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Over the last couple weeks, online group Operation Rainfall has been boldly pushing Nintendo to do something that shouldn’t be too hard: publish good games. Unfortunately the games in question are fairly niche JRPGs, a genre that’s never been a big seller for Wii. Nintendo of America promised a response to the vocal collective, but it wasn’t the one we wanted to hear. NoA said it currently has “no plans” to publish those games.
In a Facebook update, Nintendo said, “Thank you for your enthusiasm. We promised an update, so here it is. We never say ‘never,’ but we can confirm that there are no plans to bring these three games to the Americas at this time. Thanks so much for your passion, and for being such great fans!” Nintendo had a similar Twitter reply: “Thanks for being such incredible fans! Unfortunately, there continues to be no plans for NOA to release these 3 games right now.”
For the JRPG fans reading this, things may seem pretty grim, but you can always hold on to the hope in the words “at this time.” Maybe they don’t have any plans now, but who knows about a month from now? Of course, Nintendo has a spotty history with publishing niche titles like those, something fans of Fire Emblem and Mother/Earthbound know all too well.
It’s certainly very frustrating to think these quality games will never see a US release, especially when you take into account Xenoblade already being localized for Europe with a September 2 ship date, but look at it from Nintendo’s side. Why publish games with an already small audience for a system with such dwindling hardcore support as the Wii? It just doesn’t make much business sense.
Though some fans hold out hope that perhaps a JRPG publisher along the lines of Atlus and NIS might pick up these titles, earlier today Shane Bettenhausen from Igintion (a company that’s no stranger to publishing offbeat Japanese games) pointed out to us on Twitter that historically Nintendo almost never allows third parties to publish its games. In spite of this news, Operation Rainfall isn’t giving up, stating: “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.”
No matter how this pans out, we wish Operation Rainfall well, and if you’d like to join in supporting the group, visit their official site.
Jun 30, 2011