Daigo Umehara's Event Schedule 2015

- Canada Cup's Master Series [January 9-11]
- 5th Niconico Shotenkaigi [January 18]
- Yonpahi radio show [January 23]
- 6th Niconico Shotenkaigi [January 25]
- Taipei Game Show [Jan 31]
- Tokaigi 2015 [Feb 1]

Friday, March 14, 2014


We wanted to write about this months ago but we didn't, because GODSGARDEN contributed so much to the Japan's fighting game community in the past. But last night was the last straw, when they streamed Koihime behind paywall.

GG announced since October 2012 that they'd offer paid subscription for some special contents on their PPV channel. It's begun October last year however. But they haven't offered anything new since then. The PPV channel has casual streaming, offers mirror of their own free stream with a different angle, occasional field trip–all free in the past. It charges 525 yen monthly. The stream isn't even daily or has any schedule (as good as it gets). (This cost also adds up to 525 yen a month for Niconico's premium membership, which is needed to even watch GG's free streams on Niconico due to its 2,000 viewers limit. It'll kick free users to make room for paid users.)

They only had BlazBlue behind the paywall at first, after getting permission from the publisher. And now they added Koihime Musou to the list.

Although there's Koihime Musou boom, but it looks like the game has sold around 5,000 copies or less. Putting it behind the paywall isn't how you support it.

GODSGARDEN these days isn't the same organization as we know from 2009-2011. They're not the hype machine anymore, especially after TOPANGA and TOPANGA League was formed. They try hard to stay relevant by not relying on SF4 series and build hype on anything else they can catch. But eventually, they lost their way, and publicity and money becomes more important than community. It's no longer "what people want to watch" but "what I can sell."

This's their crimes in recent years.
  • Partnered with a small video-on-demand site to hold a pay-per-view SF4/Tekken tournament called GODSGARDEN Gate. Ticket was too expensive (2,000 yen). There weren't many stars. The live stream was down in the grand final. Buyers had to watch the archive. (June 30, 2013)
  • Partnered with various companies to promote (force) things such as League of Legends and World of Tanks to the community.
  • Make an unnecessary long BlazBlue tournaments that last 8 months (Dec - July). Paid subscription (GG's PPV channel, 525/mo) required to watch the qualifiers. Pay again 1,500 yen to watch all the finals. Only the grand finals in July is offline.
  • Girl Gamers Club is mainly for publicity and their own good. One time, it's just amateur models playing smartphone game on the stream. Possible net cafe cross-promotion.

While GODSGARDEN still do offline fighting game events to keep the scene alive, this aggressive monetization makes us question their motivation everytime.

Anyway, one good news is GG isn't working on Evo Japan, as far as we know.

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