Author Topic: The Touhou Project and its future  (Read 1247 times)

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The Touhou Project and its future
« on: January 08, 2024, 10:26:12 PM »
I recently saw a Touhou iceberg that claimed "Touhou 20 will be the last game". Of course, the chance that this is actually true is very unlikely but it got me thinking: For how long with we be getting new official content?
First, let's get this out of the way. I strongly believe that even if Zun stops making games, music and manga, the community can continue to supply new content indefinitely. From games and manga to original characters and stories, I think that this community can create anything to keep itself going.

But let's get back to the original question. If I remember correctly, Zun has stated in an interview that he's going to work on Touhou for as long as he feels like, which is good. I'd say that Touhou still has a lot of potential to evolve even more and further explore the lore of already existing characters while introduting new ones. But let's say you had to guess for how long will we be getting new official content from Zun, what would your answer be? I personally think that it's going to be for around 8 to 10 years, but that's just a speculation based on nothing but random thoughts I've had.

Now let's talk about the official content itself. New games are releasing just fine, thought Touhou 19 sparked a lot of controversy as you might know. A new chapter of Foul Detective Satori is being released every month, same with Lotus Eaters. The only complaint I have is that we haven't gotten a new "proper" CD in over 7 years since the latest one only has 3 tracks, but I don't mind it that much. So, for how long do you think we're going to be getting new content? How do you think the Touhou Project is changing and how much do think these changes are going to affect its longevity?

williewillus

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Re: The Touhou Project and its future
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2024, 01:50:30 AM »
We'll be getting official content for as long as ZUN lives and keeps creating, because he's inextricably coupled with Touhou. It's the only thing he can make, by his own admission.

I believe it was regarding the music CD's, where originally the story was separate from the mainline series, but eventually the two converged into the same world and setting, and ZUN admitted that anything he did would always be viewed as Touhou.

Regarding whether the community can keep itself going after ZUN stops, that remains to be seen. Lots of niche series die off once their leaders retire, but doujin/creative culture in Touhou is a bit stronger than those series, so I'm optimistic as well.

Now, the way ZUN creates Touhou content might change in the future. He mentioned during Touhou 15 that his eyes get tired really easily now, and you can kind of tell from the pattern design that his STG ability is declining, which is just naturally bound to happen given his age. We might see him pivot more to focus on the manga or on music CD's, or scale back the size of the games. I'd love to see a more in-depth and well-designed 5-stage shmup like the PC98 days than forcing a 6-stage game.

Re: The Touhou Project and its future
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2024, 02:15:22 PM »
My personal theory is that ZUN has already died, sometime during creation of TH16, and the new stuff is made and written by an impostor, judging by its quality. This isn't even that farfetched a thought, given that, for example, Berserk is still going on without Kentaro Miura. So yeah, we can keep getting "official" stuff for quite a while.

Re: The Touhou Project and its future
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2024, 04:16:44 PM »
I'm confident that Touhou Project can continue once ZUN stops working on it, but I do feel like ZUN will stop making games sooner rather than later. What I'm unsure about though is if official Touhou games will stop once ZUN stops making them, since there is still room for sub-games like the ones by Twilight Frontier. Perhaps ZUN will end up becoming more like a director, but I'm unsure of ZUN would enjoy such a role.

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Re: The Touhou Project and its future
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2024, 04:40:19 PM »
I feel like Touhou isn't ever gonna go away any time soon, not in Japan at least, judging from its immense popularity throughout the 21 years EoSD got popular. If Touhou were to stop seeing games and a decline in doujin works (if ever), I could see Touhou becoming much more obscure in the U.S.A and other countries than it currently is, but that's a little bit far-fetched seeing as doujin works of Touhou have usually leaked into internet culture one way or the other. I don't think ZUN will stop creating games but I do think the quality of them might decline because of his age and how big the project has gotten in Japan alone.

Although I love Touhou as much as anyone here, I would enjoy ZUN creating new things or stories not entirely relating to Touhou. Dolls in Pseudo Paradise's story is a great example of how creative ZUN can be with practically anything. I understand people often try to attribute DiPP's story to Touhou in some way because he had already made 6 entries in the series by the time it was released, and it used remixes he did of Touhou specific songs, but musical artists can use music for one thing, and reuse the same music for another thing if it fits. Seeing different stories from ZUN would be a really interesting look into and could introduce many Touhou fans to more of ZUN's work that isn't directly Touhou.

Re: The Touhou Project and its future
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2024, 05:51:52 PM »
My personal theory is that ZUN has already died, sometime during creation of TH16, and the new stuff is made and written by an impostor, judging by its quality. This isn't even that farfetched a thought, given that, for example, Berserk is still going on without Kentaro Miura. So yeah, we can keep getting "official" stuff for quite a while.
I think this rabbit hole goes deeper than we think it does. I suspect that this '''''"""ZUN""""" has been tricking us for far longer. This evil ZUN is the reason Mima hasn't appeared since 16 years. Evil ZUN was the one who created Lunarians. Evil ZUN made the 3 track Music CD, Evil ZUN is the one who still hasn't made a Remilia spin-off, instead focusing on the much more inferior Flandre. Darn you Evil ZUN!!!!!!



I think that there's the possibility that Touhou could be picked up by a bigger studio after ZUN retires. Touhou Lost Word has shown that Touhou could expand into a more mainstream environment when it comes to game development. As for ZUN's retirement, I think that as long as there's enough beer in the world to pump through his veins there will be more games.

I think that if Touhou was made in the 1600's it would probably have died out due to the lack of a means to propagate it but with how internet culture can preserve works and connect people from miles aways, I think that as long there's people who care about Touhou it will live on. Not to mention that liking anime stuff is much more socially acceptable nowadays, more people are getting into it. I'd still get beat up if I talk about Touhou in a bar, but I hope that can change soon enough  :cirnotan:
« Last Edit: January 10, 2024, 07:43:26 PM by degradingwindow »

williewillus

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Re: The Touhou Project and its future
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2024, 05:28:40 AM »
I think that there's the possibility that Touhou could be picked up by a bigger studio after ZUN retires.

Please no. ZUN's STG's are janky, but they're his and they all have their own charm. Some other studio doing it wouldn't be the same (not to mention the fact that they wouldn't make STG's because it's a dead genre). I could see ZUN loosening the fanwork policy even more once he retires, but I don't think anyone besides him will ever get to publish a game under the TSA umbrella.

Re: The Touhou Project and its future
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2024, 02:06:10 PM »
Please no. ZUN's STG's are janky, but they're his and they all have their own charm. Some other studio doing it wouldn't be the same (not to mention the fact that they wouldn't make STG's because it's a dead genre). I could see ZUN loosening the fanwork policy even more once he retires, but I don't think anyone besides him will ever get to publish a game under the TSA umbrella.

I don't think he would publish anything under the TSA name but I do think that he could endorse other Touhou related-esque projects like he did with Seihou. He won't  be part of the active development instead just contributing a bit every once in a while.

STGs aren't THAT dead, they're still standing.......
on crutches.
But they're still standing either way.

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Re: The Touhou Project and its future
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2024, 04:20:59 PM »
I have to imagine it'd be a MOTHER situation where the official series is finished, but its spirit would live on in fangames. Every now and then some random group of nerds will decide they're making "the true successor," and a small demographic will listen and care, but culturally Touhou will stop being relevant once ZUN stops making them the same way MOTHER stopped at MOTHER 3. That, or ZUN retires Akira Toriyama-style and entrusts the series to an apprentice/fan creator/etc. who he deems suitable to fill his role. Either way, I can't imagine him selling the official rights to a single company to continue in his stead. It's entirely against the ethos of how these games are produced and shared.