Movements like Operation Rainfall demonstrate a community’s interest in seeing certain games or features become accessible; in Operation Rainfall’s case, advocates eventually saw their wishes granted by Nintendo, but was that a direct result of their efforts? According to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, not really.
Fils-Aime recently had a chat with Siliconera to discuss several topics, among which were petition initiatives like Operation Rainfall and Operation Moonfall (an effort to see The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask remade on the 3DS). Fils-Aime noted that these and other fan-led charges have been acknowledged, but are not the driving factors in the company’s decision-making process:
I have to tell you—it doesn’t affect what we do. We certainly look at it, and we’re certainly aware of it, but it doesn’t necessarily affect what we do.
Fils-Aime cited the decision to localize Operation Rainfall’s figurehead, Xenoblade Chronicles, as an example of all the financial and resource factors that took precedence in making the final call:
I wanted to bring Xenoblade here. The deal was, how much of a localization effort is it? How many units are we going to sell, are we going to make money? We were literally having this debate while Operation Rainfall was happening, and we were aware that there was interest for the game, but we had to make sure that it was a strong financial proposition.
I’m paid to make sure that we’re driving the business forward—so we’re aware of what’s happening, but in the end we’ve got to do what’s best for the company. The thing we know [about petitions] is that 100,000 signatures doesn’t mean 100,000 sales.
Fils-Aime's words don’t seem to come off as an admonishment toward those who make their interests known in the forms of campaigns and petitions. Nintendo does pay attention to them, as all those Miiverse calls for EarthBound on Virtual Console can attest. In the end, though, it seems choices will likely never be made through the force of fan will alone.
Do Fils-Aime’s comments on Operation Rainfall and other petitions change your opinion on such efforts? Let us know below.