Nintendo of America is coming under fire from the usually most stalwart of supporters - the super hardcore fan - after announcing there are no plans to localize three major Japanese Wii RPGs for a release in North America.
Fans first started petitioning Nintendo when Nintendo of Europe confirmed that both Xenoblade Chronicles (known in the EU merely as Xenoblade) and The Last Story would both make it to European countries including the UK and France. Xenoblade will launch in Europe on September 2nd, while The Last Story will arrive at some point in 2012.
In response to the lack of information on a US release the fans launched what they're dramatically calling 'Operation Rainfall' - an attempt to make Nintendo sit up and notice that a bunch of American-based fans are indeed interested in playing the games. They've done this by driving the games to the top of the Amazon preorder charts for the US, bombarding Nintendo's channels on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and emailing their customer support channels about the games.
That's the story so far, but now they're planning to turn the rainfall into a downpour by taking the fight to retailers, asking supporters to encourage them to support the releases while also planning to canvass Nintendo's offices with snail mail post as well as continue their unrelenting campaign online.
These fans believe that the French and British releases of these games makes a US release easy pickings - the French translation can be used in the parts of Canada which require it, while the English translation for Britain would work just fine for the US, minor differences in spelling and grammar between the two reasons aside. Nintendo, though, don't seem to think it's that easy.
Responding directly to the fans on their Facebook page, Nintendo was blunt in their response. "Thank you for your enthusiasm. We promised an update, so here it is. We never say 'never,' but we can confirm that there are no plans to bing these three games to the Americas at this time. Thanks so much for your passion, and being such great fans!"
A polite, brisk response - but the fact the answer is a nice "thanks, but no thanks" has left the fans even more incensed than before. The operation will continue, the fans promise on Twitter.
What's the official RPG Site opinion on this? Of course, we want all three games to come to the West - but we're not entirely sure that Nintendo will ever budge on this once the decision has been made. With the Wii U on the horizon, Nintendo might not see the milage in these releases. Traditional Japanese RPGs usually perform well in mainland Europe, especially in countries like France - the US might not be seen as a lucrative market for these games.
In the past Nintendo has flat-out refused to localize highly sought after titles like Mother (Earthbound) 3 and even more recently didn't bring over the Wii Action-Fest Disaster: Day of Crisis despite the fact that it launched in Europe with fully localized English voice and was a much-needed core gaming title for the mostly casual Wii.
We're not sure if this Operation will work, but the fans behind it are admirable - and even if it is in vain, you have our support. Whatever happens, we'll bring you full European Reviews of Xenoblade and The Last Story when they launch so you can know if it was worth the effort or not.