I've always been one that when you tell me, "no," I'm just going to come back at you that much harder. In the end, I want to make sure I never stopped at nothing to achieve what I want or let something slip by because it seemed futile. And that's exactly how I feel about this Nintendo of America situation. For those of you who don't know, there has been some serious campaigning going on to get some JRPGs released on the Wii. The targets are three big-name titles: Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower. Fans are coming together for what they call "Operation Rainfall," and the support from the community has been high. While it's a struggle as we hope to see these titles localized, I love times like these, because as gamers, we unite and ignite our passion all in the love of our hobby. As RPG fans, this has been especially important, as fewer Japanese RPGs have found their way to our home consoles. So we've been starved - very starved - we're longing to play these games, and Nintendo is underestimating us. They decided yesterday to make an announcement that there are no current plans to bring any of these titles stateside, despite the overwhelming response from passionate fans. They broke hearts, dashed hopes, and left many devastated. I could see the hurt all over my twitter feed, and so I tweeted at Nintendo that I understood not bringing all three, but why not try one to test the waters? This would make sense as Xenoblade's already translated due to a release in Europe.
And this is what is really bothersome about the situation, fans have expressed there is a market for these games. The Wii has just been dying more and more as each month goes by without any solid releases. Core Wii owners are starting to feel the sting, and this is especially an important time for Nintendo to step up with Wii U coming. Fans want to know they can depend on NoA to bring over the titles they want, and what we have here is Nintendo's unwilliness to throw their fans even one bone - to make a statement that they care. The worst part is the lack of an explanation; all Nintendo was willing to do was throw in a tweet about it, not stating what is at stake. Nintendo has the rights to these games, but they could easily pass them off to a third party publisher. The problem? This is Nintendo we're talking about here, they aren't exactly known to do this. As consumers, though, we do play a vital role in cementing what there is a market for, and I really don't want Nintendo's resistance to ever make fans feel like they aren't heard. Nintendo's acknowledgement of the Operation Rainfall campaign is a great step for them for public relations.
As an RPG lover, I'm here to tell you all don't stop fighting for the genre. I've been watching the Japanese portion of the market wither the past couple of years, and that's unfortunate. The problem is the economy - no publisher wants to take a chance unless the market is there. So what are we to do? Keep proving that market exists and have hope about it. We're going to eventually come into a new generation of consoles, and it's best we start paving the way for the genre to flourish again. Let this localization fiasco inspire you, and don't ever let the love die. Even in the end, if we can't convince Nintendo, we've at least voiced there's a market for these games. I'm sure other publishers are taking notice, and I can only hope this brings them more confidence about the JRPG. I don't think this battle will be in vain, I'm extremely optimistic that it's sent a strong message. Consider this blog me endorsing Operation Rainfall's efforts. If anything, this whole thing has reminded me why I fell in love with the genre in the first place, it's how much love these games can truly foster within us all.
"When on the brink of complete discouragement, success is discerning that... the line between failure and success is so fine that often a single extra effort is all that is needed to bring victory out of defeat." - Elbert Green Hubbard
Operation Rainfall's Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/OpRainfall Blog: http://oprainfall.blogspot.com/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/op.rainfall