Naturally, anime that features English dubs sell better than anime that are sub-only, and companies like Bandai, Sentai, and Media Blasters have to choose which ones will get them or not. But would a pre-order program to determine whether a title gets a dub or not be a bad idea? For example, a company could team up with a specific retailer, such as TRSI, RACS, or AnimeNation, and put up a pre-order with no set date. The idea would be that the pre-order would be set under a price point as if it was going be a dual-audio release, but in order for the release to actually get a dub the pre-order count has to reach a certain point within a certain amount of time. If pre-orders get to that number, or at least are encouraging enough, then the company can start looking into giving the title a dub and the pre-orders can become available at other places. If the pre-order numbers aren't looking good enough for a dub then they announce that the title will be released sub-only (complete with a price drop that's more in line with other sub-only price points), the pre-orders become available at other places, and that any who don't want the title anymore can cancel their order. Either way the title does get released, and all this program does is help determine if the title gets a dual-audio release or a sub-only release. Many fans of dubs want to show their support for more dubbed anime, and this lets them speak their mind with their wallets, at least potentially.
Not only that, but in the chance that the pre-orders don't hit their target, you're basically asking these companies to prepare to commit to packaging and releasing a completely separate product. It's not like you can make a sub-only DVD and then just slide the dub track in at the last minute. If sub-only is the way to go, that is a completely different product for a completely different audience than a dual-audio disc with a dub. Because that also means changing the packaging, changing the marketing, and everything else that's fundamentally important when it come to releasing a physical product.
And see, that's just not in the DNA of these companies like Media Blasters or Sentai or Bandai. When they license a show or a movie for DVD, they know full well, from the get-go, whether or not they're going to bother with a dub. Because if they are, then that means they need to get going full-stop before the ink is dry in getting all their ducks in a row, their dubbing ducks if you will, in order to hit their target release date. Putting a dub together also means that they're going to need to spend a bit more on marketing, promotional materials, convention appearances, and other things that are pivotal to a dubbed anime's success. All of these things are just sort of, well... impossible to do unless there is a one-hundred percent commitment to providing a dub from the get-go. 2b1af7f3a8