Let's not get into the whole "Digital download only release" merit, right? This topic isn't about it, and even if it was, it'd end up being locked because of flames. I'll ask Houk to close this thread, but meanwhile there's an interesting reading for you (and every single DD hater out there) from XSEED's employee Tom, the same one responsible for translating the entire script of Corpse Party:
I'll tell you that I, myself, am not at all a fan of download-only releases. I wish everything would get a physical release, and I really hate it when companies announce that a game is getting released digital-only. But the fact of the matter is, most gamers really are OK with digital releases (a lot of gamers even prefer it!), and physical releases cost a LOT of money to make. If we released this game on UMD, maybe we'd get another... say, 1000 sales? Pure guess, and maybe even a high one. So OK, we sold more copies, great... but the amount of money we'd have to spend to MAKE those copies -- between UMD production, manual production, box production, distribution, shelf space at retailers (optional but generally recommended), etc. -- would FAR outweigh the money we'd make from those extra 1000 sales... and probably another 5000 on top of that, to boot!
In the end, we'd lose money, pure and simple. See, while we absolutely love this game, we know full well that it appeals only to a very small niche. As much as we'd like to believe it'll sell hundreds of thousands of copies and make us millionaires, and as much as it arguably DESERVES to sell that much, the chances of it happening are pretty darned infinitesimal... whereas the chances of us losing SO MUCH MONEY on it due to production costs that we end up in great, great debt are, sadly, pretty darned high.
So in the end, it really does come down to one question: Is it worth releasing Corpse Party at all, knowing that it'll be digital distribution only? And the answer we came up with was yes. The game is amazing, and deserves to be played by English-speakers. And as much as we wish we could give you the UMD version you so desire... it just isn't possible. I'm really sorry.
And just another tidbit when I asked him about choosing the right price of DD games:
Shizuka: If we price the digital version of a game lower than the physical version, then brick-and-mortar retailers will start to take offense -- after all, we just basically told a competitor that they could sell the game for a cheaper price! And if that happens, the brick-and-mortar retailers may retaliate by not ordering as many copies of our future titles.
It's just one of those things that makes the business side of video games all the more annoying. And is one of the additional headaches we can avoid having to deal with when we release a game digital-only. Note how cheap Wizardry is, for example -- if we released a physical version of it, I can guarantee you it wouldn't have been that cheap, as we'd have to price both versions in accordance with the cost of producing disc copies of the game.
You can't assume the game's going to be $35 or $40 when it's DD-only, although NISA could do that if they really want to.