We are now done keeping things secret, and that means we have a lot to tell you so be patient and read carefully.
First, a summary of how the official deal has worked out for us. I'm going to leave out a lot of details and emotions to try and keep this reasonable.
We originally asked Mangagamer to talk to age about licensing MuvLuv and MuvLuv Alternative. During my chats with Mangagamer, they also decided they wanted to talk to Liarsoft about licensing Inganock and Sharnoth. Roughly six months passed without any concrete information, during which time our image editor did not work on the MLA images because we had no way of knowing if his work would have been used by age in the final product or not. Near the end of this period, we finished translating MLA, and unfortunately a complete patch of it was leaked. Even closer to the end of it, we declared secrecy (partly to avoid drama as we said before, but also to prevent people from guessing there was a Liarsoft deal in the works when we didn't release a patch for Sharnoth).
About a month after that, we were told that ML/MLA could not be licensed after all, and age had instead offered MG the option of licensing Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (at this time we still had not heard any news regarding the proposed deal with Liarsoft). Needless to say, the combination of this news along with the disappointing results of many other deals in the community left us pessimistic about licensing in general. So after much deliberation we as a group agreed to give up on the deal once we were ready to release a proper MLA patch (with all the images translated). We are finally ready to do that, and more than enough time has passed that we do not feel the need to sit on our completed Sharnoth translation any longer.
The upshot of this for our work as follows:
1) We have finally released a complete MuvLuv Alternative (Project #3) patch. As usual, download it here (though we've tweaked the page a bit). All the images we could translate have now been translated, there are automatically opening text files for the two voice-only speeches (and one voice-only line during a video), and since this is a real patch it should crash far less often than the leak did. Special thanks to [RoXaS] for editing the insanely large number of images (450 in total), including several very messy ones.
2) We have released a complete Shikkoku no Sharnoth (Project #4) patch. Download it here too. We also plan to translate the Sharnoth webnovel at some point.
3) We have already begun unofficially translating A Profile (Project #5). Yes we're doing the remake. As usual, watch our progress here (we've tweaked this page too).
4) After that we will unofficially translate Forest (Project #6).
5) We will never again keep secret what VN we are currently translating, or the existence of an official deal for a VN we're translating. We now know from experience that this is more stress for everyone involved than it's worth.
6) What we will work on after A Profile and Forest has not yet been decided, but we might return to some form of community interaction as a possible means of selection.
The upshot regarding future licensing deals is not so simple of course, since it all depends on what other companies do.
We are still very willing to do official translations in the future. But now we will require some conditions, namely: the company/ies will have to approach us instead of vice versa, we won't start to translate until we're given script files, and we won't tolerate a complete translation being sat on indefinitely. For more detail, see our new official statement on VN licensing deals.
Since this needs explicit confirmation: yes, if Mangagamer can get us scripts for Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, we will translate that. And if Mangagamer or anyone else secures a deal with Liarsoft, we will gladly work on whichever good game(s) they are most interested in releasing.
P.S. We expect someone to question what we mean by "told that ML/MLA could not be licensed after all", especially since one or two things MG has said since then explicitly contradict this (prompting a few group facepalms for us). So here is an actual quote from my logs: "age is unable to give us the rights to MuvLuv".
P.P.S. On an unrelated note, the group has inexplicably shrunk to only two editors and two QCers, so new members are more welcome than ever. Just make sure you actually know English and aren't a total flake.
Edit: We got about 7 volunteers the evening this was posted, and I think any more than 3 new guys at a time would be a bit tricky to manage, so I won't be taking anyone else for the time being. Thanks for offering though. The next time we need more I'll probably message the other 4 guys.
Edit: Make that 8 volunteers and 5 other guys. I missed a few blog comments.
P.P.P.S.: Read jp302's comment below. It's pretty significant.