OPINION: Nintendo of America: A Failure of a Publisher

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

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The following opinion piece is part of a debate of sorts about Fatal Frame and Nintendo. To check out the rebuttal, be sure to click here. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not reflect the opinions at large of Operation Rainfall.

Nintendo of America | Nintendo of America

Behold, the true face of this evil! And it’s not ancient Egypt for once.

Recently our own Azario Lopez wrote an article stating that Nintendo has killed the Fatal Frame series in the west. To say emotions have run high over that editorial and the whole recent Fatal Frame debacle would be an understatement. Is there any truth to that assertion though? Has Nintendo, specifically Nintendo of America for the purposes of this editorial, really sabotaged this game? Our own Jerry Hrechka and myself have decided to take a look at this claim and offer our own opinions on the matter. While Jerry will be arguing from the position of “no” (and do give his editorial a read, all sides of an argument should be heard), I will assert that, yes, they have, because they have failed in their duties as the publisher of the game. What exactly do I mean by this? Well let’s start with critical thinking 101 and define our terms.

What is a Publisher vs a Developer?

All too often, when we think of Nintendo we think of Mario, Zelda, and many other Nintendo franchises. While Nintendo does publish these titles, it’s important to realize that these are Nintendo developed titles. Meaning that they create and make the game. I am not attacking Nintendo properties in this editorial. I love many Nintendo franchises including the Mario franchise, which many people are divided on for its paint-by-numbers gameplay. Played one and you’ve pretty much played the whole franchise. That’s the idea behind it though, it’s a timeless classic that’s supposed to be accessible to all ages and generations despite the era it’s made in. However, didn’t Nintendo develop Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water? Yes, the game was co-developed by Koei Tecmo and Nintendo Software Planning & Development (now part of the new Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development division), but keep in mind Nintendo SPD, now EPD, is based in Japan and answers to Nintendo of Japan. No, what I’m talking about is Nintendo of America and their duties as a Publisher.

Publisher – a person or company whose business is the publishing of books, periodicals, engravings, computer software, etc.

~ Dictionary.com, November 5th, 2015

As you can see from the above definition, publishers are responsible for putting their product out there and selling it. Yes, you may buy the game from Best Buy or GameStop, but they have to buy copies from Nintendo first, and they’ll only buy if they think the game is going to sell. So it’s a publisher’s job to sell a game not only to consumers, but to retailers as well. This here is where my part of the issue lies, in the marketing of this product. There is none.

Nintendo of America | Searching for Fatal Frame on Nintendo's YouTube page.

Look at all that wonderful support.

No Marketing

Nintendo of America barely put any effort into marketing this game and it really shows. If you search their YouTube channel for Fatal Frame, you’ll get three videos with those words in the title. Search for Tri-Force Heroes though, and you’ll get eleven. While yes, Nintendo does develop Zelda let me remind you that Tri-Force Heroes was announced at E3 this year. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water? April 1st, 2015. How’s that for irony? What’s better, that announcement lasted all of 42 seconds.

Okay, so let’s argue then that they didn’t want to spend a lot on marketing a game that would only sell to a very niche crowd. That’s fine, but I’ll point out these were videos hosted on their own YouTube channel. Yes, video’s cost time and money to produce, but hosting them wouldn’t cost them a thing. They aren’t paying for TV or radio time here. YouTube is a platform that is accessible by all and Nintendo’s own channel has 1.3 Million subscribers. All I’m asking for is for some reasonable effort here, and if you want to save money then use your cheapest avenues and use them effectively.

With the lack of marketing addressed, let’s now examine their next choice: not supporting the game with a physical release.

Nintendo of America | Searching for Triforce Heroes on Nintendo's YouTube page.

Do I even need to say anything?,

No Support

Yes, I am sure many of you are tired of hearing this argument about fans wanting a physical release for this title. Let me, though, talk about this in regards to a publisher’s duty. A publisher should always, and I mean always, do their utmost to promote, sell, and back a product. Nintendo is selling us a product and fans of this franchise I feel should buy the game to encourage them that they want more games like this. At the same time though, they have every right to be upset over the ridiculous idea to make this a digital only title and request that a physical copy be released. Even if that was a limited collector’s edition. Why? Well, let’s look at a couple of things.

First off, there is the obvious issue of having a lack of presence in retail stores. Yes, we live in an internet age where more and more information is being shared online and I’m sure you, dear reader, are usually very informed about things in the niche community. You’re reading this editorial after all. Think for a moment though about how often you impulse buy something when you go to any store. We even do it with something as simple as groceries. We go in for a gallon of milk and end up spending $20 bucks on things we didn’t know we needed. Nintendo is already hurting for titles, and for people who are considering buying a Wii U, seeing another interesting title on the store shelf does help sway that decision. I can’t exactly see the eShop selection while I’m at Target now, can I? That being said, is there a reason that Nintendo would prefer to release a digital version only?

One can make the argument that Nintendo chose digital only to reduce production costs. As I mentioned, they have to sell the game to retailers first so that retailers can then sell it to us. This takes up valuable shelf space in a retail store and Best Buy or Target may not want to stock the game, especially if the Wii U and its games aren’t strong sellers in their stores for a particular region. But that doesn’t explain why you wouldn’t offer a physical copy to be sold at GameStop or Amazon. Really, the only argument there would be production costs.

However, there’s a very simple solution: offer a limited physical release or a collector’s edition. Companies like XSEED and NIS America do this all the time and Gaijinworks only offers physical copies to those who preorder to reduce production costs. Even Visual Novel companies who use Steam are offering physical copies to those who want them, sometimes at a higher cost than the digital release, but at least there’s the option. Surely, Nintendo of America could have put together some sort of limited physical run, especially considering they have their own web-store.

Let’s move on though, and look at the problems associated with digital only releases, starting with the size of this game and its required demo.

Nintendo of America | Size of the Fatal Frame Demo

That may say free, but this demo costs quite a bit of space. 9GB worth.

The game is enormous, clocking in at over 9GB… for the “free demo.” That’s right, this whole situation actually gets worse as Nintendo of America made buying the game as convoluted as could be. You first have to download a 9964.8 MB base demo, and then you’ll still need to buy the full unlock… which is another 8186.6 MB. That’s a grand total of 18,151.4 MB — or if you want GB, divide that by 1024 for about 17.73 GB roughly. I can understand the game being large, but then breaking the game up into two separate files I need to find, purchase, and download just infuriates me. This isn’t simple for me as a consumer and I actually own a 2TB hard drive for my Wii U. I am precisely who Nintendo is targeting for this release and I don’t even want to buy it because of how convoluted the whole eShop scenario is.

Nintendo of America

So after I download the demo and decide to buy the game I have to download yet another 7GB?!

Then you have the obvious problem of your internet connection and how long it’ll take to download. I’m blessed with a good cable connection. Other people are not, and some still run DSL, as crazy as that might sound to you. Yes, you can argue that is their fault for not upgrading to a high speed internet connection. However, I really do feel sympathetic for people who even attempt to download this over anything less than a cable connection.

Is this all really a big deal though? I mean we still get the game, right? Well, if I’m a hardcore fan then, yes, I would most likely go through hell itself to ensure I’d play the game. Maybe even take my Wii U over to a friend’s house and borrow their connection so I could download it. As someone who just wants a game to play and might be on the fence, however, no. It is absurd to think that regular consumers would go through this much trouble to play one game they may never have even heard of except through a friend. So does that mean that the hardcore should just shut up and be happy? No, because Nintendo couldn’t even please them in the most basic of fashion: bringing over the game as it was in Japan.

No Respect

Nintendo of America | Zero Suit Samus Costume

Yes, dressing us as Zero Suit Samus is awesome, but after all you might have went through to play the this game are you going to be happy with things being taken out?

Yeah, I’m talking about the swimsuit issue. Not just the costumes that were taken out, but the edited scene with Tenue Miu. I’m not going to argue the point that censoring the swimsuits was for modesty’s sake and we shouldn’t mind. You are free to decide for yourself whether or not censoring sexuality is a good or bad thing. That is not the purpose of this editorial. Instead I will just make the point, that if I was a loyal fan who went out of their way to purchase, download, and play this title, to then find out I did all of this to play an edited version of the game, no matter how small the changes are, would have me seeing red. The people who bought this game, this very game which Nintendo of America has gone out of their way to hide and make nigh impossible to get a hold of, are the people who want it the most. And they want it all.

Not just that, but also consider the trouble Koei Tecmo and the Fatal Frame team went through to make this game, and the push from their side to give it to western fans. Then consider how insulted you might feel if you were in their shoes to see your game handled in such a horrible and unprofessional way by one of your esteemed partners. That’s what I mean by no respect. Nintendo of America has none for this title, its creators, or its fans.

To be fair though, the entire censorship issue isn’t Nintendo of America’s fault. The localization was done by Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of America used it to save money.

Let’s set aside the edits then and concede the point that without using Nintendo of Europe version we wouldn’t even have the game as it would have cost too much to put the cut content back in. In my opinion, that’s even more reason for Nintendo of America to give fans of the game some sort of collector’s edition. People would still be upset that content was cut. However, we could also look at the situation and cut Nintendo of America a break because it would feel like they at least cared. Instead, it feels like we’re being fed the scraps from Nintendo of Europe’s table and we should be thankful that we were even invited to dinner in the first place.

With all that said, let’s wrap this up.


In this editorial I’ve made the case that Nintendo of America is solely to blame for how Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water has been handled. It is my belief that if you’re going to go through the trouble of publishing a game, then you need to go all in. Not only to appease your fans and maximize sales, but to honor the work and effort of the creators. Look at companies like XSEED, NIS America, Atlus, and even Koei Tecmo America, all of whom are the American publishing branch of a Japanese development team. They all would have handled the release and publication of this game much differently — and better — and that to me is the true litmus test. Nintendo of America was the worst choice to publish this game.

The sad thing is, this isn’t something new. We’ve seen this time and time again with anything that doesn’t fit Nintendo of America’s “image” and sells itself. Fire Emblem, EarthBound,  and now even Xenoblade Chronicles X. We’ve even seen the same tactic of using Nintendo of Europe’s localizations before. While we’re just learning of the changes that may be in Xenoblade Chronicles X, keep in mind that Fire Emblem Fates is just around the corner, and from what we’ve already seen, that game is possibly going to have to undergo some changes to fit what Nintendo of America thinks a game should be. Will it stop there though, or will they just decide to give it the Fatal Frame treatment and throw it out there quietly, hidden, and make a game with two very different sides a pain to download and play? I’d make the argument that the only reason they’re even publishing these games is because of a mandate from Nintendo of Japan, but that is for another time.

One thing is clear from this little case study however, Nintendo of America is a failure of a publisher and I have no faith in them.

Nintendo of America | My Castle - Petting Mini-game

If you think the dialogue from the touching mini-game in Fire Emblem Fates is going to survive, well just remember this is Nintendo of America we’re talking about.

About Benny Carrillo

A gamer since the days of the NES, this professional otaku adores Mega Man, Super Robot Wars, Yuri, Visual Novels, the Slice of Life anime genre, and of course Hyperdimension Neptunia. His mission on oprainfall is to help deliver the news straight to you.

  • TrojanHorse711

    I’ve said this before on twitter, and I’ll say it again here: it’s not so much the swimsuits that are a problem so much that they were cut from a game that was already M-Rated. In the case of Xenoblade Chronicles X, which is T-Rated, it’s at least understandable given the context (and I personally don’t think the replacement is that bad aside from what appears to be shortening Lin), but because they’re censoring content from a game that’s decisively NOT for kids, this makes ZERO sense. On top of that, and forgive my language on this one, but the way they handled what little marketing they’ve had is total bullshit. I mean, seriously, using “Spoopy” for an ad for a horror game?! That’s something I’d expect from Borderlands 2 writing.

    • blackice85

      More than anything I just think censorship of any kind is insulting, both to the creators and the customers who should be able to choose what they consume, not have it decided for them.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      As the writer of the rebuttal mentioned, that’s really up to the creators. We don’t know what they wanted. In a previous Fatal Frame article, one commenter mentioned than many developers in Japan feel pressured to put sexualized costumes in their games, even if they don’t want to. In such cases, a copy of the game without those costumes would actually be closer to what the creator wanted, and would therefore be more of an honor than an insult.

    • Nicholas Perry

      And yet is there proof in context of this for any given title? Unless we get specifics then it’s impossible to say.

      Even if they still are left in. You don’t have to use them.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      Exactly. Unless someone actually gets a statement from the creator, we don’t know if he prefers the game with or without the costumes. Without his input, we cannot know if he’s insulted, honored, or just apathetic.

      Of course. That’s not the point. Nintendo didn’t want the option to put minors in lingerie in the game. I, and I’d imagine most people, think that’s an entirely appropriate decision.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      In both games, the costumes are on minors. That’s generally frowned upon in the West, even for an M game.

  • PanurgeJr

    Two files is not convoluted, and modern retail titles are big. If this truly infuriates you you should set gaming aside for a few days and read Epictetus.

    • darkgamer001

      You have too keep in mind the system it is on
      Even most Premium Pack Wii U owners do not have space for this without an external HDD
      Now before anyone goes off on me about the benefits of having an external HDD connected to the Wii U…yes, I have a 2TB one connected to mine.
      That’s not the point. Not everyone agrees and if a number of people would need to get one just to play this game, then it’s just reducing the number of sold copies, and we’re talking about something niche here, so…

    • Ace Trainer Chris

      It is when the platform the system is on only offers 32GB of space when absolutely nothing is downloaded to the system. Factor in all sorts of firmware updates, game updates, DLC, Virtual Console games and so on, and that “32GB” of space is absurdly tiny.

      Especially when you consider that the other platforms offer up to 500GB right away. Worse for those who may consider getting this game after picking up a Wii U bundle on Black Friday that already has both Smash and Splatoon installed on it. Right then and there, they will have no space for any other games without having to resort to buying an external drive. A physical release saves memory space compared to going full digital.

  • Josh S.

    Very well reasoned argument and points. Good job, Benny!

  • Operative

    I wouldn’t go so far as to call them a failure of a publisher, just that they are far inferior to NoE and NoJ when it comes to pleasing their fans

    • blackice85

      I wouldn’t say that failure is too strong a word. They’re a very old and experienced company and have more than enough resources and know how. I don’t think they have any excuse. As the article pointed out, much smaller and more fragile companies do a better job of releasing niche titles than they do. I don’t see why NoA can’t manage it.

    • Operative

      Honestly, failure would be not bringing the games at all. Incompetent, sure. But not a failure. I share a similar anger at NoA, especially after the past couple of years, but to call them a complete failure of a publisher is overkill and overdramatic.

  • darkgamer001

    Articles like this need to become viral among the Nintendo fanbase in the hopes of finally getting through to Nintendo
    I’m from Europe, so I could just say this doesn’t affect me. But the way I see it, NoA is damaging Nintendo as a whole.
    And really, a lot of us just want to see this whole NoA, NoE and NoJ crap go away. Especially between NoA and NoE. It’s like having two different companies, catering to two different audiences living on completely different planets.
    When talking to fellow gamers across the pond, I never got the impression that they’re some kind of alien species (I hope that impression is mutual..heh)
    We are very much alike in most cases, so I really can’t understand why their approaches need to differ so much.
    A more global Nintendo, please….

    • blackice85

      Honestly I almost never realize who’s from where unless they specifically mention it or are writing in something other than English. I agree though, I wish they’d do away with the regional nonsense and just do global releases.

    • Hogtree Octovish

      I don’t know.

      I’m from a certain island nation off the coast of Europe which speaks (mostly) the same language as America (hell, we invented the language :P), so 90+% of the time we usually get the same game (translation-wise, at least) as the Americans and Canadians.

      And although we did receive different AmEng and BrEng translations for Splatoon and TriForce Heroes, I don’t really see it happening for most games.

      In the case of Fatal Frame/Project Zero, I honestly don’t care enough about the franchise to buy the game (not to say I don’t sympathise with those who do care), so if there are any differences please correct me.

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      At least Europe gets all the Special Editions. And, like, everything else from Nintendo despite them selling less in that region. Seriously, I had to make a pretty lengthy trip to New York City to get a Mario Kart 8 SE. Not cool.

  • megaman18

    this is insulting to me as a fan of the series and i wanted to get a wiiu to play this downloading this game is a chore i failed downloading it so many times my wiiu froze and shut down on me when i had an external HDD i bought the EU edition hoping some frustrated fan figured out a way past the region lock

    this is making me considering buying anything nintendo related in the future they were promoting yokai watch and zelda tri force heroes on their twitter ignoring the pleas to release fatal frame physical its sick

  • GoreWhore

    I live in a VERY rural part of the US where high speed still isn’t an option. We have a satellite ISP that peaks at 1mbps AND we have a data cap. There is NO way for me to play my favorite franchise under these conditions. I would have to lend my system to a friend in town just to download the damn thing.

    The game has been out for weeks and I’ve not been able to even play the demo. It’s infuriating. I WANT to give them my money, but they don’t want it it seems.

    • blackice85

      And most jackasses will just say to you something to the effect of ‘just move somewhere else lol’. That’s a big reason why I’m not all aboard digital only, it’s just not viable for a great many people.

    • Operative

      Same here. Which is why when those patents about a digital only nintendo console made rounds and people were hailing it as a great move by nintendo, I was arguing over why it would such a stupid, careless, terrible idea.

  • JDobbs

    While I only agree with certain portions of the article, Benny definitely did a good job writing this up and I’m pleased he was able to respect with the other side while sticking by his opinions.

  • Keichi Morisato

    too bad with Koe Tecmo America, that they don’t actually do any of the localizations. all of the translations and localization is done by a Japanese team that BARELY knows english. the mishandling of Ar Nosurge Ode to an Unborn Star is more than proof of that, the anime cut scenes don’t have subtitles, the text has a lot of spelling and grammar errors, etc. i even called to see about them updating the game to have subtitles in cut scenes, that was several months ago and no update.

  • SullenSamurai

    My problem with Nintendo of America (and Europe) is that they don’t seem to understand their role; they’re a [b]publisher[/b], not a developer. They want to take games from Japan and make them theirs in a way, and the problem is, these games aren’t theirs, not really. Sure, they have the legal rights to distribute them in foreign markets, and with that, the legal right to alter things as they see fit. But just because they [em]can[/em] do something doesn’t mean they [i]should[/i].

    As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to Nintendo games (and Nintendo-associated titles like Yokai Watch or Zero/Project Zero/Fatal Frame titles), the games I want have already been made; I’m just waiting for my particular branch of Nintendo to bring them to me in my first language. I’m not waiting for them to give these games their own flair (like the unnecessary memes in Triforce Heroes), to sterilize them of “offensive” content (bikinis are too lewd for western eyes!), or to otherwise diminish the “Japanese-ness”, for lack of a better term, from titles (“Springdale”, “Nate”, and “Katie” from Yokai Watch say “hi”). Needless changes to the base product just irritate me and, potentially, put me off from making a purchase.

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      Well, as a publisher it’s also their duty to market Japanese games in a way that would make them have more appeal to a western audience. Which is why I don’t think they are in the wrong for changing the outfits in Xenoblade since the character is thirteen freaking years old.

      Fatal Frame is whatever. I think they didn’t try to censor the game so much as just take costumes they thought were generic out and put in more Nintendo-y stuff to draw in fans.

    • SullenSamurai

      I wouldn’t expect a foreign (or domestic) movie featuring a thirteen year old in a bikini to be altered for my western eyes. I don’t know why people think videogames are somehow this radically different concept. Needless alteration of a creative work isn’t cool. It doesn’t matter the content or the content’s intention, you leave it be.

      And on Fatal Frame, yes, let’s take out generic costumes that have story relevance (well, one of them does) and replace them with generic costumes that have none (and are more out of place, actually). Makes sense. Even if you don’t want to call it censorship, it’s needless (and, in this case, I’d argue detrimental) nonetheless.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      It’s much harder to alter a movie without changing it. Also, just calling these costumes bikinis doesn’t convey how revealing they are. They’re more like lingerie.

      The question, then, is does the costume itself actually matter in the story, or can it be any costume? As I understand it, they appear in the story when the girls are modelling. Why do they need to be modelling these specific costumes, and what does it change in the story to put them in different costumes?

    • SullenSamurai

      Just because something is easier to change in one medium versus another does not equate to it being more acceptable.With that out of the way, the character who is/was a gravure model was originally in lingerie during her flashback photo shoot scene, but seeing as the outfit was removed in the western releases, she is just in her default outfit instead. Seeing as the scene was supposed to be about her regretting her own role in her objectification, it kinda loses its impact when she’s suddenly in “normal” clothing rather than something revealing or fetishistic.

      Hopefully the above is not news to you, seeing as it’s widely available information and we are on the internet.

      Also, bikinis and lingerie are about equivalent in how revealing they are by default (of course, either can be more or less extreme; see: micro-bikinis), so I don’t know what kind of distinction you’re trying to purport.

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      It’s a freaking costume. In what context does it have other than fan service?

    • SullenSamurai

      Ironically enough, its use is in a scene that in many ways criticizes fan service, as the heroine looks back at her time as a gravure model — a model that poses for cheesecake photos wearing lingerie, bikinis, or other fetishistic clothing — with regret. A bit of self-criticism, perhaps.

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      Oh well? These things still don’t really impact the game. Honestly, what would seem sillier to the average person?

      “I am not supporting this game because it does not interest me.” Or “I’m not supporting this game because boobs.”

      At the end of the day that’s what this all comes down to. Neither of the topics you brought up in your comment affect story, gameplay, sound, graphics, etc. they are so minuscule to the experience that’s it’s disconcerting to see people outright boycotting the game.

      People will gleefully buy EA games with microtransactions and broken Ubisoft games but the moment Nintendo takes boobs out stop the fucking presses and your pitchforks. It’s silly.

    • SullenSamurai

      The false equivalency (you think the same people “boycotting” this game happily buy EA games and support microtransactions? Really? Why?) at the end of your already stupidly self-serving response (“I don’t care about it, so it can’t be important”) really helps to implode any logic you may have conveyed nicely. I’m not going to add anything else.

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      False equivalency? Do me us both a favor and look at the sales figures of EA’s shooters, including Star Wars if/when those figures come out.

      You are A-OK with having chunks of content stripped out to be sold for money but foam at the mouth if a costume or a boob slider get removed for unknown reasons. This is not only hypocritical, it’s largely naive.

      You have completely failed to illustrate any actual significant changes made to FF’s story and act as if others HAVE to feel affected. The only self-serving, stupid points being made here are yours.

  • Ragunaxl

    My only argument is over the physical copy. Not as a collector who wants a tangible copy because I have many digital games in my ‘collection’ spanning back several gaming generations even installed pc games on older model computers where i’ve lost the physical copy. Digital only, by right, is fine and financial ly feasible. I get it. But don’t do it on a system that is bound to 32 gigs of storage! What inane reasoning could justify that? 10 gigs of storage immediately went to my tranfered wii data, another 9 or 12 is going to the xenoblade support files, i have sevral eshop games which is what that type of storage is intended for, and now nintendo is basically jamming fatal frame and lost reavers down our throats as digital only. Where are we supposed to put these games? Here’s where some snarky 15 year old tells me not to buy/download them. I couldn’t if I tried!

  • Splinter

    Fantastic article. I agree with everything. Congratulations!

  • TrueWiiMaster

    I find it extremely awkward that you’d bring up the costume removal in an article about NoA’s supposed failings as a publisher, fully knowing that it was NoE that did it. Not only that, but somehow you still conclude that “Nintendo of America is solely to blame for how Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water has been handled”.

    I also find it awkward that no real mention was made of Fatal Frame’s incredibly low sales potential. No Fatal Frame has ever broken 100k in the US, even on platforms with 10x more systems sold than the Wii U. That’s why the game’s digital only, and that’s why they didn’t market the game heavily. It simply wasn’t worth it. The comparison to Triforce Heroes was ridiculous, as even the worst selling Zelda sold about 4x as many copies as the BEST selling Fatal Frame in the West (which, may I remind you, released on a system with tens of millions of owners).

    Your mention of games like Earthbound, Xenoblade, and Fire Emblem as possible future “victims” doesn’t work either. Again, you fail to consider sales. The lowest selling Fire Emblem in the West still sold more than 3x as many copies as the best selling Fatal Frame, and the last Fire Emblem had the best sales in the franchise’s history. Xenoblade, even with its limited and delayed release, sold more than 5x as many copies as the best selling Fatal Frame. I couldn’t find sales for Earthbound, but you should remember that NoA chose to bring Earthbound to America, unlike NoE who skipped it altogether. With the eshop, they’ve finally brought over Mother 1, too, as well as re-released Earthbound.

    “this very game which Nintendo of America has gone out of their way to hide and make nigh impossible to get a hold of”

    Considering the game was featured at E3, featured on the storefront of the eshop, and is free-to-start, you really couldn’t be further from the truth. Ironically, a limited release would have been more hidden, and harder to get a hold of.

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      I think this addressed a lot of the counter arguments I wanted to make while I was reading the article. Well done.

    • Fighunter

      Just answer this then.
      Why was NoE, someone who likely would deal with many distribution issues across multiple countries, able to produce and sell a physical edition, whereas NoA couldn’t even do so for the US?

    • TrueWiiMaster

      For one, they had a much smaller area to cover. The US is huge, almost as big as all of Europe, and that’s not counting Canada or South America. On top of that, I’m not sure NoE actually released Fatal Frame throughout Europe. Since I’m not in Europe, I can only go by websites (I used the various Gamestop sites). On many of those sites, it’s not available. In those countries, they could still order copies from elsewhere in Europe (since they share the same region lock), but it seems like the game was only truly released in a handful of countries (I could be wrong).

      There are various other possibilities to consider as well. It’s possible that people in the US are more likely to use the eshop, making an eshop release more reasonable. It’s possible that Europeans would have been more likely to skip the game without a hard copy. It’s possible NoE was trying to push the Wii U, which has done worse in Europe than any other major region. And of course, it’s possible that NoA just didn’t want to spend the money with so little potential return. We really don’t know the exact reasons for NoA’s decision.

  • Brimfyre

    I wish you would have left off the rant about Mario. It clearly shows you don’t know much about the series and to start off with that really throws off the points you make in the rest of the article, which I think are all exactly spot on.

    But your clear ignorance about one of the most famous and popular gaming franchises as “color by numbers” really throws a lot of your credibility out of the window.

  • Thomas

    NoA just needs to be liquidated and all the people working their out of the job.


  • Nicholas Perry


    A cross post from the other article.

    “It’s simply a higher cost-gamble”

    That’s why you learn how to niche good sir. Plenty of publishers have been surviving on doing just that for a very long time now.

    It’s time for the big boys with too high of expectations (*cough* Capcom, Nintendo, Square Enix *cough*) learn how to do the same.

    It’s because of this lack of unwillingness to change that we’ve missed out on some truly amazing games. And smaller companies have had to take up the fight and try to make it happen. Often to have the door shut in their face because “If we don’t want to do it ourselves then it’s impossible man! It just can’t happen! Go away, we’d rather be happy to let it rot then let someone else make us look bad!” (Said Sony with Demon’s Souls)

  • Fighunter

    I would further like to blame the lack of marketing on Nintendo Treehouse, and one Ms. Rapp in particular. While she’s likely to dismiss this as some sort of personal attack as she is wont to do, someone who claims their greatest achievement is adding the word “spoopy” to a title is clearly incapable of understanding who exactly this title is aimed at, and how to appeal to that audience. This, on top of incredibly unprofessional behavior, right down to personal attacks against coworkers while LIVE ON AIR.
    Clearly there is something to be said if part of your localization and marketing team takes pleasure in insulting customers, diverting blame, and otherwise bringing in completely unrelated politics into what should be a simple livestream. This is all just further proof of the mentality at NoA, as evidenced by ex-employee Chris Pranger: the complete and utter contempt at the core and niche consumer NoA have, on top of their ability to properly make business decisions more often not leaving the heavy lifting to be done by NoE. It is absolutely disgusting that a company such as Nintendo could have such an anti-consumer mindset be so prevalent with its employees and yet here we are.

  • Travis Touchdown

    It took me three days to download Xenoblade’s patch. I had no problems buying, downloading, and enjoying Fatal Frame.