Operation Rainfall is a fan-created campaign that was designed to bring three Japan-exclusive Wii RPGs—The Last Story, Xenoblade Chronicles and Pandora’s Tower—to North America. It hasn’t achieved that yet, but it has picked up enough steam to grab the attention of Nintendo and Mistwalker (the developer of The Last Story). It all started when Mathieu Minel, the marketing manager of Nintendo France, was being interviewed at E3 2011 and stated that they wanted to show Xenoblade Chronicles (or “Monado: Beginning of the World” as it was originally known) but according to Nintendo World Report, “Nintendo of America wouldn’t let them because they didn’t want to show products they aren’t planning to sell.” This caused a large number of fans to sign onto message boards and create Operation Rainfall.
The “methods of attack” include fan e-mail, sending physical letters, calling the North America headquarters of the developers, posting requests to Facebook and Twitter accounts and pre-ordering the game on Amazon. That last option made Xenoblade Chronicles the #1 game in Amazon’s top 100 game sales, #1 in Wii game sales and #1 in Wii action game sales on June 25th.
So far, it looks as if Operation Rainfall is a success… sort of. The dedication of Operation Rainfall has helped The Last Story to receive a European localization—or at least its announcement—but there is no word of a North American release for any of the three games. However, both Nintendo and Mistwalker have acknowledged the movement and thanked fans for their support.
It’s not much, but it has only been a few days since the project’s inception. The fact that one of the developers has already recognized the fans and rushed to promote the localization for the first game on Rainfall’s list (albeit on a different continent than requested), is a good sign that things can only get brighter. As the saying goes, “we vote with our wallets” in this industry and if a game is #1 on Amazon, it will be very hard for a developer to ignore the lost revenue if they forego a US release.
When more information is given, we will be sure to pass it along.