The Aftermath of Recent Criticism

On January 29, I wrote a piece on the troubles of World End Economica’s Kickstarter project. I posted it on Reddit as well, which I think produced a nice round of discussions all over the visual novel community about Sekai Project and the Kickstarter-oriented business models in general. Sekai Project responded with a belated production update, addressing most of the concerns that I’ve outlined. All in all, it was a good week.

After taking a look at their translation tracker today, it seems the pace of translating World End Economica had settled at 3-4% per week. If no further mishaps occur, based on this projection we can expect episode 3 to reach 100% in about five months. While progress is being made, I’m not too happy about the fact that the company still hasn’t updated the project’s schedule. In November they were optimistic enough to aim for a four-month turnaround, going so far as to say they had arranged for backup translators. I’m still not sure whether to attribute their statement to overconfidence or to the ever growing demand to address their backers. Regardless, I appreciated that they put it out, which is what’s missing this time.

The previously stated deadline is only a month away and obviously unachievable at the current pace. Right now Sekai Project should reevaluate and set new deadlines for both releasing episode 3 and shipping physical goods. Not doing so would show a lack of resolve to finish the project in reasonable time, which is even more dangerous now that the jig is up. With the way this project has been handled, backers have been sort of conditioned to expect further delays. The continual lowering of standards has become the norm and there’s nothing in Sekai Project’s business model that would trigger the opposite.

I’m personally not comfortable to settle on the idea that the project will be finished someday. The longer it takes the bigger the possibility of failure. I have to say I’m a little bit disturbed by seeing other backers being so passive over the whole thing. I suppose having the option for a full refund only reinforces the indifference. Last time I wrote about the possible reasons why Sekai Project can’t be arsed to put more back into finishing their Kickstarter projects. It’s a systemic problem that needs to be solved by them and it’s not going to be solved any time soon if backers keep saying to them – either explicitly or implicitly – to take their sweet time.

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