Never underestimate the fanbase of the visual novel. In just 44 hours, the English release of World End Economica Episodes 2 and 3 was successfully Kickstarter, surpassing its $22,000 goal to reach $40,576 in crowdfunding with a plentiful 22 days left to go.
For those who are not familiar with the title, World End Economica is a three-part visual novel by Isuna Hasekura, author of the award winning light novel Spice and Wolf. Set in a far future where humans have successfully colonized the moon, World End Economica follows a young boy named Kawaura Yoshiharu, or Haru, the son of one of the first two moon colonists. Stuck being a working class kid, Haru decides that he has had enough and sets off on a journey to pursue his exciting lifelong dream in…stock trading. Along the way, he encounters characters such as Lisa, a friendly church owner, Hagana, an introverted math genius, and Chris, a cash-strapped girl learning math from Hagana.
The World End Economica series was written and completed in 2013 by Doujin group Spicy Tails, which includes Hasekura, in 2013, with the first episode being released in 2011. However, because all of their works are in Japanese and for Windows only, fans of the series and Hasekura’s work who don’t read Japanese or run a Windows PC were left in the dark. This is where Sekai Project stepped in. A Los Angeles based startup, Sekai Project successfully translated and ported the first World End Economica episode to Linux and OS X last month. They are now looking to do the same for the other two chapters of the novel, and having achieved their minimum funding goals, are looking to reach several stretch goals they have set for themselves.
Sekai Project have already reached two of their stretch goals, namely an Android port and 1080p HD upgrade for all three episodes. Should funding reach $60,000, a 124-page WEE guidebook will be localized by Spicy Tails. This guidebook will contain artwork, sketches, and short stories set between each of the three episodes. Upon reaching $100,000 in funding, the novel will be ported to the Unity engine, allowing it to be enjoyed on any platform.
With funding successfully achieved for these episodes, Sekai Project is looking to finish work on them in time for a May 2015 release.