Guess we can start here due to the fact that this is where it all started: http://segabits.com/blog/2015/08/18/segas-new-mobile-game-cranky-food-friends-gets-soft-launch/
Reasonable enough to say that people were pissed off when they saw this post. I clearly was too. Kneejerk reaction and all aside, I eventually came to my senses and start to think a bit on it.
If you want a side-by-side comparison, here you go:
— SEGA Nerds (@SEGANerds) August 19, 2015
Exerpts from my Twitter all aligned up in a single post:
Cranky Food Friends MAKES NO SENSE at all whatsoever. As an RPG it fails to have likeable characters. As a Mobile game, now come on, that’s pandering to an audience who you think you’ll bait. As is, the Mobile Industry is oversaturated with candy-based puzzle games. Look at the appstores, dumbasses. Make the game stand out, don’t follow the pack and you’ll probably get a lot of views with it.
Then this tweet made, which made me think a bit.
@SEGANerds With the 25th anniversary coming up soon, seeing PPQ reskinned seems to show that Sega has no hope for Puyo in the west.
— Eric B. Prater (@RecRoulette) August 19, 2015
In conjunction with this tweet:
@SEGANerds I actually think the art design of Cranky Food Friends is clever and good looking, just wish that it was on a different game.
— Eric B. Prater (@RecRoulette) August 19, 2015
I think there wouldn’t be as much offence if it weren’t for this. Honestly this wouldn’t have started a whole ruckus had it not been based off of Puyo Puyo Quest at all, and not a reskin like the situation states above.
Sure, fine, the artstyle would fit other games, but the reason why this is making offence is because it’s apparent. The offence is apparent because the designs are the same, and the designs don’t fit. I’d be honestly okay with this if the design was differenciated and not directly ported. Think it’s apparent already that there’s been more damage than good done on this, and that Sega shouldn’t have done so in the first place.
to be fair, the reason this piques more offence was because of PPQxSonic Runners as well, giving people more false hope than I initially thought. The event pointed to people and specifically said “Puyo Puyo Quest EXISTS.”
Again, this is not the way to restore faith in your franchises.
The design forefactor is way too close to associate to Puyo Quest to begin with. The reason why is because match4+ is just that., along with all of those quirks. That being said… I’m interested to know how skills/abillities (pasv/actv) will be changed in this forefront.
This isn’t 1992 where you can reskin something and get away with it. News travels fast on the internet now, and even niche franchises can get hurt buy this. Seeing the salt? Well, it shows that yes, Sega dipped their toes in the wrong pot. There’s quite a fan following and demand for a Western Puyo Quest front, and I see why they pulled this chain. Still, I wouldn’t copy/[paste] a concept that already works. Save the concept for something else.
This brings back all the salt of PSO2, and quite frankly, puts Sega’s promise (to those who wanted Puyo Puyo Quest) back in the bin. Not a pleasing day all over I would suppose. I think now people are a little more convinced that IPs can’t be just swept under the rug, even if there is a niche audience.
Overall, I think the Puyo IP was mishandled westside from the start, so it’s not that well-known and it caused a lot of pushing away from the franchise itself. Funnily enough, none of the Madou games pre-Compile Heart were localized. Compile Heart brought Sorcery Saga out, and it’s a mild reference to Pre-Compile Heart Era. Not entirely sure what business decisions were at the time, but times are different now and demand is bursting open. Coupled with the fact that there was poor marketing Fever era, and often likely the fact that those games were Overshadowed with references to MBM/Kirby’s Avalanche (part of the reason why I don’t like them).
It’s pretty reasonable that more thought could have gone out into planning the IP for the long run. Thinking about it even more, if the Madou era games themselves were brought out (the RPGs themselves) I think more leverage and coverage could have been brought over then. The spinoff would have been better success, and there’d be more games here.
Often, I think Sega mishandles their IPs a lot, and that’s not discounting the times they’ve done shitty work on other IPs once they found their one-trick pony (Even this one-trick pony has its fails at times).
I don’t even know if Compile held much faith in the West with their shooters, but Zanac and Musha were amazing! If the Madou series had as much Leverage as the Aleste series had, Probably more games, but not really that many. Digging in the history of the series is as important as knowing why they won’t bother to localize them.
Fact of the matter is that this pissed a lot of people off, and more thought could have gone out for this.
Niches can be popular too, (points at Persona and SMT) you just have to nurture them to be ripe. the Puyo IP isn’t close to ripe for those type of niche sales, and I get that. A company as desperate as Sega need something stable or new to push out more sales and could have handled this better.
This kind of port would have been better off had people not known anything about Puyo Puyo in and of itself, to be honest. The fact that the niche catches on and gets pissed off is pretty big news, as it can hurt faith a lot. Guess it is more of a kneejerk thing, but people not knowing better would play it anyway. but the fact of the matter is that there’s an expectation to uphold rather than ignorance.
That expectation was not met, leading to salt.
Also, the internet is a big gateway of information. Expect bandwagons to be built based off of this kind of fault. This wasn’t a wise idea to begin with.
This was also an interesting thought I retweeted:
@SEGANerds Thought about it. Puyo Puyo is an extremely simple game. Therefore, reskinning it takes away most of its identity.
— Altered Pocky X (@SegaTomCast) August 19, 2015
The Puyo Puyo franchise HAS suffered an identity crisis since westernization (and there’s nothing that can be said to deny it), especially with multiple reskins, faulty fingerpointing, bad marketing and multiple other reasons that hurt the franchise on the long run.
In a conversation with Bit (@Bit_bl on Twitter), we mentioned that this is a heavy PR damage since it provides a “1 step forward, 2 steps back” overview on this whole issue. This is especially so as the CEO of Sega Japan said a few months ago that they realize they lost fan trust and want to regain it.
They honestly did more harm than good to the Puyo Fandom and that got me thinking: Perhaps they’re either 1) Shy, 2) Embarrassed, or 3) Afraid of the Puyo Fandom because of how vocal they have become. They’ve become constantly vocal since Puyo Puyo Tetris (myself included) and Sega probably don’t exactly know what to do with us because we’re considered a “Niche” audience.
Remember: Niches can become popular if you give them chance to bud.
I think Sega are showing that they may be like their mascot (Sonic) at times: Scared of commitment because of risk factor. It’s showing a little too apparently with this reskin and quite frankly it hurts consumer confidence and trust in a sense.
Then it came to me that there may actually be one issue stopping this all (or perhaps slowing it down) after all: Collaboration events are shared events where two licenced parties share their intellectual properties. It may be hard to get these intellectual properties out of the way even if they have been settled, so perhaps it might be the case. Intellectual Property is a complex and very difficult thing to work around, and may be the reason why the reskin is happening all together.
Still, we could have a PSO1 case here where the IPs are stripped completely (or partially, infringing IPs only) for localization purposes (I do believe this is one of the reasons why PSO1 made it so late, another reason why PSO2 may have difficulty reaching westside nowadays) and replaced with worldwide localized collaboration events. It may not be as simple as that, but I’m no law person so I wouldn’t know.
So I think I have said everything that I have to say. I will admit I was angry at first, but now I understand that there may be many underlying factors to this kind of design choice.
Still, don’t think this is a fitting type of game for this type of reskin.