News Article

Operation Rainfall Responds to Nintendo's "Never Say Never"

Posted by James Newton

No happy dance at OpRa HQ

Yesterday Nintendo announced it has no plans to bring three sought-after Wii games to North AmericaLast Story, Xenoblade Chronicles and Pandora's Tower. One of the groups responsible for raising awareness of these games, Operation Rainfall, has responded to the disappointing news.

While Nintendo's choice not to localise the games for America might sound like a death knell for the project, the OpRa team remains committed to furthering the cause and will continue to send letters, register pre-orders and exert pressure on Nintendo.

Here's the group's official response:


Despite numerous overtures from fans, Nintendo of America (NOA) announced today they still have no plans to release three sought after Japan-only games in the West.

"We promised an update, so here it is," NOA announced on its official Facebook page. "We never say 'never,' but we can confirm that there are no plans to bring these three games (Xenoblade aka Monado, The Last Story, Pandora's Tower) to the Americas at this time."

With this update, Nintendo still has not announced release dates for any first-party 2011 games for the "hardcore" crowd, a demographic they sought to capture at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The WiiU console - successor to the Wii - was their main focus at the conference, in lieu of titles for their current home console. The WiiU may arrive next year, but also has no release date or games with release dates.

Fans of Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower had taken their impassioned pleas to Nintendo directly through a social media campaign known as Operation Rainfall (who also managed to push Xenoblade to the top of Amazon's pre-order charts days earlier). Quickly going viral, the effort spread across the internet to various message boards and gaming web sites. However, Nintendo has thus far refused to provide a more in-depth response on Rainfall's efforts to those sites.

"Nintendo has not responded to IGN's requests for comments from, or a brief interview with, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime," said IGN Nintendo Editor Rich George.

Nintendo's response - or lack thereof - did not deter Rainfall supporters, who still have a letter-writing campaign scheduled for July. However, the final line of the company's response - "Thanks so much for your passion, and for being such great fans." - did not sit well with many online posters.

“The bottom line is if the games are not released, how are we supposed to take their E3 comments about a 'commitment to the core gamer' seriously?"

What's your take on this situation?


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User Comments (76)



MasterGraveheart said:

Nintendo better get ready for a war with the fans. Rightfully so. Aside from Zelda and Kirby... what else is coming out this year for Wii?



Traxx said:

I bet they consider at least one of those three games to be released in US-marketing regions. Just stay cool, as we did with Chrono Trigger, FF3, etc...



J-Forest-Esq said:

0.o Judging by the poncy logo, they clearly mean business. The only way they're going to win is via attrition/abrasion/hydraulic action, that sort of thing. While they're at it, do you think they could ask for Radiant Historia for Europe?



BalrogtheMaster said:

This is so much BS from Nintendo. As of today, I am never buying another Nintendo game for the rest of my life. They lost one fan today, me...



Marvelousmoo said:

Nintendo's statement had "No" written all over it. They're just trying to get this whole thing to stop, because they really don't want to deal with it. They have no intention of releasing the games or listening to their fans. Cool.
I am joyed that Operation Rainfall will continue. It's not over, Nintendo.



Azooooz said:

Honestly, I don't like these kind of games mainly RPG. That's why I don't even care if it will be released or not. ( That's my opinion)

Besides, Nintendo staff are busy with other things, they said " this time" so it will happen sooner or later.



komicturtle said:

Fortune Street... I'm still playing a handful of games on Wii and there are games such as Muramasa, NMH1&2 and a few other games I had missed out on. And there's the 3DS games coming out. Really, I'm pretty much busy on the game front. Oh, Guild Wars 2 also, I have to get.



CapedGodot said:

What is the big deal with these games? I know that I can't be the only one who thinks that these games look unimportant.



FonistofCruxis said:

@Jango-forest You could just import Radiant historia since the DS is reigon free.
@13 I'm surprised that so many of those games did so much better in the west than in Japan, especially the likes of Tatsunoko vs. capcom, Okami, Fragile dreams, FFCC: crystal bearers etc.



Traxx said:

@14 Going by that list, Nintendo shouldnt release games in Japan.



brandonbwii said:

Those are actually pretty depressing numbers for the cream of the 3rd party crop you just showed.

They're important to JRPG starved fans and releasing them would add a genre mostly lacking on the Wii console.



Lan said:

eh i say get over it. i already have. if they come, they come. if not, too bad. learn japanese and import if you're that crazy about it, instead of putting all the time and effort into a formidable "letter-writing campaign"

oh, and @13, you do realize 'merica is like 7 billion times the size of japan, right? a better chart would show % of the population that bought the games.



Marvelousmoo said:

Yes, but the point is that those games have made a lot more money here than they have in Japan, so Nintendo has no point in fearing low sales. And look at how well Last Story and Xenoblade have done in Japan. If low sales is their reason for not releasing these games, then Nintendo is making a mistake.



JebbyDeringer said:

1) These games won't make enough money (though it doesn't hurt to try) The games are already made so as long as it doesn't cost more to localize than they make on the game it would be doing their fans a favor.
2) There are ways to play these games if you are desperate enough.



brandonbwii said:

Doesn't Iwata have a say in this? I thought Last Story was being developed with worldwide appeal at the forefront so it could be marketed in all territories. I don't remember where I saw it, but I know I read the article about a year and a half ago somewhere.



Cipher said:

What, these guys expected that in a turnaround time of six days, Nintendo of America would go from not releasing the games to deciding to release them? That's not possible, that's just stupid.

I'm sure NOA is, at the very least, considering their options now. These games would sell much better to a Wii U audience, given the sheer stack of core titles we know are coming to the system.



DarkEdi said:

They bring a crappy mario all stars, and they doesn´t bring us Xenoblade, Last Story or Fatal Frame 4.



Joetherocker said:

I honestly didn't expect a yes, but the general condescending tone of the entire statement is what pissed me off. "We know you've been waiting three days for an update, and here it is: Screw you, No. Nice try!"



bahooney said:

@Azooooz: They said something similar when MOTHER 3's fans were bombarding Reggie and NOA for a localized release, and it's been five years now. This situation reminds me of everything the Starmen community did back then.



justinr said:

This type of condescension is what makes me strongly consider never buying their next console.



Chris720 said:

So these games aren't being released outside of Japan? Or is this just a "not being localized to America" thing?

Either way... what the hell?! They released cover art and what not for Pandora's Tower and now they're saying it's not going to be localized?

Also the tone of the message makes them sound right up themselves...



Steamboat_Willie said:

@ 4. MasterGraveheart

The only one that I can think of is Bit Trip Collection. I'm getting that one because I never got the Wiiware versions, but I'm sure a lot of people already did.

So, for me it's Zelda and Bit Trip. Never really been a fan of Kirby. I did get Epic Yarn, though.



FluttershyGuy said:

To those long-time wrestling fans familiar with "The Montreal Screwjob", I think it's appropriate to call this general shunning of Wii owners (as there are FEW future noteworthy games for any "brand" of Wii gamer) "The Redmond Screwjob". Starring Reggie as Vince McMahon, North American Wii gamers as Bret Hart, and I suppose European gamers as HBK Shawn Michaels (since he did wind up with the then-WWF Title LOL). Not giving me hardly any games I want to buy for Wii, so you're getting hardly any of my money until Wii U. Stay classy, NoA!



Dodger said:

While I don't plan to buy Xenoblade, the fact that they have no games for Wii (worth buying) until the holiday season when they have a game translated into english seems like they are only making the problem worse. If they released Xenoblade and NPC Pikmin 2 in August and September then that would seem like they actually had something when both are finished projects. Xenoblade probably wouldn't sell that well. "Hardcores" are being told that JRPGs are dead and "Casuals" will want another type of game.

Pikmin 2 makes sense to me even though it probably won't happen. It won't sell in the holiday season when a million other games are out but put it out in the summer when nothing is out and it gets more people into the series and ready for Pikmin 3. When Pikmin 3 is one of the few non third party games announced for the system, having more pikmin fans might get more people to look twice. I love NPC Pikmin 1, but if people remember the pikmin series as "that short game with some glitches", that won't help generate excitement.

Of course this isn't helping their stocks. No games for Wii except Kirby and Zelda in the winter, a whole bunch of 3DS games but not until winter, next to no information on what comes after the Wii, I just don't understand why they didn't wait until next E3 to announce the Wii U when things are almost ready.

NoA's response, it's business gibberish. Everybody does it. Make "No, but maybe someday" a lot longer and harder to understand and then put some sort of happy message at the end to make you forget that they said no, but maybe someday. Just words that really don't mean anything. This particular example was quite easy to see through. They would of had to make it a lot longer for it to work very well, and you probably could still see through it.

Edit: Wow, that was way longer then I thought it would be. I proofread it and it didn't seem as long as when I actually posted it. Sorry about that. I've been watching the whole Xenoblade situation and just thinking, so I had a lot of thoughts.



47drift said:

Ever since the teaser site was released, I've been dying to play Pandora's Tower. I hope we can all make it a reality!



LordTendoboy said:

To the people asking what's so important about these games:

Xenogears is part of the Xenosaga franchise (developed by Monolith Soft)
The Last Story is an RPG made by the CREATOR OF FINAL FANTASY!!!

I'd say both games deserve to be released here (USA).There are plenty of fans of the Xeno series.

Nintendo is sitting on a gold mine with The Last Story, it's from the CREATOR OF FINAL FANTASY! For Nintendo to refuse localizing it here is just a move. It shows they don't care about their fans, nor do they respect Sakaguchi's work. Sakaguchi poured his heart into the game and NOA doesn't care. Well you know what Nintendo? Looks like you just opened up a huge can of worms with this one. There are PLENTY of people who will import these games. If you won't release them here, that is the last resort.

I personally won't hack my Wii, but over at GoNintendo there are plenty of people who will. The comments over there are full of rage and hatred. RMC is even hurt by Nintendo's decision, and he's the biggest Nintendo fan there is.



MetalMario said:

@30: The Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles are coming to Europe, but Pandora's Tower is Japan-only.

I don't understand this...



LordTendoboy said:


NOA is stupid, that's what. They think only the established franchises can sell, and they never take risks on more obscure titles. Yes we got Rhythm Heaven and EBA, but those are few and far between.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I'm starting to wonder if Nintendo cares about America at all. We've already got the worst (as far as I know; certainly worse than UK and Japan at least) Club Nintendo, and now we're not getting what could be the best console RPG's of this generation? I don't know whose fault all of this is, but they should be fired...a lot. Not only are they turning fans away from the company, but they are driving some of them to piracy. I don't pirate, but I have been tempted by games like Mother 1 and 3, and the never-released-on-VC Earthbound. If they had brought these games to America I never would have given a second thought to downloading them, but because they didn't it made the decision not to that much harder. I know I'm not alone here, and many have gone ahead and started pirating for games like that, and once they know how, what's to stop them from downloading the newer games instead of buying them? It's a vicious chain that Nintendo is starting.

Oh well. I can't honestly say I could stop buying Nintendo games in protest, and I would never pirate, but I will try to buy used as often as possible if Nintendo doesn't shape up (hey, I can still cut into their profit that way).



CerberusAzdin said:

“The bottom line is if the games are not released, how are we supposed to take their E3 comments about a 'commitment to the core gamer' seriously?"

Nintendo seriously need to sort it out. The 3DS launch wasn't any better either. I hope Operation Rainfall does succeed and gives a wake up call to other companies.

Yeah you heard me Capcom! GIVE US MONSTER HUNTER 3DS ALREADY!



edcomics said:

If they abandon the Wii this early, I'm not buying a WiiU. That's all there is to it.



JimmyWhale said:

@Godot Last Story is really the only important game here, seeing how it's made by Hironobu Sakaguchi and Mistwalker. The others are kind of meh. I still want them coming to the US, especially if it means idiots will shut up and stop spamming. I'm going to get a freaking ulcer from all the stupidity being posted on Nintendo's facebook page.



FluttershyGuy said:

Real quick, I'd like to point out what a miserable departure from past pre-console debut periods we're looking at. From late 1995, one year before the Nintendo 64 came out, until it's debut in September '96. Here are titles I remember being released for SNES. Donkey Kong Country 2, then DKC 3 several months later. Super Mario RPG. Ken Griffey Jr. for SNES. That's just Nintendo titles. Add onto that Chrono Trigger, Mega Man VII, Mega Man X3 from third parties. And lots more I'm sure I've forgotten. My memory may be fuzzy, but it's pretty close to accurate. Fast forward several generations. Nintendo America has Zelda and Kirby coming. That's pretty much it, Nintendo and third party, folks. Ugly. Nintendo's given up on the Wii just like Wii U is already on the market.



Kid_A said:

Very bad form on Nintendo of America's part. I don't see why they couldn't just add English subtitles to these games, ship them limited quantities and just call it a day.



AlbertoC said:

I really want to play Pandora's Tower without having to resort to a language patch (like the one Fatal Frame 4 haves). Not that the community efforts are bad or something (those guys are always amazing at pulling projects like that one), is that Nintendo is getting used at being really lazy, and then blocking what it doesn't like.

It's about time Nintendo begins to hear its customers with something more than "Tnx ur great fanbois i luv ya all" statements.

I'm getting really tired of all of this Ninty. First, you don't release all games in all regions. Then you region block the N3DS (blocking import efforts with it), and "Never say never but there are no plans. So, sorry", what next? This could mean that Nintendo now only cares for the quantity of consoles they sell, and not the quality/variety of the games they offer if they're not called Mario or Zelda.



Linux_Man said:

I'm tired of Nintendo's political games. I'm tired of Nintendo ignoring their fans, their fans that supported them through everything, from their wildly successful NES/SNES days, to supporting them in their N64 and GC days. But yet they won't release some of the most wanted games that Japan already has. Mother 3 was disappointing, but at least the GBA had plenty of other excellent RPGs, and it would have cost Nintendo to translate it into English. There is no such excuse with Xenogears considering it is going to be released in Europe (and thus in English) and so all Nintendo needs to do is change a simple region code and ship them over to the Americas. Why is Nintendo throwing away free money? It is obviously wanted, otherwise it wouldn't have made the top of Amazon's charts. I don't understand why Nintendo of America is throwing away free money.



thesignpainter said:

maybe they're just testing it out, you know, to see if it sells well in Europe.
THEN they'll bring it over here.



Hardy83 said:

Carrot on a stick comment. They do it often, and it usually means they aren't doing a thing but want to leave it open so you still support them by buying hardware.

I just think people aren't that stupid this time. Well, not everyone.
Maybe they just haven't seen Nintendo do this during many games on the cube, or DS, or earlier in the Wii. lol



Linux_Man said:

If Nintendo wants us to focus on new consoles, then I'll focus on new consoles, namely buying more games for my 360. I really hate to say it, but it seems like Microsoft treats their customers better than Nintendo. I'm tired of a company which makes good games but doesn't release them in either a region free format so I can import them without modifying my console, or localize them so I can buy them here in the US. There are, what? Like 10 true RPGs released for the Wii that are original and not PS2 ports. And out of them only a smaller amount of them are worth purchasing.

I've supported Nintendo for a long time and generally have avoided purchasing games/systems from their competitors but when all Nintendo wants to sell me here in the US are silly tech-demos, games intended for 5 year olds and remakes, I'm going to buy good games wherever I find them, which clearly isn't on the Wii anymore.

I'm not even sure if I'll buy a Wii-U, and I'm disappointed I bought a 3D since Nintendo hasn't been releasing any games for either the Wii or the 3DS.



Lordy said:

I've been frustrated with NoA before, but this is just...something else. I'm just glad I own a 360- otherwise current-gen RPGs would be out of the question. I know it's kind of a niche-genre, but there are still tons of us out there. You can't keep targeting soccer moms forever, can you Ninty?



MitchVogel said:

I find it funny how this is building more and more as time goes on. Just you watch, in a month thousands of people will stand outside NOA with megaphones and molotov cocktails and declare war.



Wheels2050 said:

To the people who are saying the games don't look 'important':

I think the underlying issue here is not necessarily the games themselves (I like the look of them personally, but others may not). The point is that Nintendo has personally admitted that they neglected the 'core' gamer with the Wii, and are looking to recapture that market. It doesn't sit well for people, then, when there's three high-quality games, one of which is already translated, which Nintendo appears to not be releasing in North America.

It's not necessarily these three games in particular that people are up in arms about, but they are a symptom of a much bigger underlying problem.



Bassman_Q said:

If NoA doesn't bring these games to the NA or at least confirm they're coming to the NA anytime soon, I sure as hell will switch to SONY and hope for Nintendo's downfall. I know it sounds harsh, but I can't stand how Nintendo has been treating their "fans" recently. They're all like, "Yeah, we hear you, but we're not gonna lift a damn finger for you guys. No, we're not even gonna stick with what we said at E3, as we only confirmed regaining 'core gamers with the WiiU, not the Wii."



Capt_N said:

I still very well may purchase a WiiU, as I like some of Nintendo's ips(Mario/Zelda/Metroid/Smash), but on the other hand I may purchase one of the competing consoles, depending on what console can do what, in relation to what I want a console to be capable of.

I wonder if Nintendo is saving these titles for the WiiU? If their intention is to do so, or simply they are putting the brakes on the Wii now, then they need to realize that the Wii has the rest of this year to live. That's 6 months, counting this month, July. Now that I mentioned it, just a sentence ago, I wonder if this is actually all attributed to Nintendo sharholders/stockholders, who are not banking w/ the Wii anymore, since it's stock/share fall recently, & are now telling Nintendo to focus no more on the Wii, but WiiU instead?



retro_player_22 said:

They didn't say no but they sure didn't make me feel any better. I don't want to wait for next year, next year I had my focus on the Wii U, this year I want Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower. C'mon Nintendo your freaking system is not selling well lately cuz of your ignorant, bring them or we'll make you go the way of Sega.



c1pher_c0mplet said:

Totally, I agree with that. Just because Sakaguchi is behind The Last Story doesn't mean it'll be great. Sakaguchi-san was behind Blue Dragon for the Xbox 360 and that game didn't do so well (and is easily one of his weakest efforts in my opinion).

But still I think it's a bleeding shame what's going on here from NOA's end. I mean even if The Last Story isn't that great of an RPG, it'd still be better than the droves of crapware that's been released for the Wii since it's been out.



alLabouTandroiD said:

I do understand these guys and their "hardcore" crowd reasoning. It shouldn't be much of a problem to bring Xenoblade Chronicles to the States at least. (Regarding translation since it's releasing in Europe anyway.). But i simply see it as an "a game that's not coming out in my region is a game they won't sell to me" - affair. (Especially because of region-lock and my unwillingness to learn any Japanese.)
While i hope this will make Nintendo think about their strategy i wouldn't want to "blackmail" them this way.
I mean a negative image could work against Nintendo-gamers as well.
Think about people not buying a Wii U because of this. People who wouldn't know about these games without it. I've got a feeling that this could cause way too much stir...



RonF said:

It seem that Nintendo is carrying outl its master plan of alienate their hardcore fans before releasing Wii U, which should get them back again. I don't understand why they are doing it, but it is pretty obvious that this is the plan.



jerryo said:

"I don't see why they couldn't just add English subtitles to these games, ship them limited quantities and just call it a day."

I call this ignorance. from an end user's POV that is how it is.
However it is not that simple. Localization apart from new QA rounds, and various back and forth for the correct translation, also repackaging and new covers etc, distribution costs etc. etc.

for a game that has sold ONLY 120K it would make sense only in a region that has a high profit margin and even in that case it is a risk. US gets the cheapest deal of all. you get to pay for your systems and games less than the rest of the world does therefore you actually have a very low profit margin. They make a lot more out of a unit sold in Japan, and even in EU. UK has higher profit margin than the rest of EU. Plus the entire EU is a much larger market.

A game that has sold only 120K even 200K can only as a euphemism be called a success. Business wise it doesn't make any sense. For the fans alone they did that in Europe for the reason stated above WHICH has also been mentioned by Regie if i am not mistaken. He said, we could do this in Europe because we have higher profit margin. The only way they could actually justify such move in NA is if they pass it in their PR budget. Otherwise it is a total loss. Even if 200K people buy it. (which is NOT the case.) 25K people doesn't justify the localization and QA cost alone which could be over 30-40K. not to mention promotion etc which could go over some hundreds of thousands. Think how many people are going to buy it! do the math.

Are you ready to pay $200 per copy? If yes, buy a used european wii and the european copy of the game and it will be cheaper than 200.

I want the game as much as you do, but i also understand their point of view.



Yogsoggoth said:

Nintendo has just lost a sale for a WiiU. I am sick and tired of Nintendo. I heard it with the N64. Then I heard it with the Gamecube. Finally we heard it with the Wii. Nintendo keeps promising that they will change, but it never happens. They want core gamers, but they never try to get them. They say that they "get" online, but they continue the friend codes, local wireless nonsense vs true online, and the pitiful attempts at the estore.
These three games truly are the last straw.



WereBeaver said:

And it's bs to say these won't sell the US. Xenoblade is currently the number 2 most wished for Wii game behind Skyward Sword on Amazon, and is currently the number 7 best seller with pre-orders (NSMB Wii is number 6). There's plenty of demand for these games.



Cia said:

@46 according to import reviews, xenoblade is actually the better game (than LS)



Ichabod said:

I'm patient. I can wait and see if NOA actually releases them. While some of you don't care about this because you aren't interested in RPG games, you SHOULD care about it because it's not the type of game, but the fact that Nintendo is showing how little they think of its consumer. All they want is an easy buck.

Like I said, I'm patient. If NOA releases them, I'll be ecstatic. If they don't, then I'll just move on and forget about buying a Wii U. Simple as that.



Lotice-Paladin said:

I agree with #14 and if I were American, I would be disappointed but not as fussed since I doubt Europe will buy these games in droves.

@18, Japan's population is a mere third of America's plus the fact that the Japanese buy MORE games means that you just exaggerated about how America will buy these niche games without thinking it through first.

As for my opinion about the Operation, it's good to see it happening but you have to realise that no-one in Europe would do this since we have more important problems coming our way...not getting three games won't kill anybody and importing them if you really want them is a solution which we Europeans have done since the 16-Bit era.



Gamesake said:

I was pissed off early this year when all the Wii games stopped coming (when everyone else was patiently awaiting E3), but now that I know the Wii U is months away I'm not pissed anymore. I'm no longer wondering why the games have vanished. And like Nintendo, I doubt bringing over three niche games would be a good idea now that the Wii's on it's last legs.

@Godot Hironobu Sakaguchi said Last Story isn't another samey JRPG (unlike Xenoblade). So I would have liked to try it. That said, I don't care too much about the fate of these three games. With far better titles like Skyward Sword, Kirby Wii, and Dragon Quest X on the way--I'm very content with Nintendo for the time being.



Lordy said:

"Far better" is pushing it, IMO. Lately, I'm getting sort of tired of Kirby, and, as for Skyward Sword, I just hope I like it better than Twilight Princess. Don't get me wrong, TP was a good effort, but it didn't bring much new to the table.



Gamesake said:

@Lordy I'm not a fan of Kirby either, but Kirby Wii is a 4 player co-op game. If I have half as much fun with it as I did playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii, it'll be worth getting. Skyward Sword whatever happens looks to be the only Wii game that really does something with Wii Motion Plus. That alone is a reason to look forward to it.



charly_rozen said:

I'm disappointed of Nintendo, this is a betrayal. Nintendo Wii more than any other console has left exclusives games by regions (especially in Japan) This is the main reason that I will not buy the Wii U ¬_¬



RightHemisphereG said:

NoE will be selling the Nintendo Wii (1.2) with out the GameCube support for less then $100. and these three + a hand full of other games are EU exclusives, the chose is easy for us in the East!

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