Steam, Hentai Games and Paradigm Shifts
Remember, J-List is at Phoenix Comic Fest May 24-27, at booth 655! We hope to see you at the show this weekend!
Since J-List has been around so long — since the first Clinton administration — it’s interesting to look at the various changes we’ve lived through over the years. Besides experiencing virtually every aspect of the modern Internet as it unfolded, we also published the first English visual novels in the U.S. (still in print for a few more months, if you want to own a piece of history) which basically served as a “proof of concept” to see if licensed hentai games and visual novels could be successful in English. Thanks to the warm support of our many customers over the years, the answer was yes.
The business of J-List and JAST USA has been affected by various paradigm shifts over the years, which have sometimes created challenges for us. Such as the rise of mobile phones, which quickly surpassed standard PCs and Macs as the preferred way to browse the Internet. When mobile apps and games came along, fans wondered if JAST USA’s 18+ visual novels would be ported to mobile platforms. Sadly, due to total bans on adult games by Apple and Google Play app stores, this would never have been profitable. And so, the rise of mobile devices was bad for 18+ visual novels.
Another big change was the arrival of Steam, the company that’s often said to have saved the PC gaming industry by making it super easy to buy and download games online. Visual novel publishers, including JAST USA, have embraced Steam, and I know of many Japanese developers large and small who only stay in business because of current and potential future sales through the platform. We love Steam and are happy to be able to reach customers through their platform.
Last weekend, several publishers of visual novels on Steam (though not JAST USA) received notification that their games were in violation of the company’s 18+ game policy for one reason or another, and faced potential removal if they didn’t alter their already-censored-for-Steam content even further. This caused a firestorm with fans, and Steam later clarified their concerns, though it’s not known at present what future restrictions visual novel publishers might face on the platform. Wanting to help, JAST USA reached out to indie developers and offered them a place in our online store. We believe that visual novels and related story-centric games are awesome, and adult fans should always be able to access them, just like we can all view R-rated films or read books with steamy content. From May 25th through May 31st, JAST USA is having a huge Welcome Game Sale on JASTUSA.com, so all fans can buy great uncensored visual novels and support the licensors and creators. Visit the site now, and buy during the sale!
Our friends at JAST USA are having a welcome sale plus some newly added games from store partners. They have a great selection of English translated visual novels and now’s your chance to score a good deal with the sale. Click here to visit.