This is a bit of a tale, so listen closely. Cy Ross was browsing through the Synthesizer Festa catalog when he caught a glimpse of this box art. The Hatsune MikuMiku blog (who translated our Vism Award article, which is totally cool, and we’re eternally grateful to them) got a hold of Cy’s article, and the whole thing has sort of blown up. This would normally be no big deal–after all, Zero-G just finished off a fanart contest–but SynthFesta ended on the 28th, 2 days (and several time zones) before the contest ended.
What does all this mean? We discuss below.
First, a bit about the picture. If I may put my journalistic integrity aside for just a moment, I must say that Sonika is now a smoking hot babe, which is exponentially better than the original offering. We have Mario Wibisono to thank for that. This young Indonesian has a portfolio and a DeviantArt page littered with similar and equally-attractive women. I have no doubt that Mr. Wibisono is the originator of the picture.
Now comes the big question why: Why was this made? If this was a contest entry, then we may have an interesting predicament. It’s a little unfair to call a winner before the deadline. It’s possible that this is just a photo-manipulation of Mr. Wibisono’s entry into a box form (or his own box design) and the contest winner is/was still undetermined. Again, that’s a little unfair.
There’s an alternative explanation, which my money’s on (which mean it’s completely wrong): it’s a commissioned artwork. It’s quite plausible and would be absolutely kosher within the bounds of the New Look Contest.
Nowhere within that page does it state that the winner of the contest gets to be on the box. Rule 7 is a standard-issue waiver making sure that Zero-G isn’t liable if someone isn’t happy with the results or how the company treats the submission. That is not unique for competitions of this sort. Granted, it does say “promotional purposes,” but to assume that immediately means the box art is, at best, wishful thinking. The only thing you are guaranteed is a copy of Vocaloid Software, and even that can be subject to change.
I’m sure some of you are wondering “Let’s say you’re right, and Sonika’s New Look was already pre-determined. What was the point of the contest?” One word: promotion. This contest, like the comic strip, the Twitter account, and anything else Sonika-related, is meant to promote the software in the hopes that you buy it. Since Zero-G already planned to change up the box art, they could have easily whipped this contest up to coincide with it while staying within Sonika’s character. Fun AND profit.
So, in my humble opinion, this is at worst Much Ado About Little, but we don’t have all the facts yet (and probably never will). Until things play out, let’s all relax and soak in the hotness that is Sonika’s current New Look. 🙂