Nintendo denies Xenoblade, Last Story & Pandora's Tower US localization

The Wii's days appear to be numbered. Beyond The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Nintendo of America seems to a shortage of games that appeal to the more "hardcore" audience. That doesn't have to be the case, fans have argued. A new social media campaign, "Operation Rainfall," asks dedicated Nintendo fans to contact the company in an effort to bring a few additional games to the platform. Three releases Rainfall focuses on are: Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower. The first is an RPG from Monolith Soft, best known for the Xenosaga series on PS2. The second is yet another RPG, this time from Mistwalker, best known for Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey on Xbox 360. The final is (you guessed it!) another RPG from Ganbarion, developers of One Piece games. All three of the games have found release in Japan, with all of the titles published by Nintendo.

The Last Story

The letter-writing campaign was successful enough to warrant a response from Nintendo of America. Unfortunately, the answer wasn't exactly what fans were hoping for. "We never say 'never,'" the company posted on its Facebook page. "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!" The update has led to over 5,000 comments... many not quite flattering for the publisher. What makes Nintendo of America's refusal to localize these games for the Americas especially frustrating is that at least one of the titles, Xenoblade, is being localized by Nintendo of Europe. While it's entirely possible for fans to modify their Wii systems to play out-of-region games, it seems more illogical that the company would go through the effort of translating a game... only to ignore the largest market for it. (Nintendo of America famously refused localization of Sin & Punishment on Nintendo 64, in spite of the game's English script. The company released the game on Virtual Console seven years later.)

Pandora's Tower

Wired's Chris Kohler effectively sums up the frustrations of Nintendo fans pining for these games' releases. "Nintendo, like every other publisher on the planet, has every right and duty to decline to release certain games," Kohler states. For example, Sony Computer Entertainment America refused to localize White Knight Chronicles 2, but allowed D3 Publisher to pick up the rights instead. "What makes Nintendo unique is that it refuses to let other publishers release the games, either. What good does it do anyone to sit on content — especially when there’s barely anything else on your platform?" If Nintendo won't publish these three Japanese RPGs, why can't a different company? Although Nintendo's stance is "never say never," the prospects for these games' releases are grim. As impassioned as the thousands of fans supporting Rainfall are, it's likely that sales of these games won't warrant the cost of localizing and publishing three obscure games in a niche genre on an aging platform that's soon to be eclipsed. (via Joystiq)