OPINION: Operation Rainfall DID Help Bring Xenoblade To The Americas

Friday, March 16th, 2012

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Operation Rainfall Original Logo

First off, let me just start out by saying that this is strictly an editorial opinion piece and my opinion does not represent the campaign or other staff members of the campaign.  Second, when it comes down to it, who is responsible for getting Xenoblade here in the NoA region does not matter. What does matter is that we got the game! I do not care if somebody stumbled across a magic lamp and wished Xenoblade here from a genie (If that was you, thanks!). We got the game. I’m happy.

I am writing this editorial because I have a lot of pride in Operation Rainfall and in what I feel Operation Rainfall has accomplished. I have been here since the very beginning working behind the scenes. Let me tell you, sometimes this feels like a full time job. Hey I’m not complaining, I do it because I want to do it. I have passion for these games and I want to see everybody have the chance to play them. I also do not agree with the localization policies of Nintendo at all. Not in this day-and-age.

With all that being said, I would like to make my case for why I feel Operation Rainfall made a difference in bringing Xenoblade to the NoA region. I think the best way to approach this is my listing all of the “evidence” that points to this, one-by-one. This is mostly conjecture on my part, obviously we are unlikely to ever get a confirmation from Nintendo one way or another. Well, read what I present and then you decide.

A tweet from Soraya Saga, the wife of the creator of Xenoblade: “Thanks for bringing the rain. I believe fans’ enthusiasm made this happen

Hope Xenoblade will be loved. #Xenoblade” https://twitter.com/#!/sorayasaga/status/142735933421268994
The wife of the creator of the game says she believes fan enthusiasm made this happen, and thanks for the rain. Obviously directed at Operation Rainfall. I would assume she shares a similar view as her husband, they have no doubt talked about the subject, so I would say even the game’s creator agrees with us.

Nintendo revealed the game first on Facebook by posting three Xenoblade images at what was an obvious tease

Who do you think that was directed to? They posted three pictures without even a title or description. Of course Operation Rainfall followers would recognize the pictures immediately; and that we did.
The announcement came via Facebook and Twitter

Kind of a strange way to announce a “niche” game don’t you think? Though it makes perfect sense when you consider that Operation Rainfall is a social media campaign and much of our efforts went into posting on Nintendo’s Facebook and sending NintendoAmerica Tweets. By the way, there were 5 posts in a row on Nintendo’s Facebook. It’s almost as if they were excited about the announcement as we were.

Nintendo’s last Facebook post was this: “Thanks for your PASSION and ENTHUSIASM for Xenoblade Chronicles! Like the Nintendo page if you haven’t already to stay in the loop on the latest Xenoblade news and content.”

Notice anything about that last post (you should I underlined the words). Seems awfully similar to the post Nintendo sent to OperationRainfall back in June: “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!

Coincidence? Or a big wink wink to Operation Rainfall?

Nintendo of Europe held a Xenoblade contest in which the winners would receive copies of two games as the prize 

Any guesses what they were? The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower. Again, is it just another coincidence that all three Operation Rainfall games were involved with the NoE contest? Neither the Last Story nor Pandora’s Tower have even been released in Europe yet so NoE gave away vouchers.

Nintendo has chosen to do a limited release going through GameStop and their online store

This is an approach they have never tried before to this extent. It seems strange that if they had planned to bring Xenoblade here all along, Nintendo would be trying a new approach almost as if they are testing the waters. Nintendo, in response to Operation Rainfall, has devised a new strategy that they can even use for more niche titles in the future. Hardly seems like part of a master plan, seems more like experimentation.

Nintendo seemed unprepared

Some people argue that Nintendo had this planned all along because of the scarce 2012 Wii lineup. And yet, if this is the case, surely they would have had time to properly prepare a cover art for the game or even a new trailer. The trailer is nearly an exact clone of the NoE trailer and it took them weeks to post the boxart. Now before you tell me that this is because the game is based off of the NoE version, I would remind you that NoA and NoE approach marketing very differently and would not likely share the same trailers; and yet they did. Why? because this was not planned.

Nintendo kept the Xenoblade Chronicles name instead of Monado like they had shown previously.
Again, if this was all part of a plan, why would Nintendo change the name? The main reason I can think of is because of all the free press Operation Rainfall gave the game as Xenoblade Chronicles

In the Xenoblade trailer, one of the only noticeable differences from the NoE version from the NoA version is that in the NoA version there is a single line said by Dunban ” Sorry I kept you waiting”

Keep in mind that very little is said in this trailer. That seems like another wink wink from NoA recognizing the frustration of the fans, namely, Operation Rainfall

Probably the most compelling evidence comes from the same trailer that Nintendo posted on Youtube

In the tags, Operation Rainfall is tagged not once, but five times with “Operation Rainfall” “Project Rainfall” “Operation” “Project” and “Rainfall”. I do not know how clearer the evidence can get. Nintendo just called out Operation Rainfall by name. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q_KFemPumA&feature=g-all

I realize that no matter what evidence you provide, it just will be impossible to convince certain people because they do not want to be convinced. And let me reiterate, who gets the credit really does not matter to me other than from a sense of pride and hard work. But I do think what is important is that if Operation Rainfall played a role in getting Xenoblade released here, it also means that Operation Rainfall will have a role in getting the other two games released here as well.

So buy the game people. Let’s show Nintendo we were serious when we said we would pay money for these games. We may have very well started a new launch platform that Nintendo could use for every niche game they published, and not just the Operation Rainfall three. Influencing a company to change their business policies which directly affects how they make money, does matter. It is my opinion that everybody involved with Operation Rainfall made a difference for gamers everywhere.

About Ryan Tyner

Ryan is an owner and manager of the oprainfall website, mostly managing changes needed for the website and maintenance. He also writes articles from time-to-time. His gaming interests include mostly RPGs; both Western and Japanese. Ryan has a graduate degree in psychology.

  • Testing Comments Section

  • Hey, Pit also says “Sorry to keep you waiting” for Kid Icarus: Uprising! That’s the second time we’ve seen that subliminal messaging to fans who were “waiting” for this. That’s an epic way to do that. It really does show Nintendo was giving us signs. By the way, if there’s only one factor that can get anyone to believe Operation Rainfall had a factor at all in the localization for North America, the concrete evidence with no speculation at all is, Nintendo of America tagged Operation Rainfall in the Xenoblade Chronicles trailer on youtube. That alone is enough to say that Operation Rainfall did have a factor!

  • Eugene Ng

    Hmmm… It makes no sense on why they didn’t released it earlier in 2011 because we had nothing in Q1-Q3 except Q4 with the release of Zelda and Kirby! The rest, we bought a couple of games from a retail game store and buy Wii points. What happened to all the money they made off the Wii from the sales and they didn’t provide any 3rd party content?

    Let’s classify all gamers, to buy the physical copy of the game, don’t hack, homebrew, pirate and download the games. I know we can’t prevent that but we can help support the gaming industry by purchasing a copy of the game. Who knows, this may have an impact on later quality titles we may get. However, Nintendo is swallowing their pride this year and learning from their mistakes and getting up to speed with its competitiors which is good but its going to take more than that to get to being the best.

  • Jeff Walker

    Nice piece! I agree it seems likely that Operation Rainfall at least played a role in getting both Xenoblade and The Last Story released in the Americas. And regarding The Last Story, Reggie all but mentions OpRa by name in the Nintendo Direct video with (paraphrasing) “a Wii game fans have been clamoring for and thought might not be released in the Americas.” Great job!

  • Brandon Dutko

    Yeah, there is absolutely no way the game was planned to come here evidenced by the fact that:

    – We’re just getting the European version of the game. If NOA planned it from the beginning, they’d probably have made their own translation/voice recordings and the European version would’ve been based off of that instead.

    Nintendo is really doing nothing except changing the box art slightly, changing the reverse cover, and flipping a switch in the code to be playable on NTSC Wii’s.

    – If it was ‘planned all along’, then why on earth would they have given us 3/4 a year of nothing? People keep saying “They were saving the game to fill in the empty void in 2012”, but what about the empty void in 2011? There was no reason for us to have NO games until Kirby and Zelda in 2011. 3DS be damned, they could’ve released *just* Xenoblade (like Europe) and then given us The Last Story this year. Instead, we’re getting a 2 year old game *now*.

    – People cite the Facebook message as being a typical “NOT PLANNED AT -THIS TIME-” crap where they were just teasing that it was coming but not yet, but if that were the case, why would they flat out tell that dude from Nintendo France (I think?) that they didn’t want the game to be at E3 because they didn’t want to show games that they had “no plans of selling” in America?

    Having said that, Operation Rainfall obviously had something to do with it. If not the sole driving force, they definitely reached the right people’s ears. Even if OR didn’t cause it, they did cause a chain reaction of everything else. Gamestop’s interest, the media’s interest, and so on.

    So no matter what people think, Operation: Rainfall was at the core of the entire thing with it coming over and set the motions that led to Xenoblade coming here.

    • RyanOPR

      Great points!