News Article

The Last Story Was Almost Left Untold In North America

Posted by Andy Green

XSEED came close to passing up the opportunity

The Last Story is one of the stronger titles on Wii, which we've just named as our staff's second favourite on the system in 2012. Originally released in Japan in early 2011, it took a long time to make an appearance in the West. It was early 2012 when it was published in Europe by Nintendo, however it appeared a North American release was not on the cards.

Fortunately the game did make it onto North American shelves, published by localisation specialists XSEED, but it almost never happened. It took a lot of persuasion from key personnel within XSEED to convince sales reps that releasing a full price retail title on Wii at the end of its lifespan was a good idea.

Speaking to Kotaku, XSEED Vice President Ken Berry spoke of how the sales reps within the company considered Wii as a "dead platform", and that he had to fight to help the game see the light of day in North America.

It was a constant fight even within our own organization, To our external sales reps, we'd be saying, ‘No, like you guys don't understand. There's tons of fans out there that are asking for this. There's a huge fan movement.' I mean, so yeah. In the end, I think we were right.

We'd say they were right too, The Last Story became XSEED's most successful title ever and drew huge critical acclaim.

Though Berry was confident the game would be a hit he expressed how much he appreciated the fan movement that saw the game become available in North America:

We’re eternally grateful to the fan community out there. They really stepped up their game and put their actions and their wallets where their mouths were earlier. They backed up their talk.

It appears that this is some proof that persistent requests from eager fans can make a difference in the decision making of big games publishers looking for their next big hit. The Last Story certainly boosted the coffers of XSEED, let's hope other publishers see this as an example and start to bring more Japan-only titles over to the West.

What are your thoughts on this? Were you pleased the game finally made it over to North American shores? Let us know in the comments below.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (49)

Skotski

#1

Skotski said:

inb4 "Operation Rainfall didn't help at all, don't encourage them"

EDIT: And yes, I'm quite glad it made it Stateside... love the game. Not a masterpiece, in my honest opinion, but a darn good and memorable JRPG.

Skotski

#3

Skotski said:

@AlphaIchimoru Well, I tend to think OoT was a masterpiece in its time - not as much outside of it (when it came out and what it changed for its time made it unbeatable, but held up as its own now: it's a classic - but the golden standard has been raised since then). But like I said: It's my honest opinion.
The Last Story was great. Just didn't feel like a home run in every factor (even when being optimistic) for me.

I'd say Kid Icarus: Uprising is a masterpiece, and someone is definitely going to disagree with me.

MeloMan

#8

MeloMan said:

If you're reading this XSeed, I can only say, THANK YOU, I was very happy I got a chance to play this game. I know it takes effort to bring over games and such, but it bothers me how between this and Xenoblade, they almost both got the "Sin & Punishment" due to Nintendo's reluctance to port over gaming gold. Don't you want our money, Nintendo?

arrmixer

#11

arrmixer said:

I'm just happy third party publishers exsist these days to publish these games when the japanese publishers are reluctant to do so..

There is a market for "japanese/eastern style games" in the US.. though personally I always thought there was a market in years past....

My top three games for the wii were Xenoblade, Last story, and Sin and Punishment..

Azikira

#12

Azikira said:

The -ONLY- reason I bought Xenoblade was to get The Last Story in America.

TheDreamingHawk

#13

TheDreamingHawk said:

The last story was the one I wanted the most. And I WOULD be playing it now, but my grandparents bought Xenoblade for me instead, and I'm not sure if I should play that...

And while talking about masterpieces, I'll go with PMD sky as the masterpiece of the last decade, but I'll probably be getting lots of bad comments from people who haven't beaten the game if I keep supporting it... :(

HillKrowns

#14

HillKrowns said:

Yes! We do need more tiles from the East....all of them please lol hopefully ill get to live my dream and move to Japan one day.

link_hatchet

#16

link_hatchet said:

I got the last story for Christmas, but haven't played it yet, cuz I'm still playing xenoblade, also a pretty good game. I'm just happy that these two games made it over here in the states!

Sun

#17

Sun said:

I am European and I think it's a shame Nintendo did not release this game in America, same story for Disaster: Day of Crisis, which is one of my Wii favourites. Nintendo almost did not release Xenoblade in America either.

TwilightV

#18

TwilightV said:

haven't played much of this because of the Wii U. I think they should bring Retro Game Master 2 over as a download.

CanisWolfred

#19

CanisWolfred said:

That Kotaku piece is actually really interesting. Talks a lot about how XSEED got started and what it's like to be a publisher. Just FYI.

sinalefa

#20

sinalefa said:

I am very glad they were proven wrong. TLS was one of the games I wanted the most for Wii, and I ended up getting two copies. I also bought Solatorobo as a way to support Xseed for localizing Sakaguchi's game.

AVahne

#22

AVahne said:

Nintendo of America pretty much abandoned the Wii at the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 aside from finishing off a couple anniversaries (Zelda and Kirby) and appeasing the starved Wii-core fans that begged for Xenoblade, so I'm glad that XSEED was able to persuade it's sales division that it was a good idea to publish a Wii game. Hope they'll consider publishing the other games that NoA abandoned.
And I hope NoA does a better job with Wii U and not saying things like "appealing to the core" while ignoring the "core" games, as niche as they may be. Bayonetta 2 seems like a good start for NoA.

luminalace

#23

luminalace said:

I just hope the games success made Nintendo America know they were wrong in passing on it. Nintendo should have just given the fans what they wanted instead of just looking at the money angle. While I know this can't always be the case, they owed it to North American Wii owners who supported the console.

retro_player_22

#24

retro_player_22 said:

I hope in the coming years that they go and grab Tales of Graces (I want to play the original), Fatal Frame II, Fatal Frame IV, Pandora's Tower, Disaster: Day of Crisis, Takt of Magic, and Another Code R and localize them in NA since the douchebags at NOA aren't so bright in bringing them here. Atlus, XSeed, Ignition Entertainment, and NISA are the only hope for these titles to get localize particularly Fatal Frame IV, c'mon Nintendo why buy the Fatal Frame IP when you're not marketing it to its core fanbase?

CanisWolfred

#25

CanisWolfred said:

@TheDreamingHawk I don't disagree with you, since I've never played it, but still, it's Pokemon, can't really expect people to believe you when you say that it has a touching story. Pokemon's usually synonomys with lazy, under-developed storytelling.

Ichiban

#26

Ichiban said:

I can almost understand Nintendo not releasing certain titles in the states or watnot. The truth is people just dont buy these games much anymore sadly, times have changed. But on the other hand, keeping many 3DS games in japan for example has turned the 3DS into a Mario machine in other parts its seems, and that sucks ass.

scrubbyscum999

#27

scrubbyscum999 said:

I played Xenoblade, which is by all means a masterpiece and I am the last boss of The Last Story. The Last Story is by no means perfect, but is a very strong JRPG and definitely a very memorable title.

Nanoline

#28

Nanoline said:

Well, here's hoping this goes towards assisting Megaman Leg-

Oh.

Well, here's hoping this goes towards assisting Senran Kagu-

Oh.

Well, here's hoping this goes towards assisting Project X Zo-

Oh for the love of... Japan, give us the damn games.

Zombie_Barioth

#29

Zombie_Barioth said:

I'm glad we have companies like XSEED around, thats for sure. Haven't gotten around to playing TLS yet, its been sitting here untouched since I got it. I like to give games like this my full attention and really dive in.

AltDotNerd

#30

AltDotNerd said:

Is Pandora's Tower still coming to Wii? Or will it possibly be moved to the Wii-U?
(I actually would've loved to see Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii-U)

Kage_88

#33

Kage_88 said:

@AltDotNerd - Panora's Tower was released for Wii in Japan and Europe a while ago, but hasn't made it to America. Maybe Nintendo could release it on the Wii U eShop?

47drift

#35

47drift said:

Darn shame that Pandora's Tower, the only game I actually wanted from Rainfall, never made it over. And it seems like Rainfall gave up after The Last Story. Darn shame.

Bobhobob

#37

Bobhobob said:

@47drift
I was looking forward to Pandora's Tower since Nintendo power showed it off in one of their "from Japan" articles. I was going insane looking for news for that game every day for the next few months or so.

WindWakerLink

#42

WindWakerLink said:

<3 The Last Story!!! It's one of the best games and VERY few games I LOVE and came play over and over and not get bored! ^__^

millarrp

#43

millarrp said:

I haven't had a chance to play it yet, but I did pre-order it. I'm glad that XSEED was willing to take a chance on it...

AVahne

#44

AVahne said:

@Nanoline
There's a chance we'll get Senran Kagura Burst once the dev has seen that there is a large enough amount of gamers who buy retail games from the 3DS eShop.
In other words, Buy Unchained Blades when it releases and Code of Princess (if you don't have it physically already), and they'll be convinced it worth localizing.

Gamer83

#45

Gamer83 said:

I'm very happy that, in the end, the people at XSeed had the guts to do something the stupid people at NoA didn't otherwise we'd have missed out on a great game.

FonistofCruxis

#46

FonistofCruxis said:

The last story is a great game but not one of the best games on the Wii. It is a shame that America didn't get Pandora's tower though. I recently got it and its an awesome game!

CanisWolfred

#47

CanisWolfred said:

Personally, I'd prefer a generic game like Senran Kagura, whose only notable features are it's horrible breast physics, be left right where it is...

GreenDream

#48

GreenDream said:

It's always sad when great games go the way of Okami... yet titles like the "Family" series for WiiWare keep getting made because someone out there keeps buying that trash...

TheDreamingHawk

#49

TheDreamingHawk said:

@CanisWolfred You can apply that with Game freak (They did the same to Pulseman), but PMD is made by chunsoft... You know how great 999 and VLR was!

@moomoo I got Xenoblade for christmas, but after fiddling around with some beginning battles it didn't seem as fun as PMD... It's not uncrowned yet, not unless the middle of the game becomes awesome and has music the likes of YS

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