Muv-Luv was an outrageous success when it hit Kickstarter in September 2015. Earning over $1 million, it showed that visual novel fans are an absolute force to be reckoned with when you toss an immensely popular property at them. As successful as it was, there were some glaring oddities about the project. From my critical perspective, they offered up a little too much physical goodies for their tier prices. One example of this was an apparently high quality figure added as a gift for everyone who backed at $150 or more.
As it turned out, even after raising so much money over the initial goal, gestures such as these (as well as a global userbase) didn’t come cheap. As the project leads noted, “shipping costs ended up being almost twice what we anticipated.” Even so, there was a fair bit of change that was left over for them to do something with. Although the team would have loved to translate Schwarzesmarken – Kouketsu no Monshou, they did not have any room in the budget to squeeze it in. Regardless, the game is currently on Steam Greenlight and still looking for support. Here’s hoping they can eventually get to this release too.
Honestly, it seems like a good thing that they’re holding off on Schwarzesmarken right now. Why? For reference, they’re currently working on the following four titles right now: Muv-Luv (Extra + Unlimited), Muv-Luv (Alternative), Muv-Luv photonflowers*, Muv-Luv photonmelodies. That is a lot of work as is, and adding more (while undoubtedly an exciting proposition) would likely overload the team. Luckily they do realize this fact and are “being careful about taking on new projects.” In more positive news, the first batch of physical gift bags have already been sent off to lucky backers out there.
The less exciting news is that the beta, once promised for March, obviously didn’t meet its launch date. As of now the beta keys for Muv-Luv Extra are planned for “early April.” Why is this taking additional time? The team is re-translating the existing fan translation in order to improve it with additional nuance. The folks are also working at getting Steam implementation all together as the games did not originally arrive on Steam in Japan. Here’s hoping that beta is right around the corner, as many of us are darn hungry to take it for a spin already.
Finally comes the matter of release dates. Unlike many projects on Kickstarter, Muv-Luv actually had distinct estimated delivery dates for its different tiers. The tier which promised a Steam copy of the trilogy was set for March 2016 – well, that certainly didn’t happen, as we’ve yet to see any of the titles on Steam just yet. So, what’s the current status there? Muv-Luv Extra and Muv-Luv Alternative are expected to both launch this summer. If that proves accurate, it won’t be such a terrible delay, but still worth noting. Also, it will probably impact the other estimated release windows. For example, the DVD copies Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative were targeted for September 2016, but that shall become increasingly unlikely with delays.
Are you looking forward to playing Muv-Luv? What are your opinions on how the team have kept backers in the loop up to this point?