If there's one thing that the Mother 3 debacle should have taught the video gaming community, it's that trying to convince Nintendo of America to localize exceptionally Japanese titles for a North American release doesn't end so well. Now, five years after EarthBound fans felt the sting of disappointment, would-be fans of three Japanese Wii RPG titles — Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower — are trying to convince Nintendo's American arm into releasing those games here in the US of A. The fans organized a letter-writing and pre-ordering campaign dubbed Operation Rainfall in an attempt to show Nintendo that the company is leaving money on the table by not offering these games to the American market. Chris Kohler at Wired sums up the effort:
Nintendo continues to make grand overtures to the hard-core gaming fans in its home country. Most notably, over the past year it has released two role-playing games called Xenoblade and The Last Story, created by some of Japan’s most famous RPG designers. The games are exactly the sort of thing that Nintendo’s system lacks stateside: full-scale adventures with solid gameplay, high-quality graphics and music, interesting stories.
So it came as something of a shock when Nintendo did not take the opportunity at E3 to announce U.S. releases for these two games. Over the years, Nintendo of America has often declined to release many of its more hard-core Japanese games, but these two titles seem to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for many fans. A group of them has started a social-media letter-writing campaign called Operation Rainfall with a stated mission “to make Nintendo localize notable games, such as Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower.”
While it is still possible Nintendo plans to release these games in the United States and simply has not announced them yet, given the company’s track record there is good reason to be skeptical bordering on pessimistic. Nintendo, like every other publisher on the planet, has every right and duty to decline to release certain games. What makes Nintendo unique is that it refuses to let other publishers release the games, either. What good does it do anyone to sit on content — especially when there’s barely anything else on your platform?
If you guessed that Nintendo of America bowed to the will of the fans and announced intentions to release the three titles here, then you haven't been part of this industry for very long. As my pal Pete Davison at GamePro reports, while the games are going to show up in other places around the world including Europe, America is downright out of luck.