Weekly NewsDrop: Rising Cost Cause Unity Devs Uprising + Last Week's Biggest VTuber News

Issue # 51 for September 19, 2023—Also: What's the story behind this Rosemi birthday artwork shown at the TSX?

We've got one more week before the Weekly NewsDrop reaches its first-year anniversary. Right now, we're already behind schedule, so let's have a summary of what has happened last week:

Engadget reports that the Unity game engine is set to start charging developers a runtime fee each time their game is installed, starting 2024.

  • This led to a huge backlash, prompting them to listen to their audience before making any rash decisions. They got death threats which forced them to close their offices temporarily.
  • Unity is the same engine that the VTubeStudio mobile app is using, and when asked for a comment during the heat of the matter, developer Denchi replied with patience as things are still unclear.
  • NecroNews covered this concisely, and we recommend you watch their latest video.

Tonari Animation, which creates animations for VTubers, is under hot water following a hiring announcement for a full-time production assistant.

  • The position requires Japanese language proficiency (JLPT N2) and willingness to live in Japan.
  • Starting pay is set around 150,000 to 250,000 yen per month, a range lower than industry standards.
  • An excerpt from CEO Jarrett Martin: "The people who don't understand the anime industry and trashed our job posting inadvertently brought it to the attention of many people who are really excited about the possibility of starting a production career in anime at Tonari Animation." (Full post on X)

GLYTCH Energy has welcomed VTRainbow's Marina to their fold, but not her detractors. The VTuber had to (again) defend herself against accusations thrown against her. There's a lot going on which cannot be covered by this single blurb.

LOLA Loading, the VTuber who ran long-running interactive streams on Twitch, is no more.

  • Taiyaki Studios announces the conclusion of the project, and they won't be able to host a graduation stream.
  • Her main YouTube and Spotify will remain, but her Discord and other accounts will be taken down.
  • Her last post on X was August 29 (Japan time).

NIJISANJI parent ANYCOLOR has posted its latest financial results (PDF) for Financial Year 2024.4 Q1.

  • ANYCOLOR notes that ChroNoiR, ROF-MAO and VOLTACTION are going well.
  • Results for NIJISANJI EN slightly dropped due to the absence of large merch initiatives in that period, as well as preference of Japanese fans of the branch moving back to Japan.

Shabel Tonya is now independent of its agency LIT Media, the latter posted on X.

  • This comes after the agency has decided to transfer its unit LUVDIA to another agency, 3Y.
  • LIT Media's CEO is going through a lawsuit due to personal problems. Tonya has a summary of what's happened at the agency leading to the said decision.

More news bits below, but first—

Latest on NewsDrop

  • Opinion: "For now, one thing is certain: VTuber waves will come and go, but the industry—including the innovation and experiences being built—are not going away soon."
  • On the latest Behind The Model—Elara: "The bigger and higher you get up in the ladder, I think that you have more responsibility [over] what you're putting out into the world… I think now more than ever, I am a little bit more considerate about how my content is perceived by everybody."

Here is the latest stock market update for select VTuber companies listed in the Tokyo Stock Exchange as of September 15, 2023.

In Other News

  • Anime Festival Asia 2023 has announced that the hololive Meet program on the night of November 25 will feature the second leg of hololive Indonesia's viv:ID CRUISE Asia Tour, as well as miComet and CHADCAST talk segments.
  • Tokyo Game Show 2023 starts this week—and its VR counterpart has named Shu Yamino, Kagami Hayato and Omega Sisters as ambassadors.
  • Mika Melatika's 60-hour subathon supporting child welfare in Indonesia has raised $41,233.
  • COVER Corp CEO Motoaki Tanigo spoke to VROZ: "Being a VTuber is an occupation, that needs to be sustained for long periods of time. So don’t rush on things you want to do or express. Look further, and carefully plan out things clearly so that your final goal can be achieved."
  • Kamitsubaki Studio's KAF collaborated with electronic project MONDO GROSSO for My Voice, with a 3D-animated music video showing KAF's human look. The song is also out now on all major streaming platforms. The studio has also revealed its upcoming game titles, as well as a website for the English audience,
  • Mori Calliope, in an interview with Anime Corner: "[...] VTubers don’t need mainstream approval though, a lot of us are really content to make music for our audiences and let that be it. The VTubing scene isn’t mainstream, but it IS big and it’s enough for a lot of us. I think in Japan though, there will be a complete merge of flesh and blood human and VTubers making it in the mainstream someday, it’ll just take a couple of years."
  • Analysts at Gamesight told NewsDrop via email that "VTubers are now outpacing traditional streamers in terms of growth," as they account for 5.7% of all views across Twitch and YouTube—despite representing 0.4% of total active channels from said platforms.
  • Kyo Kaneko 2.0 is so cool, it's crazy. Merryweather produced the lore video.
Among all the birthday artwork for Rosemi Lovelock shown at TSX in Times Square, the illustration by Yan got my attention.

I didn't get this from RoseCord (shoutout to them for producing this project, they showed a lot there)—I got the tip from media colleague Red.

Red referred me to a post from Yan's dad, who proudly showed it to his colleagues in the media. We sure do live in a small world.

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