It’s not from Nintendo. It’s not language barriers or translation issues. It’s not some greedy CEO who gets a hard-on from punishing people. It’s the gaming media, and so called “fans” who are threatening boycotts and trolling Wii just like they’ve been doing since 2006.
Operation Rainfall is a campaign set up by fans of Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower in an inspired effort to get these Japanese games localised and released in North America. It’s to show Nintendo what kind of demand there is for great games, and give them confidence in these titles. It’s a responsibility a large majority of the gaming media – sites like IGN, GameSpot, and GameTrailers – have completely ignored. Despite dozens of interviews held with Reggie Fils-Aime (President of Nintendo America) at E3, not ONE game journalist asked him about Xenoblade, The Last Story or Pandora’s Tower, instead using it as an opportunity to ask if Zelda can “look like Uncharted“, and asking the same question about Friend Codes in 20 different ways.
Through efforts like this video, a targeted letter campaign, and concentrated messages on Nintendo’s social media pages, Operation Rainfall is picking up the slack for gamers everywhere. Despite all their efforts, their support is only 5000 people strong on Facebook, which is miniscule when you compare it to a day of traffic on IGN. They’ve only now caught wind of the issue, but rather than putting their support behind the campaign they’ve pulled out the victim card, which is the same thing that got us all into this mess. Wading through IGNs bloated layout and dozens of obnoxious flash ads, dodging articles like “Weak Wii”, you’ll find this.
This is about Nintendo’s attitude towards its most passionate customers – IGN
Passionate customers like IGN who haven’t said a word about these games in months, and they’re acting SURPRISED that Nintendo hasn’t been talking about them. Only because of Operation Rainfall are these games getting the spotlight they deserve, and even now they aren’t doing much to help the cause, instead shifting all the blame on Nintendo themselves and sympathising with “angry” gamers. Who should gamers really be upset with? Nintendo currently has no plans to release these games, because they have no CONFIDENCE in people buying them. They don’t want to lose money, and games are Nintendo’s only business. These three games have been praised all over Japan as incredible experiences, getting a handful of perfect review scores, and you can tell just by looking at them they are extremely well designed. Why is there even a threat of them doing poorly here? Lack of awareness is the answer, and my reason for that is poor coverage. People go to game websites to get information about games, and the websites are letting us down.
Here’s another article. IGN purposefully selects the most angry, over-reactive and provocative comments. Here’s a few samples of what IGN have done to their readers,
I feel incredibly disappointed and almost disgusted in Nintendo of America’s decision here.
I have had every Nintendo console since the NES and have been a huge carrier of the Nintendo flag but this right here has wiped out my loyalty and not only made me decide I will not be getting the Wii U, it makes me heavily regret my
3DS purchase. If they don’t want to take my money for these games and support the system I currently own, they will not be taking any of my money in the future.
I’m an intelligent consumer of their products and I deserve to be treated as such.
Nintendo has lost my loyalty, respect, and commercial support.
That’s a whole lot of emotion over a bunch of games that may or may not be released. These people have adopted the “us vs them” victim mentality. They don’t even buy Nintendo games: they’re only in on this to get off on the social wankfest. Nobody bought any RPGs on DS besides Pokemon. Nobody bought Crystal Bearers or Fragile Dreams. Nobody buys new Nintendo franchises like Steel Diver and Chibi Robo. Nobody bought ExciteBots. Nobody buys the various WiiWare games that are only released in America. These games are some of the best on their respective platforms; their only obstacle was lack of awareness. This entire crusade had no credibility to begin with, it was years in the making, and now people are feigning ignorance and lighting fires. This is how wars are started.
Every post IGN “selects” for this article targets Nintendo as the bad guys. What’s the purpose of that? Is that supposed to guilt them into giving us games? If someone calls me an idiot, I’m certainly not going to give them a game. What this tells me is that IGN doesn’t actually care about the end result, only about generating advertising revenue. This makes them full-circle hypocrites for criticising Nintendo for looking after their own interests. They want traffic and debate, so they’re trolling the most successful company in gaming. Read the comments by actual readers below the article, and you’ll find the tone is completely different to the image IGN tried to portray. People are saying it’s not that big a deal, and waiting for an official response from Nintendo. The gamers themselves are doing a great job being level headed, but ultimately the success or failure of this campaign is going to come down to the numbers, and that’s where IGN drops the ball by silencing the majority and coating a layer of bullshit over everything. What’s the purpose of IGN if they aren’t actually contributing to the gaming community? Why aren’t we boycotting them? They are in a position to influence a lot of things in a very positive way, and they’re completely ignoring it. I wonder how they’d react to thousands of comments bombarding them to change their attitude? Probably not as enthusiastically as Nintendo did.
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!
That was the reply that caused so much uproar. I think it’s progress that Nintendo has acknowledged the issue. Operation Rainfall is really the first support these games have ever gotten, so any decision made by Nintendo on the issue won’t be done in 3 days.
It’s a good opportunity to build good will and reinforce fan loyalty, and honestly, they’re throwing it away. – NintendoWorldReport
If “releasing games” was enough to build a good fan environment with active game purchasing, we never would have arrived here in the first place. The opportunity is OURS, as gamers, to support new inspiring content, something we’ve FAILED at, through years of misleading coverage, jumped conclusions, and elitist remarks, while hiding behind the word “hardcore”. Nintendo won’t get a single dollar from “fan loyalty” or “good will”. They are a business. We can’t prove to Nintendo that there’s a market for these games when history shows there is NOT. All their “hardcore” targeted efforts in the last 5 years have bombed. To reverse this trend we need significantly better coverage for these games.
Oh, but The Last Story is nothing like ExciteBots! Are you stupid? – Dickhead
Yes, but let’s talk about the subject, not my lack of intelligence. Nintendo is a business. Both games fall under the “RISK” category; the investment is equally high. If the comparison still isn’t enough, I’ll use Baten Kaitos, a game not only the same genre as Xenoblade, but by the same developer. It’s a great game like Xenoblade, but it absolutely bombed, “nobody” bought it and Nintendo incurred a loss. Yet still, Nintendo was brave enough to bring over the sequel Baten Kaitos Origins, and it sold even worse as the GameCube was in its final stages and Wii was on the horizon. Hmmm, sounds familiar.
These games have no market, no previous fanfare and are expected to survive after being thrust into the hands of an industry that actively ignores new content. Games like this aren’t just a risk for Nintendo, they’re a risk for gaming journalists. A review copy of one of these games isn’t going to come with a fat sack of cash inside it. Giving Steel Diver or ExciteBots a high review or wide coverage is a risk for journalists, because they’ll get less clicks and discussion than an established game. Steel Diver is not a big talking point. Pandora’s Tower was not a big talking point until the Operation Rainfall revolution. I think this is the very core of the problem: these games not only lack a market, they lack a community to give them a chance. Fragile Dreams was one of the best experiences I ever had in my life, but I didn’t see any reviews giving it 10 and saying it’s the best game on Wii. Sure, personal opinion and all that, that’s fair enough, but in my personal opinion, reviewers went into games like this expecting to get them over with as soon as possible. Any reviewer giving it a 10 would have been deemed “weird”, and we can’t have that. Instead of big game websites using their influence and PROJECTING their enthusiasm onto new games, we’re getting nowhere. The result is more Wii Fit and less Pandora’s Tower, and that’s not conjecture – it’s reality – and it’s happening right in front of us.
There’s more depth to this problem with the gaming media. The whole “buddy” system with western companies, local contacts, and PR firms is another hurdle for Nintendo. Here’s an article a Kotaku member did on game developer Nnooo, seems pretty random doesn’t it? They’re a great company and their games deserve attention, but the only reason this article was written is because they are best buddies on Twitter. I see this all the time with western companies and big sites, you often get special “exclusive” stories and interviews, sites exchanging praise and coverage for stories. Eventually, the whole site is covered with “exclusives” and handouts, obscuring the bigger picture and pushing games like Xenoblade aside. This is a hard problem to overcome because Nintendo is so far away from these companies; it’s not every day you socialise with Miyamoto. Nintendo could be a bit more open; I’d like to see more interaction from them and a more active PR presence, but perhaps re-evaluating the way some sites operate is in order as well. A site like Nintendo Life where you’ll often find DSiWare games on the front page is my biggest hope for the future. Everything is treated equally; it’s a setup that benefits the millions of gamers reading, rather than the 5 people who run the site.
I see two different types of people in this “issue”: those who want something to complain about, and those who care about the overall enjoyment of videogames and life. Operation Rainfall fits into the second category. It’s about showing Nintendo our passion for games, and inspiring other gamers to stand up and support good content. This kind of compassion is how wars are ENDED, they have my full support and I hope the campaign is successful, not just so more people can play these three great games, but to help kickstart a new era of communication and information sharing to promote a healthier gaming industry. Great art needs to be seen before it can be shared.