It’s interesting that it’s only been a month since the release of Katawa Shoujo and already the heat is starting to come off our weird little project.
Sure, there are die-hard fans (like those of you that are actually reading this, I imagine) that will continue to hang around the IRC channels and forums, slowly chatting with us and (more than likely) spinning off to create your own little groups with your own not-so-little projects. That’s freaking awesome.
But in terms of market penetration, unless something unexpected happens (for example a TV news article) we’re probably not going to get any more popular. Let me explain. With all of the hubbub that has been created by KS’s furious birth, you pretty much would have had to disconnect from the internet for a month to be in our “target audience” and not know about KS. Every segment of the internet that I have or do hang out in knows about KS. There’s also been persuasive user comments that have goaded on other users to try it out.
There might be some slow growth left in the 4chan/Something Awful/Reddit type spheres, but that is unlikely to make much difference. There might be a small number of superfans generated from that movement, but not in significant numbers, and certainly not enough to make a difference to the greater public.
Is this a bad thing? No, not really. It’s standard product life-cycle when you think about it. I know that the flame that KS has lit in so many people will never be completley extinguished, and that feels good.
I suppose my conundrum comes down to this: should I let KS go? As those who have followed the histroy of KS know, I have already let KS go once in a moment of heated overwork, and that kinda sucked. But now this world-wide following has made me want to write Hanako again, breathing new life into her. I’ve had ideas about her riding adventure rides with Hisao, giving birth to her first child (again with the self-referencing) and having to attend Hisao’s funeral. Of course, none of these have made it as far as my keys, so don’t get too excited.
Part of me wants to cling onto her forever, like the daughter that she once was to me. But another part makes me want to explore new areas; to get out of the “Teen Drama Funk” that is Katawa Shoujo. Don’t get me wrong; I think we did well with KS, but I don’t think I want to do it all over again. I’ll admit that I didn’t really have a “romance” based adolecence (“Explosive based” might be more appropriate) so I don’t really have a lot to draw upon for another teen romance.
So where to now? Honestly, I’m obsessed with things like Numbers Stations and Cold War Radar stations. I’m sure there’s a million ideas in there but I have yet to plumb those depths.
I’m back on the road next week; sitting alone in a hotel room for hours on end. That might fire off some good ones.
So yeah, stay tuned. KS isn’t going to change, and I think we are now in the “Long Tail” of it’s popularity. That’s not a bad thing; so please don’t see it that way. For those of you that would like to follow me on the journey, please stick around. I think that this will be a lot of fun. And I’m pretty sure that I still have a little bit of Hanako left in me ;p