competition. This is because the games have had to compete with much higher-budget games being sold for the same price, sitting right next to them. The series only recently broke out (especially outside of Japan) with the budget 2015 releases. The market of today is much different- streaming is ubiquitous, any obscure game gets attention, and gamers seem to be older with more disposable income. Plus, having a challenging, replay able, mechanics-focused, DLC and micro transaction-free game would be a breath of fresh air in today's market.

So, what needs to be done? I wouldn't want a sequel- Kiyoshi Sakai says he's done making them and quality might not be as consistent in the hands of another developer. The best course of action would be to take the PC versions, put them on a PS4 disc, and release it physically at least in Japan and PAL territories as a budget game. It would be a low-cost, high-return no brainer to do, and that's the version they could keep on re-releasing for future consoles, in a more permanent, less erasable form than digital DRM PC versions.


Hi Princess Rescuer, welcome!

I like your idea - a physical release of the trilogy would be amazing.

Princess Rescuer

Another thing is, I would only want it to come out on consoles that have proven themselves by selling well after being out for a while. Super Famicom, PS1, and DS were excellent choices because those consoles remained popular even late in their lifespan. Vita worked out too because it bombed and that means Vitas and Vita TVs are cheap. PS4 would work because it's a popular console that's been out for a few years and it's region free. Wii U wouldn't work because it is both unpopular and expensive to buy. Xbox One? Don't even go there. NX would only work if it were out for a while and it were popular. And possibly also had a price drop. And while we're on the subject of Nintendo, Wii wouldn't have been that bad of a choice either. It certainly would have been more powerful than the DS.

Nobody is going to buy an expensive, failing console to play an obscure game they might not like. Umihara needs as much of a safety net as it can get. Until platform holders are shelling out money to have Umihara as a console exclusive (or at least timed exclusive) it's not time to start taking brazen risks.

Princess Rescuer

Oh, and I'd like to see Sakai and co. work on other games. They could re-release the Umihara trilogy as a safety net to fund their other projects. Maybe finish that Densen game they were working on for the PS2 and shift it to a current console?


I hate to be pessimistic but, Studio Saizensen could find a publisher outside Japan to help them print physical copies of the game overseas and it could sell. It's just it will still be as niche as it is now.

For it to sell well, it would need either: 1) A marketing budget equivalent to AAA games, 2) Popular Youtubers/Twitch streamers playing the game

Considering that 1) is very unlikely as no publisher would do it since they always do things like focus testing to gauge how well the game could sell. It would take 2) to make up for the marketing to get people to play the game.
How well could it work? I don't know. I'd consider if it sold 250,000 units outside Japan for it to be a great success considering how niche the game is.

Just looking at
The games at the moment are ranking less than Code of Princess and Degica Games have given the trilogy frequent sales discounts ever since publishing the game early in the year since I have been following them on Twitter.

Even I made a video trying to explain how the game works to help newcomers and it didn't even get close to 100 views until now because the Degica Games twitter account retweeted my video.


I've mentioned before in the Sayonara Umihara Kawase VR thread that if they did a first-person view with the gameplay making any alterations to adjust it for it to play well, it could be good enough to grab attention. I also mentioned that if they could also try making a 3D platformer of an Umihara Kawase game with VR, that could also help grab attention. I don't know if it would guarantee sales, I'm just giving new ideas to try because the current game series is niche and it could try some spin-offs to gain popularity. (Adding trivia below)

You know what is very likely to generate sales and would be similar to the idea mentioned with VR? Spider-Man for PS4

Since Sony is funding the development of Spider-Man for PS4, what is stopping them from having the developers put in a VR mode when you can web-sling across skyscrapers? And because the game would get a significant marketing budget from Sony and Marvel (since Marvel is taking games seriously with their IP after having seen the success of the Batman Arkham series) it could sell people on the game on that alone.

Trivia: Puyo Puyo is a puzzle game that is considered a spin-off of Madou Monogatari linked here
because it uses the characters and assets from that game series. We then know how popular Puyo Puyo became in Japan.


Edit: Also, I just remembered in that Sayonara Umihara Kawase VR thread that it was pointed out that there could be more to be announced (from what was announced in that thread) so maybe we could be getting a first-person VR Umihara? I don't know.

Princess Rescuer

Those are very good points. I just figure it would barely take any effort to take three already completed games and put them on a disc. They wouldn't sell gangbusters, but they'd probably reach audiences that wouldn't have tried them before. Plus, you'd have all 3 games in one place rather than sold separately. It wouldn't be a huge monetary safety net, but it would at least be a low risk move for every new popular console.

The VR points, however... that's a different story. If you think Umihara Kawase has niche appeal, it's a BLOCKBUSTER compared to anything VR. VR is and has always been an expensive doodad that will never erode the appeal of a simple console-controller-TV setup. There are just too many problems that outweigh the benefits. The Oculus Rift and Vive are both overpriced flops. I expect Playstation VR and any Nintendo VR device to bomb hard. I've seen footage of Sayonara's VR version, and it looks unplayable. The red borders and strange perspective remind you of how the game is in an artificial void. You have to look around to see where you are. It's hard to judge distances. The player loses several times because of this. What's a first person variation going to do, besides make the game even more unplayable because you'll barely be able to see anything, as well as not be able to see incoming enemies 180 degrees behind you? Not to mention you'll still be standing there while Umi's sailing through the air. You won't feel a thing while Umi's been mortally wounded by spikes. The force-feedback is going to be awful. I still think my physical trilogy cartridge/disc on a region free popular console idea is better.