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AX 2006: Interview w/ Peter Payne, Head of Peach Princess

Anime Expo 2006

Media Conventions
Genre Anime Convention
Publisher N/A
Release Date July 1-4, 2006
Age Rating ALL
Website Anime Expo

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Urban Vision's Azumi Shrine

Hirameki's Booth at AX 2006

Hirameki's Shinichi Shimura

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July 04, 2006

by: James Jursudakul

INTERVIEW: New title announcement and the status of G-Collections and the bishoujo-game market.

AMN: How did you come to take over the G-Collections label? Before I believe CD-Bros. was just running it by themselves. Did they offer you guys or did they want to shut it down or something?

Peter Payne: Japan in general has had ups and downs and in some ways, these games have been better in the past, especially the adult ones. I guess they had some financial problems and part of that was related to–actually G-Collections was not in the red. G-Collections as an American enterprise was fine. The issue was the continuing problem with the Japanese side of things and I guess they some layoffs and some things like that and they basically restructured everything and came to us and said “would you like to take over our operations for us,” and so we basically did that. I guess they did the restructuring and now they’re operating still as a company and their websites are still up and everything.

AMN: Would it be possible to get game titles from companies that have already gone out of business. Is that a possibility?

Peter Payne: It depends. You know we’ll always be open to that, that problem is we need support to port a game. We need a programmer there, he needs to be able to work with us. If they have no employees there and the company’s gone, like when JAST went out of business, that’s something you can’t really work with. But if the staff is still available to work on a contract basis or something like then we can probably do things like that.

AMN: So the Angel Smile titles are not out of the question?

Peter Payne: Possibly, yes.

AMN: Will the JAST-USA label now specialize only in yaoi titles?

Peter Payne: No, JAST-USA has always been our main sort distribution, sort of our face. JAST-USA is the overall company we’re marketing the games under. But we obviously started the yaoi line. We’re working with a company called Langmaor. We’ve done two games. We’re going to try to bring out two more sometime next year cause there has been a lot of good response by the fans.

AMN: Oh, so there has been a good response to the yaoi titles?

Peter Payne: Yeah, definitely. People don’t know that the games exist of course. The bishoujo games people know and they come and say “oh hey what’s new?” But with the yaoi titles, a lot of times we have to explain to the people. They’re asking something else related to yaoi, so we say “by the way we’ve got this yaoi game out” and they say “oh you do?!?” and then they’re really happy and they buy the game. So hopefully, they’ll support us in the future too. We do want to continue to grow the yaoi line and of course we’re never going to forsake the regular bishoujo line. Also the fans are cuter, with the cute 18-year-old girls and stuff like that.

AMN: I’m kind of surprised by that.

Peter Payne: Yeah, it’s funny. Yaoi has always been about cute-edgy-straight-girls who are very hip and very smart and they like yaoi. And it’s not really about gay men. Today we havn’t sold a single copy to a man. It’s all girls. It’s really weird. It’s kind of a big enigma.

AMN: Yeah, I’ve noticed the girls running around the con with the big yaoi paddles. Has Enzai been a popular title at the J-List booth?

The first yaoi title, Enzai -Falsely Accused-, is perhaps the second most popular JAST-USA title of 2006 thus far.

Peter Payne: Yeah, we sold a lot. It has been maybe the second most popular title this year. But yeah, 80% or 90% is girls who are buying it and then there are a few guys who are into yaoi. It’s kind of funny. I can’t really understand it myself.

AMN: What are the sales target for yaoi games? And what is it for bishoujo games?

Peter Payne: Anytime we always want to make sure that we can sell 3,000 units because that’s what we’re working with, with the Japanese companies. And if we can’t for some reason, we have to ask ourselves why and what we need to change in the future to make a difference but that’s like our break even point and we always want to of course go beyond that and hopefully with the better titles we will.

AMN: Of all the titles you’ve released, which is your personal favorite?

Peter Payne: You know I stand there (at the booth) and people come and say “what can you recommend?” and I always, you know Tokimeki Check-In! is just a really good game. X-Change, X-Change 2, I always recommend. It’s just one of the really outstanding titles. Sagara Family I like a lot cause I really like that art in that one. Just depends on what my mood is at the time. You’ve got the games where the graphics are the main thing and where the story is the main thing so it’s a big mix of things. X-Change 3 is also really good. I really like the story elements in there.

Peach Princess' latest title, X-Change 3, is one that the owner of the bishoujo game companies himself enjoys most.

AMN: So, are you more of a story person or a graphics person?

Peter Payne: Personally, probably more story oriented. Because that’s what you really remember. The graphics, of course they’re beautiful because they’re putting so much energy into the graphics to make them pretty but the story is what you really like. You know that one girl’s ending, like “yes all right I got her ending” and you remember that years later and you go back to play it again. That’s what’s kind of fun.

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