In response to last week’s debacle surrounding anime visual novels, MangaGamer and Sekai Project are partnering with GOG to bring their visual novel catalog to a DRM-free storefront. The takedowns, which threatened everything from HuniePop to Kindred Spirits on the Roof, saw widespread outcry and criticism from developers and community figures alike. Games like Mutiny!! slashed their price by 90%, in the hopes of driving sales before getting unceremoniously kicked off Steam. MangaGamer and Sekai Project, two of the major publishers of visual novels have moved to protect their sales by moving to GOG.
MangaGamer is bringing the first three Higurashi When They Cry games, as well as the stellar *eden to GOG for starters, with nine more games on the way. The aforementioned Kindred Spirits on the Roof, as well as A Kiss for the Petals ~Maidens of Michael~ will be making their way to GOG sometime in the future. Maidens of Michael is notable because it was taken down from Steam earlier this year, without an explanation or warning. The visual novels on GOG will still be censored, meaning you’ll have to get the uncensored patches from external sources. Head Translator John Pickett at MangaGamer had this to say on their new partnership with GOG:
Steam has now proven that it’s growing unreliable for small and independent developers, so we are very grateful to have the next biggest retailer in the PC market welcoming Visual Novels with open arms and an eye for quality. In the long run we hope to transition our full Steam catalog over to GOG, and we hope other developers will consider reaching out to them too. We want fans everywhere to always have a means of enjoy these great titles.
For what it’s worth, Steam did say that the takedown messages sent to developers of anime visual novels were in error and that they are pulling back and “re-evaluating” the affected titles. HuniePotDev is now selling HuniePop and HunieCam Studio on Fakku and JAST’s store, and many other developers are also re-evaluating the status of their games on Steam.
That’s not all, however. Publisher Sekai Project has joined MangaGamer in migrating some of their titles to GOG. The first two fault milestone episodes, as well as the Sundrider series, have arrived on GOG as well, and Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius is still free on GOG. The Narcissu duology has been on the community wishlist since 2013, and we may well see it arrive on GOG sometime in the future. There was no information available about Sekai Project’s future plans for their own catalog on GOG, but with the looming threat of a purge of anime visual novels hanging over their heads, it would be unsurprising to see Sekai Project and MangaGamer move much of their library over.
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