Enterbrain, the creator of RPG Maker for the PlayStation, has announced that it is considering bringing its updated RPG designing program for the PC to the United States. While the original RPG Maker 2000 for PC never made it to North America, at least in the traditional sense, customers on the eastern side of the Pacific have an opportunity to make their desires known.
RPG Maker 2000 allowed users to create homemade RPGs right from their computer. It sported a text-based front-view battle system, which often motivated amateur game designers to create their own custom systems through complex commands that taxed the program's capabilites. Unlike RPG Maker for the PlayStation, text could be quickly entered via the keyboard, instead of a controller-guided cursor, and custom graphics, music, and sound effects could be imported into the program with ease. Unfortunately, this PC version was not released on U.S. shores.
Nevertheless, a Japanese copy was obtained by a Russian hacker, who then translated the program into English and distributed it illegally on the Internet. The program was downloaded by thousands of people throughout North America and Europe, spawning hundreds of sites devoted to graphics, tutorials, and other various resources.
In response to this blatant piracy, Enterbrain initially announced that it would not release its updated version of RPG Maker 2000 to North America and beyond. This new version, called RPG Maker 2003, has an improved side-view battle system, much like the custom systems created by RPG Maker 2000 users, as well as an ATB gauge. Furthermore, each character can have up to six battle commands, and the user can choose from three different battle window display types. The battle engine also allows different battle advantages for characters and enemies alike, specifically back attacks and side attacks.
Recently, however, Enterbrain sent out a survey to various RPG Maker 2000 fan sites, asking them to post it for their readers. If the non-Japanese public shows enough interest, the company will reconsider the English version of RPG Maker 2003.
The survey is as follows:
1. Which country do you live in?
2. How old are you?
3. How much would you be prepared to pay for products like these?
4. Do you have a credit card?
5. Would you prefer to purchase such products as a software package or as a download? Tell us the best price for a PACKAGE SALE (CD-box version) and the best price for DOWNLOADING SALE (you pay and download your own install package).
6. What kind of connection do you have? (e.g., analog, ISDN, DSL, CATV, T1, T3)
Anyone who wishes to take part in the survey should fill it out and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Foreign Customer's RPGMaker2000 / 2003 Questionnaire" in the subject line.
RPG Maker 2003 for PC is set to be released in Japan before the end of the year with a price tag of 9,800 yen.