Nintendo watching Xenoblade 'very closely' in Europe

By Steve Watts, Aug 11, 2011 6:30pm PDT

Nintendo has been reluctant to bring a few high-profile Japanese RPGs to market in the US, despite heavy demand from a vocal movement that has dubbed itself "Operation Rainfall." One of the games, Xenoblade Chronicles, has even been localized by Nintendo of Europe, so the translation and voices are finished. The other two titles are The Last Story and Pandora's Tower, which have to-be-announced 2012 plans for Europe.

Now we have cause for renewed hope of US releases, as Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has implied that European success for the RPGs could convince the North American branch of Nintendo to publish the games.

"We will be watching very closely what happens in Europe," Fils-Aime told IGN. "Certainly if there are business opportunities and positive consumer uptake from some of those titles, that will be great data for us to consider as we look at what to do with these titles."

This is a far cry from Nintendo's previous statement on the matter. "We never say 'never,' but we can confirm that there are no plans to bring these three games to the Americas at this time," the company posted on its Facebook page.

This is putting the waning days of the Wii in stark contrast, as the system ages and game adoption slows, and Nintendo puts its focus on the Wii U. If the other two games aren't set to release until 2012 in Europe, that would likely pit them against a new Nintendo hardware launch, and they'd risk getting lost in the shuffle.

Ultimately, Nintendo is a company and its primary goal is to make profits. Of the three titles, the US has the best shot at Xenoblade since it's already translated. But we won't even get that game in the states unless the company thinks they can make a buck on the prospect, even if the bulk of development costs and localization has already been covered. So if you're one of our European readers, do us yanks a solid and buy two or three copies, yeah?

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