Opening Time: Recettear Dated’n'Priced

By Alec Meer on August 13th, 2010 at 12:30 pm.

Cast your mind back. Back! Back to the distant, murky, forgotten times of July 19-22nd 2010. Life was so much different then. We could have been anything that we wanted to be.

We were also talking excitedly about Recettear, the Japanese indie game that had you playing the owner of a cheerfully stereotypical RPG shop. All we had to go on was a demo. Now, we have a place in time in sight for the full version. Ho!

Translators Carpe Fulgur have been in touch to reveal that, rather frustratingly, they’ve had problems finding a distributor. To any distributors who decided not to distribute it: you should distribute it, you big bloody sillies. 10,000 demo downloads for a niche indie title from Japan! How can anyone sniff at that?

Fortunately, Stardock have provided a comfortable berth inside their Impulse platform. Recettear, funny, lovely, compulsive thing that it is, will be available around about September 10th, for $20, £13 or 15 Euro-coins. Subject to QA stuff, apparently. More details here.

Also, if you haven’t tried it yet, worth pointing out they released an updated version of the demo a little while back, which predominantly sorts out some tech issues.

Review copy soon, hopefully. Sadly not in time to help while away the travel-time of my upcoming trip to Cologne for GDC and Gamescom, but never mind. I’ll just have to read a book, or acknowledge the existence of other human beings.

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45 Comments »

  1. Dominic White says:

    Of all the distributors, the most consistently inconsistent seems to be Steam.

    Case in point – they’re publishing Eversion, an hour-long game developed for a quick-dev contest, and never intended for retail release anyway.

    However, Aquaria, the IGF-winning epic, which sold tons of copies before it even sought a traditional distributor, had a hell of a time getting on Steam. Apparently it took Valve MONTHS to even reply to queries.

    And now they’re completely uninterested in Recettear, which has gotten blogged about on all the major sites, and which everyone – even the grumpiest of angry internet folk – loves. What the hell, Valve?

    Oi, RPS! Yes, you four point five! You know people at Valve! Poke them with sticks and ask them why the hell they’re not publishing this game!

    • user@example.com says:

      It’s a slightly remade version of Eversion designed for commercial release, not the original, which is still free.

      But yeah, Valve should pick this up. :(

    • malkav11 says:

      And they recently refused Din’s Curse. But they’ll publish shitty “family” games all day. I don’t know.

    • Dominic White says:

      It sounds like there’s some serious investigative journalism to be done on the subject. If Valve are turning away critically acclaimed indies in favour of D-list shovelware, that’s rather worrying.

    • Sarlix says:

      They also cold shouldered soon-to-be-released Star Ruler :-(

    • Dr. Evanzan says:

      @Dominic White et al,

      I always wondered if problems getting on Steam were just related to a glacial response time compared to other distributers rather than outright refusals. However, I also note MadTinkerer’s speculations below. It would be really interesting to see an article delving a bit deeper into the process of getting onto Steam (and Impulse, etc.) beyond the basic information on the Steamworks FAQ (etc.) and the problems some games are having.

      Perhaps a job for intrepid investigative (read: expendable) journo Quinns?

    • PleasingFungus says:

      My understanding, from talking with indie devs who have tried to deal with Steam, is that Valve have severe organizational issues – they deal with everything via email, and they lose emails all the time.

      Valve Time is not unrelated.

  2. Vague-rant says:

    I was kind of hoping for a way to purchase it directly from them. Admittedly, thats probably easier said than done.

    • fallingmagpie says:

      Maybe just rock up to their offices with fifteen quid and a flash drive and ask them to copy it on for you? Might work. No DRM, too!

  3. Alexander Norris says:

    They win Internet cookies for being able to do the basic maths involved in converting a dollar price into pounds and euros. I wish I didn’t have to point this out, but it’s a skill that so few publishers seem to have.

  4. Aerozol says:

    Purchasing straight from the dev is almost the only time I shell out for a new game.
    Giving 50% – 100% to a middleman doesn’t really appeal to me

    • user@example.com says:

      According to the SA thread, if you buy it through Impulse they get ~70% of the price, but Impulse have something they’ll set up so you can buy it directly through their site (using Impulse to handle the purchase) and they’ll get 85%. It’s still not 100%, but a 15% cut doesn’t seem too bad.

      Is giving 15-30% to a middleman OK?

      Also, £13 is an amazing price. Capitalism, ho!

    • Aerozol says:

      I still believe 30% is a bit much… Mainly in online retail.
      I understand that there’s a lot of fees involved in running a business, but there needs to be certain payoff. In a store that involves having a place I can go to hold people directly accountable for what they sell me, and customer service, convenience etc, which definitely is worth it in a lot of cases.
      I also understand that online distributors can do a lot in the way of marketing and gaining exposure for games (steam for example, on a huge scale), but I don’t value that as highly as the work put into developing the game itself.
      15% is very reasonable though!

  5. Heliocentric says:

    $20 in not equalling £20 shocker.

    I never did get around to playing the demo but the idea is very interesting.

  6. Hodge says:

    Ah, July 2010. I was just a young kid with a crazy dream.

  7. Chizu says:

    It’s great that they have somewhere to release.
    I do still wish/hope for a steam release.
    Still, I’ll pick this up on release where ever its being sold from.

  8. Dao Jones says:

    Really loved the demo, but wow am I terrible at the dungeon part! Maybe I will download the new demo and hopefully fare better this time. Also dig how the developers are keeping the Japanese voice acting in. As much as I love Steven Blum, I don’t need to hear him in everything. :)

    • user@example.com says:

      If they sell enough copies, they’ll do an entirely optional English dub that you can use optionally and which will not remove or replace the existing Japanese voice acting which will still be in the game and which will not be removed. This will hopefully get them even more sales, so they can start translating other games (from the same developers! in the same setting! without Recette :( )

      (some people… overreact the even the vaguest hint of a forced dub.)

  9. Trip Skyway says:

    Great stuff.

  10. Brumisator says:

    Strange, playing the demo, I was sure this was a french-developed game.

  11. HYPERPOWERi says:

    This makes me happy.

  12. CakeAddict says:

    Shame, I can´t get anything from Impulse so I won´t be getting this.
    Hopefully there will be other distributors in the near future because I really liked the demo.

  13. MadTinkerer says:

    I’ve been corresponding with a few Indies and paying attention to interviews and such and I think I’ve figured out the number one reason why certain indie games are rejected by Valve when based purely on their merits it makes no sense to do so:

    It’s an interface issue. The Spirit Engine, for example, cannot be run in fullscreen and therefore fitting the Steam interface (when you shift+tab) into the game is either impossible or too much effort. Also, pretty much every game that I know has been rejected by Valve has had a lower resolution than 640 x 480.

    I could be completely off here, but it seems to be that a certain minimum resolution and/or the ability to play nice with the Steam interface are two strict requirements. (With certain retro and deliberately retro style games being the exception.) So we’ll see.

    In any case, I finally have a reason to buy a non-Stardock game on Impulse!

    • MadTinkerer says:

      BTW, no one’s told me this, it’s just speculation based on what I’ve read.

    • Monolith says:

      @MadTinkerer: No, that’s not enough to explain why some games got rejected. Cliffski’s Democracy 2 and Kudos 2 got rejected but Gratuitous Space Battle was accepted. Immortal Defense by RPG Creations is another example.

    • Dominic White says:

      At this point, it sounds like Valves decisions on whether to publish indie stuff are handled by this guy.

      http://www.indra.com/8ball/front.html

      Maybe they’re not being completely arbitrary, but at the same time, they published Eversion but show no interest in Recettear, which sounds pretty damn arbitrary to me.

  14. linger says:

    I prefer Impulse to Steam anyways. Steam has more DRM.

  15. TCM says:

    SUCH A LONG WAIT.

    I AM IN A FROTH.

  16. Vinraith says:

    Wait, are they not selling it directly as well? Why on Earth not?

    • user@example.com says:

      Because Impulse are going to do at least some advertising and promotion for them, and putting it on a big-name portal (Steam isn’t big-name, it’s the equivalent of God’s Final Message to His Creation from H2G2) will get them enough extra sales to make it worth the cut – they’ll be selling it from their website (still via Impulse) for a 15% cut, as opposed to the 30% cut for sales through the Impulse site (although that might not be available on launch day).

      Also, hosting. This company really is just a couple of guys, and having someone else handle the file servers might not be necessary for their second game, but it makes their lives a lot easier first time out.

  17. jaheira says:

    Don’t acknowledge the existence of other human beings Alec. It only encourages them.

  18. ZephyrSB says:

    Hey, this is quite fun. That, and filling me with the sudden urge to get back to Chantelise (same dev, different publisher). Can’t wait to put my money down for it. Capitalism ho!

  19. Znea says:

    I can’t speak for the others, but I’ve not been able to download anything through Impulse for quite some time. Goes through the download eating my bandwidth and then pops up a friendly little message along the lines of
    “The files on your end don’t match up with what you should have, deleting them now. Try again.”
    Have done a couple of nights of trouble shooting with their support but it seems my connection just isn’t up to snuff in terms of reliability. Haven’t had any problem with any other download services.

  20. Iviv says:

    What about Paypal?

  21. RvLeshrac says:

    Agreed with those not buying from Impulse. I’ll buy Stardock stuff through Impulse, but for everything else, Impulse is a massive pain in the ass.

    What a shame. I *really* want to buy it.

  22. iLag says:

    … aaaaaand it’s on GamersGate! Rejoice, you people who don’t want to give your money to those Impulse guys. Yup, that includes me, so I’ll be preordering and then rejoicing. A lot.

  23. Dominic White says:

    Just in case this doesn’t get a front-page update:

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/70400/

    Those magnificent bastards at Carpe Fulgur have finally managed to get it up on Steam. Preorder now for a 10% discount, and spread the word to your friends.

    It’s also on Gamersgate and Impulse

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