Personal note, Operation Rainfall is what got me to browse the gaming forums. And after beating Xenoblade (Amazing game btw), I wanted to see how well it did and sales and all that and that lead me to the Chartz. Looking back, Rainfall was my origin point in becoming "informed" about the gaming industry in general.
Operation Rainfall was likely one of the greatest fan movements in the past years.
Operation Rainfall formed from the focus on three Wii-exclusive titles: Xenoblade Chronicles developed by Monolith Soft (makers of Xenogears, the Xenosaga series), The Last Story developed byMistwalker and AQ Interactive, and Pandora's Tower developed by Ganbarion. All three titles were published by Nintendo in Japan, Europe, and Australia between late 2010 and early 2012.
On June 23, 2011, Mathieu Minel, the marketing manager of Nintendo France, stated that Nintendo of Europe wanted to show Xenoblade Chronicles at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, but that "Nintendo of America wouldn't let them because they didn't want to show products they aren't planning to sell." Minel's departure from Nintendo was announced 11 days later. In response, fans of role-playing video games on the IGN message boards, specifically the Nintendo Wii Lobby, started a campaign the next day, dubbed "Operation Rainfall", in the hopes of persuading Nintendo of America to localize Xenoblade Chronicles, along with The Last Story and Pandora's Tower, as ultimately, none of these three games had appeared at the Expo or possessed any sort of North American release. The main organizers of the campaign did not exclude supporting other titles for North American localizations, but focused on the three games.
Well we got all 3 games now, so Operation Rainfall is officially finished. And the results?
Xenoblade Chronicles- sold better in both EU and NA than Japan, NA numbers are double Japan's numbers. Not bad for a retailer exclusive, not marketed 2012 Wii release (Overtracked in Chartz though). Reggie said that NoA was pleased with the sales and the developers almost certainly made back their $$ after the NA and EU releases.
Another thing to note is that Xenoblade was pirated nearly a million times. http://mynintendonews.com/2011/12/31/heres-the-most-pirated-games-of-2011/, which cut into sales and explains why NoA was so hesitant on releasing the game over in NA, even though the numbers in Europe were good. Could've easily been a million seller if not for all the piracy and stock shortages.
Xenoblade also was ranked #2 on TIME's top 10 games of 2012, and is currently the most expensive game on the Wii at Amazon.
The Last Story- Mistwalker's Wii RPG was published by Xseed in NA (due to Nintendo seeing it as too risky no doubt), and they declared it as "their most profitable title yet"http://gematsu.com/2012/11/the-last-story-is-xseeds-most-successful-release.
Chartz has the NA numbers just surpassing the JP numbers. (Again, likely overtracked.)
The Last Story was ranked #7 on TIME's top 10 games of 2012, and Sakaguchi stated that he was pleased that it was recieved so well.http://operationrainfall.com/hironobou-sakaguchi-time-magazine/
Pandora's Tower- Just released last week, this "Black sheep" of the Rainfall games wasn't as critcally acclaimed as it's other two brothers. Published by Xseed in NA again, likely spurred by The Last Story success, we have yet to know how well it will do. But keep a close eye out for this one.
What Operation Rainfall ultimately proved is that there is still a very sizeable market for good JRPGs in NA and that fans of the genre can really band together and scream for localizations. Since then, Operation Rainfall has birthed many fan movements to get games localized. I have no doubt in my mind that Nintendo's recent strategy with bringing Japanese 3DS games to the West is partially influenced by the success of Operation Rainfall. Games like Bravely Default making it here published by Nintendo should be a clear sign that Nintendo has started to hear the fans.
"X" premiring worldwide on Nintendo Direct should be even more telling. Really glad to see that the campaign worked out.
http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/profile/92109/nintendopie/ Nintendopie Was obviously right and I was obviously wrong. I will forever be a lesser being than them. (6/16/13)