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Visual Arts Looking into Bringing the Power of Moé and Lolis to the West

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It has been a long time coming for fans of visual novels to get their hands on Visual Art's masterpieces in the United States. As the parent company for KEY, developers/producers of titles such as Kanon, Air, and Little Busters!, what began as a Twitter conversation about porting their products to portable devices such as the iPhone and Nintendo DS revealed some rather interesting tidbits in regards to possible overseas expansion.

Here is a translation of the Twitter feed (via Encubed):

vavasyatyou: スマホには行くしかないでしょう。ハードとOSの多様化は正直迷惑ですが^^;RT @HIT4karaage: @vavasyatyou iPhoneをお使いのようですがVAはスマートフォンに展開されるおつもりはおありでしょうか。 I guess we really have no choice but to move in that direction. The hardware and the plethora of available operating systems do make it kind of difficult… ^^; RT @HIT4karaage: @vavasyatyou It looks like you are an iPhone user; do you have any plans to expand onto the smartphone platform?

t_shichisei: @vavasyatyou スマホといえばMOONSTONEさんやOVERDRIVEさんが先駆けておられますが、VAさんも先に挙げたメーカーさんと同様に海外展開等されるご予定はおありでしょうか? @vavasyatyou Speaking of smartphones, MOONSTONE and OVERDRIVE have already [released on that platform]. Have you also any plans to expand overseas, etc. like these two aforementioned game makers?

vavasyatyou: 両方ともエムトリックスさん販売ですね。同様に、ということはうちも移植許諾するのかということでしょうか?それは機会があればやってみたいですRT @t_shichisei: @vavasyatyou スマホといえばMOONSTONEさんやOVERDRIVEさんが先駆けておられま I guess both of them go through m-trix for distribution. When you said “like [these two aforementioned game makers],” did you mean something like whether we’d also agree to porting [to the smartphone platform]? If there’s an opportunity, we’d like to do it. [quote snipped]

t_shichisei: @vavasyatyou スマホ移植ではなく、OVERDRIVEさんやCIRCUSさんは海外向けのDL販売をされていたかと思うのですが、VAさんにはそういったご予定はないのでしょうか、という意図でした。こんなDL販売サイトがあるのですが。 http://bit.ly/cJkBFj @vavasyatyou I didn’t mean about porting to smartphones. What I meant was that I was wondering if you have any plans to release games overseas, since I believe OVERDRIVE and CRICUS have been selling download copies of their games to an overseas audience.

vavasyatyou: これなら少し前竹内社長のお兄さんから投資案件としてご提案いただきました。とても精力的な立派な方でした。現在検討中ですRT @t_shichisei: @vavasyatyou スマホ移植ではなく、OVERDRIVEさんやCIRCUSさんは海外向けのDL販売をされていたかと思うう In that case, I received a relevant offer made as an investment request from President Takeuchi’s older brother. He was a very energetic and admirable person. We are currently looking into the matter.

The user t_shichisei runs a website on the latest eroge-related news from Japan, while the person that President Takeuchi is referring to may be the president of OVERDRIVE. One of the leading publishers in the Western push for visual novels, and one of MangaGamer's key partners. If this idea comes to fruition, the very last barrier for bringing all of Japan's high-profile bishoujo games to the West may finally come down. Especially since Minori, one of the famed company's that banned oversea IPs from accessing their website after the Illusion debacle, appears to have reached an agreement of some sort with former fansub group, “No Name Losers”, whose website now reads “A division of minori Inc.”

The possible inclusion of Visual Arts into the ring of Japanese bishoujo companies that have or are looking into overseas expansion would leave just Fate/Stay Night developer Type-Moon as the last major company to not have yet reached an agreement with a publisher. Nearly everyone else has joined the party, Nitro+, 07th Expansion, Overdrive, Circus, Age, and now Minori; it's about time that the last two remaining stars receive an invite.

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Jason Young Jason is a journalist based out in California. He is currently part of the freelance writing staff for GameZone. Prior to working with GameZone, Jason had previously worked for Gaming Target aggregating over fifty reviews and previews of different video games ranging from Xbox 360 RPGs to PC Bishoujo Games. He graduated from the University of California- Santa Barbara, with a B.A. in Liberal Arts/Film Studies.
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