CAMPAIGN HUB – A Renewed Hope for Digimon Games in the West

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

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By


NOTE: This article is from the oprainfall Campaign Hub, written by an independent campaign, and hosted on the oprainfall website. The opinions herein may not represent the opinions of oprainfall.

Hello there, rainfallers!

It’s been a really long time since our last blog article, and a lot of things have happened. For starters, our petition (that recently celebrated its first year) just passed the 50.000 signatures milestone, which is absolutely amazing. We thank you from the bottom of our heart for your incredible support and dedication! We would have never reached such an incredible result without you all.

As some of you may already know, the goal of our petition changed a little, lately: it not only asks for the localization of Decode, now, but for EVERY Digimon game to make its return on the Western shores! We decided this in order to count in the latest announced game, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth for PlayStation Vita, which is drawing the interests of many fans (and ours too, obviously).

The most important event, anyway, is that Bandai Namco finally gave us a real answer!

In this sense, we have first to make a little clarification: we have noticed that quite a few people have thought that reaching the 50.000 milestone would have meant an “automatic” announcement of localization for Decode and/or Cyber Sleuth. We have to clarify that it is not the case. The thing we have been asking is for Bandai Namco is to consider a localization of the games, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a sure thing. We were saying that a minimum of 50.000 signatures was useful to try starting a discussion inside the company to decide the future of the Digimon franchise in the West. And Bandai Namco, in fact, seems to have heard our voices, and reading the following news will make you understand that they may already be considering.

About ten days ago, they announced a brand-new game in the franchise, named DIGIMON All-Star Rumble, exclusively for American, European and Australasian territories. The game is developed by the Japanese studio PROPE, founded by Sonic’s creator Yuji Naka who is already responsible for the Digimon Adventure anniversary game released on PSP two years ago in Japan. Saban Entertainment is also involved in the development. It is a party-arena brawling game, with a Powerstone-inspired 3D gameplay, presenting a roster of all-time loved digital monsters from the various animated series! It can be considered a new entry in the much-loved Digimon Rumble Arena series, which started way back in 2001 on the first PlayStation.

In their press release, they finally and officially acknowledged our fan movement, as you can tell by their words:

There are few fan bases as passionate as Digimon’s. The fans’ campaigns haven’t gone unnoticed, and we’re truly amazed by the amount of support they continuously show to their favorite series. We couldn’t be more thankful. We’re very excited to announce today DIGIMON All-Star Rumble! We hope fans will enjoy this brand new adventure in the Digital World, sure to be highly nostalgic and full of familiar faces like Agumon, Gabumon and many others.”

Chris Gilbert, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Bandai Namco Games America, also added:

We are especially pleased to see Digimon fans rallying support for future Digimon video games to be localized in the Americas. With DIGIMON All-Star Rumble, we look forward to delivering a battle arena game experience that Digimon fans can really be excited to get their hands on.”

This is exciting news!

With All-Star Rumble (which will be released on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next 11 November in America and sometime this fall in Europe/Australia, and more details about the game will be coming in the following weeks), Bandai Namco is probably going to test the waters for the future of Digimon franchise: they are aware of which games we want, but they need to see how big and how loyal the Digimon fanbase can really be, and to also reinvigorate the hype for the franchise (whose latest series, Digimon Fusion, is being aired in various parts of the world). Digimon have been absent from the market for 6-8 years, so localizing straight away a text-heavy game like Decode and/or Cyber Sleuth (which is still in development in Japan) would have been too risky without knowing how many people are actually going to buy it  a petition alone can’t give an exact estimate.

But if this is not enough for you, this article by Kevin Sanchez can give us another hope to see Digimon World Re:Digitize Decode localized in the West:

“We asked one of the Namco Bandai PR if this game [DIGIMON All-Star Rumble] was announced previously under the radar (since we thought we were living under a rock) but it was indeed a new title announced that day.

I was told that they were excited to finally announce a Digimon game but they were also very nervous since it wasn’t Digimon World Re:Digitize [Decode]. When we asked if they were aware of the petition they told us that they were aware and they were amazed that it has gotten so many supporters.

Although they still have nothing to announce for Digimon World Re:Digitize [Decode], there seems to still be some hope for it to come overseas.

It’s possible that the final outcome of this situation will partly depend on the performance of All-Star Rumble, but if they are willing to release this new Digimon game in the West  a Japanese release is not planned, at the moment  it’s the proof that they may already be considering a localization of other games in the series. They just need the right motivation, which in this case is a large interest and satisfying sales.

That is why we encourage every Digimon fan out there, if the game inspires you even just a little bit and you have a PS3 or a X360 (or are planning to get either), to preorder or buy DIGIMON All-Star Rumble as soon as possible. Signing on the petition is important, but concrete support is even better. The best thing we can do right now to have Digimon games back in the West is to actively support the Digimon games they are currently able to offer us.

Digimon All-Star Rumble logo

While it’s true that All-Star Rumble is not exactly the game we’ve been asking for – we didn’t even know it existed, before they announced it! – it sure is a step in the right direction. Most importantly, it does look promising and fun, and it kindles a new hope for the future of Digimon games in the West. But it’s not just for these reasons that we should support it, but especially because it’s been years since the last Digimon game we had: it’s a special occasion that we should all celebrate by having fun with our beloved digital monsters.

In the meantime, like always, I invite you to continue sharing our petition to people who are interested in those games! Let’s reach even higher numbers, that together with the sales of All-Star Rumble, will make our point on Decode and Cyber Sleuth even more stronger.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this news.

PS: just in case some of you still don’t know, Toei Animation announced a new Digimon animated series for next Spring in occasion of the 15th anniversary of the anime! It will apparently have the same characters from the very first, glorious series, but we’ll see them in their high school years! One of the most notable things is that Toei Animation published a trailer in English language, dedicated to “all DigiDestined in the world”! Could they be planning a triumphant worldwide comeback of the Digimon franchise?! That is something we all must wish and be excited for!


Our petition on Change.org: Link

Our official page on Facebook: Link

Our official Twitter account: Link

Our official Tumblr: Link

About OPERATIONDECODE

Our goal as a campaign is to convince Bandai Games to consider the localization of Digimon games in the West. At present, our main focus is on "Digimon World Re: Digitize Decode" for 3DS and "Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth" for PSVita. We initially started as a Twitter campaign, with the hashtag #OperationDecode, then opened an online petition on 12 July 2013. Our target is to reach the highest number of supporters possible, and to increase the awareness about these games.




  • OMG I am so pumped up about this, Are you? 🙂

  • Vallen

    If they seen the petitions, why not just bring those games over–instead they will make a new game? Why?? This game could bomb and then the others wont be localized…they should have just brought over the games that people want and WILL buy. I dont get them

    • Tyrannikos

      It was explained pretty well in the article. They are both text heavy games and one is still being developed. Paying for localizing costs on complicated games that could fail is not a smart business move.

      Digimon: All-Star Rumble is a strong probe into the West to see if love for Digimon truly still exists. They already have the fan petition to see the spirit is still in the West. Now they need concrete support. They gave us a simple game we didn’t even expect. If it’s adequately supported, I imagine they’ll start looking into the Vita and 3DS titles.

  • Anna Scruton

    I need more Digimon games in my life. Pleaaaaase!

  • Rahmon Alimi

    it sucks cuz All Star Rumble looks like shit and this is an ass move by Bandai Namco!

    • Renaldi Saputra

      Shit? It’s awesome

    • Rintarou

      Someone hasn’t played Power Stone.

    • Benny

      digimon….powerstone….
      this is too much nostalgia FOR ONE MAN TO HANDLE!

  • Joshua Churchill

    I’m torn by the whole situation. On one hand, I really don’t want this game as I have never been a fan of the rumble series or competitive fighters as a whole (casual or not). on the other hand I feel obligated to buy it so that there is hope they will release the digimon rpgs that I really want.
    I understand that they need to test the waters and fighting games have a broader appeal, but I don’t like the idea of having to buy a game I don’t want in hopes of getting one I do.

  • GMB

    Hey, i have been thinking.. is it possible to also ask Bandai to release digimon World 1,2,3 and Data Squad as well as Digimon Card Battle on the PSN?

  • TheeAwesomeOne

    A NEW RUMBLE ARENA YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

  • jumpnett

    To bad it’s for PS and XB. No Nintendo love?

  • Steve

    It’s a shame they decided to ‘test our love for digimon’ by making a new game only for PS3 and 360. What about One, PS4 and PC (PC being the one I have). Seems like a very limited way of testing our love. Well, i’d be happy with a 3DS version of rumble since I actually have the damn thing. 🙁

    • Tyrannikos

      Yeah, it’s a real shame we got a Digimon game when it’s been proclaimed that the franchise is dead in the West.

    • Steve

      Are you really that dence? They are testing our love for Digimon by releasing a game for 2 outdated consoles. If it was released on Xbox One and PS4 as well then I might understand. But only on 360 and PS3 is extremely limited, if they wanted to get a real representation of out love for the franchise then they should release the game for a wider group of platforms. Sorry you were to butthurt to get that first time round.

    • Tyrannikos

      Call them outdated all you want, but there were over 160 million combined units sold between the 360 and PS3. XOne and PS4 have sold just over 10 million units to date. Bandai is shipping this game out to the larger audience.

      Coding the game to work on newer consoles might not have paid off for them since there are so fewer units out there when compared to PS360.

      Also, it’s “dense”.

    • Steve

      So not only are they targetting people who might still own the 360 and PS3, out of only 360 and PS3 players they have to get people who know that game even exists and who even want it. PC and 3DS owner here, I want the game, but I can’t show Bandai that I want to see digimon games return because out of a potential of 7 platforms, they picked only 2 and from that tiny demographics, this is going to determine if we see any future games or translations here in the West? Are you kidding me?

    • Tyrannikos

      I’ll tell this to you too: the PS3 and 360 have extremely high numbers when compared to the PS4/XOne. The install base is MUCH larger.

      I understand that you’d like it on your own consoles, but that’s the problem with exclusives at all. Decrying the fact that you can’t get it on the platforms you chose isn’t Bandai’s problem, or even your’s, really. It’s just the way it is. They made a calculated decision and you happened to be on the losing end. It’s not a personal attack on you. The mindset that making a game exclusive to specific platforms is a personal attack is a really poor stance that is all too common. It’s just a business decision.

      You don’t have to support this with a purchase. Just spread the word and hope it succeeds, then maybe you’ll get the games you want.

      All that being said: Bandai owes you nothing just as you owe them nothing. Do what you want, but Bandai has chosen to release this game on two very popular consoles.

    • Joey Wheeler

      Shame you can get games though other means (Shiver me timbers.) on older consoles. They could have at least taken a poll to find out what system we really want it on. Most likely 3ds would dominate a poll for this.

    • Tyrannikos

      “Most likely 3ds would dominate a poll for this.”

      That’s very possible, but we can’t really know that for sure. All I know is that Bandai is putting All-Star Rumble, a game we didn’t even know existed up until now, onto two very popular consoles at reduced price.

    • Elvick

      I doubt it, given the local gameplay of this. Not many in the west do ad-hoc multiplayer with handhelds. nb4 someone brings up Pokemon ignorantly.

      Local multiplayer is more fitting on a console, especially where consoles are the most popular (the west).

      Gamers may want it on a handheld, but general consumers walking into Wal*Mart aren’t going to like a multiplayer game like this on a handheld.

    • Steve

      I hope that the game does well, I really do. Mainly because i’d like to play some of the 3DS games like Re Digitze: Decode. But making the game for such a small target, I can only imagine poor sales then Bandai saying “well I guess nobody likes digimon in the west, never make a game there again”. Look at Capcom, they make Resident Evil Revelations for the 3DS, then released a port of it to 360, PS3, Wii U and PC. Sales of that game where higher than Resident Evil 6. Now they are remastering Resident Evil: Remake (remake of the first game for Gamecube) and releasing it on 360, PS3, One, PS4 and PC. The resident evil accounment has 3x the views and likes compared to the digimon trailer and it’s coming out on 5 systems including the news ones and PC comapared to Digimon only coming out on 2 old ones.

      This is not good, if they are using sales of a brand new game that is hardly advertised on two old systems then using that as a measure on if they should translate and/or make new Digimon games for the western market. Then I see faliure.

    • Benny

      I wouldnt worry about what Capcom is doing with RE in terms of what Bandai is doing with digimon.
      i couldnt be more hopeful that bandai IS NOT copying capcom. real talk, the re-release of the RE remake (good lord) may very well be the last good thing we see out of resident evil as a whole, in the us or japan. Digimon has more chances to be successful in the long run, even if it flops in the west.

      could be worse though….digimon COULD be stuck in license hell just like robotech/macross. I’d probably find a really tall bridge if that happened….

  • Ketchups

    They completely missed the head of the nail here. It the mechanics of the digimon game that most of the gamers who signed the petition love. More then half of the bandai digimon games created have been absolutely horrendous. Even the first digimon world sold great in NA because of it’s solid core mechanics and unique gameplay. The theme is a great bonus, but I refuse to support Bandai in this endeavor. If they want the sales they desire from the NA fan base, they should not be wasting time or energy marketing anything further then what the fans want. Clearly it’s not Rumble Arena that we’ve all signed the petition for. So chances are, when this game bombs and sales are incredibly low, the blame will get shifted once more to the NA demographics and not bandai’s terrible marketing skills

    • XDragon

      So far the game has 22k in sales. Considering everything against it, it’s not too bad

  • heaves

    too bad i only have a 3ds, i would so get a vita for cyber sleuth tho

  • Sora Yuuki

    HOHOO…! THIS IS AWESOME..!!! I CANT START SHAKING..!!!

  • XDragon

    I’m holding out hope that these games get localized

  • So… what’s happened since then?