View Full Version : Hirameki - RIP
01-05-2008, 06:51 PM
Well, I do not think the news would surprise anyone, but Hirameki International posted a short message on their website announcing they would no longer publish games as of January 2, 2008. Given how long it has been since their website was updated, it was not a surprise.
So better snatch up those copies of Hourglass of Summer and Ever17 while you still can.
01-05-2008, 09:15 PM
The only thing that surprised me is how long they lasted. Going with the Animeplay system was a bit of a bad idea - DVDs really aren't that conducive to gaming. Cutting out H scenes is also not exactly going to win you more customers in most cases. Only a very select few visual novels can manage to sell to a western audience without the sex intact, and they're generally too expensive to license. I'll give them kudos for trying though. I wanted them to succeed, but I didn't have any realistic expectations that they would.
01-05-2008, 09:59 PM
After reading this, I really am starting to regret not buying some of these games when I was at Otakon last year. :(
01-05-2008, 11:41 PM
I thought Hirameki mostly or entirely licensed games that didn't have H content to begin with. And I thought their games were CD-ROMs and for computers. At the very least, my copy of Ever 17 is. Was that one of the exceptions rather than the rule?
There goes any hope for Tsukihime, KimiKiss, or Fate/Stay Night :susel:
01-06-2008, 03:34 PM
There goes any hope for Tsukihime, KimiKiss, or Fate/Stay Night :susel:
I do not think there was ever any chance of Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night coming out in the US, let alone from Hirameki. The licensing fee, compared to the expected returns, were too high. And given their success in Japan, I doubt Type-Moon was ever interested in the possibility of seeing them released in the US.
What disappoints me is that we will have no chance of seeing something like Myself: Yourself come out in the US. Given that the same writer for the Infinity series (Ever17, Remember11, and Never7, which I wish was released.) wrote the story, losing the opportunity is a real pity.
01-06-2008, 03:54 PM
The only thing that surprised me is how long they lasted. Going with the Animeplay system was a bit of a bad idea - DVDs really aren't that conducive to gaming.
They did it, in at least a couple cases, because there was NO PC versions available to port, or willing to port. Hourglass of Summer would have been a perfect game it if was on PC, but it was the initial all-aged version was released on PS2. The later PC version had H-scenes in it.
Likewise, Exodus Guilty was initially released on the Dreamcast. Going through the DVD mode, which was a big wet blanket on really good games because of the godawful interfaces, was in many ways the only way you could ever bring the games to the US. Even if they wanted to port most of their games to PC, it would not have worked because Hirameki did not have the resources to do so. The pity is that they only started releasing the PC titles very late in the day.
(The porting problem alone would explain why most of their games were for DVD players.)
Cutting out H scenes is also not exactly going to win you more customers in most cases. Only a very select few visual novels can manage to sell to a western audience without the sex intact, and they're generally too expensive to license.
Not all the games Hirameki ported were adult titles in the beginning. Hourglass of Summer, Ever17, Ai Yori Aoshi and IIRC Exodus Guilty definitely were not.
And not all the games they released were censored by them. I believe most, though not all, of the titles that started with H-scenes in them that were released by Hirameki was done by licensing the all-ages version.
Aside from those issues, there was the problem of Hirameki not having the internal resources to do any major reengineering of the games. This was why the KID bankruptcy hurt them so much, since they needed the original Japanese game to be released on the PC so Hirameki could release it on the PC in the US.
I'll give them kudos for trying though. I wanted them to succeed, but I didn't have any realistic expectations that they would.
They might have survived longer if:
1) The Musicland bankruptcy in the US had not happened. From what I remember reading and talking with their marketing chief, the Musicland stores were a major source of their sales. When that hit, they lost a major revenue source without any replacement.
2) The KID bankruptcy in Japan had not happened. It appears that KID was going to be a major source of titles for Hirameki, not the least of which they were a source of non-adult, PC titles. Again, from my readings and conversations, Hirameki was close to signing some more titles from KID when the latter went out of business. That meant Hirameki was left scrambling for titles to license at a time when their existing revenue flow in the US was drying up.
That being said, they did surprisingly well. Not great, but well enough that I am sad to see them go.
01-06-2008, 04:03 PM
Interesingly enough, I had first heard of Hirameki when I saw their booth at Otakon 2006. I got Exodus Guilty Parts 1 & 2 from them (I should really continue that game).
Then at Otakon 2007, I got Yo-Jin-Bo, which from what I played was VERY funny and enjoyable.
Then a little after that Otakon, my local Best Buy actually got one copy of Exodus Guilty Part 2 (which surprised the hell out of me), and now with the company gone, I wonder if that copy will ever get sold, and if it is, how will the profit go for it?
Well they did release Fate as a PS2 game without the ero scenes. Still I don't know how Sony would take it stateside by putting something like that out.
01-08-2008, 06:05 PM
The link to the ANN news item (http://fast.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-01-06/hirameki-no-longer-publishing-interactive-visual-novels).
01-09-2008, 11:44 AM
these arent games... they are visual novels. sony usa would never ever release this in the US. no market for readers in this age of 1st person shooters and sports games.
heck they wont even release games in the US with dating simulations like Sakura Wars...
only hirameki title i own is AYA, thats it. Hirameki didnt release any other title I would of liked, I dont go for all ages version of games/novels. Also DVD Player based games suck, I get frustrated enough as is trying to navigate the menu when looking at extras on a DVD.
Good point. I'm thinking more on the line of stuff like that and things like Discipline. Hirameki did those "choose your own adventure DVD things". Still they were the only company bringing things over so it's a bummer.
01-09-2008, 05:58 PM
Loplop posted this on the (site NSFW, but the direct link is PG) AnimeNation Hentai forum (http://www.animenation.net/forums/showthread.php?t=209229):
Actually Hirameki shut up shop. Rumor is that Peter Payne (J-List) has bought the rights to the titles that they owned.
What his source was, I don't know, and this was officially denied last August (http://forums.visualnews.net/showthread.php?t=10440).
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