Wii-exclusive survival-horror title Fatal Frame IV: Mask Of The Lunar Eclipse has been out in Japan since late July. Co-developed by Tecmo (Ninja Gaiden, Dead Or Alive) and Grasshopper Manufacture (Killer7, Contact, No More Heroes) and published by Nintendo, many assumed a worldwide release was inevitable. An official statement from Tecmo, however, confirms that Fatal Frame will not be coming to North America. The statement reads as follows:
Nintendo holds the publishing rights to 'Fatal Frame Wii,' which was developed by Tecmo LTD. and Grasshopper Manufacture and released in Japan on July 31, 2008. Nintendo of America has since then decided not to publish the title in North America – consequently, the title will not be released in this territory. As the owner of the IP, Tecmo feels very unfortunate that the fans of the series in North America will not have a chance to play the game, but respects the final decision made by Nintendo of America.
European gamers should remain hopeful, though, as a full-page advertisement for*Fatal Frame IV* has been spotted in a recent French Nintendo mag:
The caption translates to "They Will Haunt Your Wii Next Month", suggesting a May release. Nintendo of Europe released a statement claiming the ad was "a mistake" and that there were "no plans" for a European release, but this is the same company that denied Pokémon Platinum existed until six weeks from release, so take from that what you will.
Fatal Frame IV is the second high-profile game in recent months to be denied a release by Nintendo of America, following Disaster: Day Of Crisis which was released late last year in Japan, Europe and Oceania but left unreleased in North America due to lower-than-expected sales. It's not often I get to say this as a gamer, but I'm glad I live in Australia.