Voilà la version UK pour nos amis anglophones. Traduction par Lyv, relecture par Cormano. Merci à vous !Stunfest 2014: A Glance at the Shoot'Em Up Market with Masaki Sakari
Just got back from Stunfest – tired, but my eyes filled with stars and my heart still burning from the fiery passion, from meeting countless cool people over a game, a bar-room table or a hotel hall. I won't inflict you with a full account of our journey. Suffice to say, those three days can be summed up as follows: Meet and Celebrate.
Even more important than the festival and its heat, I will remember the interview we had with Sakari-san (Bullet Soul Infinite Burst producer), John (event manager for Japan) and Olisan. What should have only been a small farewell talk evolved into an insightful discussion about shoot'em up games in Japan, and how producers such as him do their best so that the genre stays alive. And indeed, a matter of life and death it is.
It would be hard to write down everything that was said, but the gist of it is that small developers struggle to get big companies involved in shoot'em up games. It also means that the choice of Microsoft's console as a platform wasn't made out of thin air. Sakari-san stressed how hard it is for small structures such as his to get in touch with Sony, since the whole shoot'em up genre is deader than a doornail in their eyes. One could think that a service such as NESiCA, alongside with the consoles' online modes, could change the deal by targeting both the arcade and console markets at the same time, without having to cope with the high costs and barriers that come with PCB development. However, even market leaders such as Taito and Sega don't see it as a valuable opportunity, and they choose to focus on dedicated cabinets instead – much more attractive and profitable to their opinion, even more so with games that bait and hook players through loyalty benefits, customization options or just progress saves.
So, what's the point of setting up a Wasshoi in Europe given that the genre is so poorly regarded? For people who were there last year, the first edition was something absolutely incredible and most welcome, 10 years after the website's beginnings. But more than the hype created, the main thing was that the event's attendees took part in bringing back a glimmer of light that ran through land and sea to reach the office of a few high-level executives. Who? I couldn't tell, but Sakari-san let us know that the event was a test, even a message. The partnership with shoot'em up actors isn't a coincidence. Some could see in it just some Japanese marketing method, but they would be mistaken, since the goal is to promote the shmup genre in the West once again, and show to the big companies that it still attracts players abroad, so that they would be tempted to insert some more coin.
So yes, we did enjoy every moment of this wonderful event that was the 10th Stunfest. However, it's your turn to play now, and by "you", I don't mean (only) the experienced shmup enthusiast, I mean you, viewer, player, retrogamer or just reader. By supporting the latest shoot'em up productions, you give the whole genre some credit back. And if this doesn't happen, the fire will die out, the heat will cool off. I might overstate the point, but Sakari-san talked about opening up and reaching foreign countries. A bit like the 1978 Invaders, it seems.
Once again, all our thanks to Sakari-san, John, Hattori, SOF-WTN, SPS, to Treasure and Mages for the partnership, to the James Game Center crew (we couldn't have done it without you), to all the shmup enthusiasts that came from all over France, to our fellow foreign friends from shmups.system11 (who were even more passionate than I'd have thought), to the 3Hit Combo association, to all the volunteers and staff at Stunfest. And thanks to you, you who dropped by at the stand, you to whom we all may have transmitted our passion.By LereboursShare this post