Programmed Publicity

A major point of contention amongst the non-eA-market BEMANI community is a unofficial implementations of eAMUSEMENT for machines outside of Konami’s markets.

On one hand, it’s pretty much a blatant breach of copyright; Konami did not intend for their services to be duplicated and their games pirated. But on the other hand, machines on these unofficial networks are often in public. It’s not like you need to take a 5km elevator ride down and go through ten blast doors each with authorization measures to play on such machines; anyone can walk into, say, Sunnyvale Golfland or such and play on these cabinets that are not running official eA, and if they have an eA pass they can see the address for the network’s web interface (which replaces the official eA URL). On top of that, Chrono Seeker is translated into English, and anyone with a pass will see all that delicious translated text. That’s an unofficial fan effort, not an official localization.

Tau himself has stated that Konami doesn’t really care what goes on with BEMANI cabs outside of their markets, because it doesn’t affect them. It’s when, for example, Spada Omnimix screenshots or obvious home setups of arcade IIDX games make their way around Japanese and Korean communities that it becomes a major issue.

Finally, as my friend says: Piracy is a service issue. Why are such networks implemented in the first place? Because we want a way to experience these various online-only goodies without having to travel to Japan or other countries with eAMUSEMENT. If BEMANI games were released for the international market and eAMUSEMENT was an international service–two things that I highly doubt will ever happen–this entire discussion would not exist in the first place.

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2 thoughts on “Programmed Publicity

  1. The only issue with that proposed solution is, unfortuantely, that Konami does not seem to foster any major interest to expand overseas due to it being much of a hassle with little return, what with localization, song licensing, maintenance, etc etc. So we as fans really are in some sort of a stalemate where our options would be going all the way to countries that do have the license just to play, or pirate it, fully knowing the possible repercussions.

    It becomes frustrating when we are stuck in a position like this, but what more can we possibly do….

    • Which is why I say I doubt it will ever happen. Outside of Eastern Asia, arcades are a dying breed, seen only as overpriced novelties for parents to have their kids play in and for people who just had a few drinks and a hearty dinner at, say, Dave & Buster’s, to dump $20 on for kicks. And with arcade operators being too lazy to learn how to fix the cabs or hire staff that can fix said cabs, it’s clear that in the West, there’s just no love for the arcade scene anymore. Attempts to run dedicated arcades like GameCenter and SouthTown Arcade are often met with cult classic enthusiasm and a variety of events, only to shut down about 2-3 years later due to not being able to keep up with operating costs, because arcades that aren’t attached to family fun centers (such as Chuck-E-Cheese’s and Golfland) or entertainment complexes (such as GameWorks and Dave & Buster’s) can only pull in so much revenue. Is it any wonder why Western arcades besides Round1 will never get BEMANI games, or many other games like Maximum Tune 4 and 5 for that matter?

      It’s all the more reason I want to save up and travel to Japan, where I can enjoy the finest arcade gaming experience the world has to offer. Granted, that’s not the only reason I should travel to Japan, but it’s one that’s been lingering on my mind for years. But, traveling to Japan or anywhere else across the Pacific for that matter is expensive, as my family and I should know, having made many visits to the Philippines.

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