UPDATE: The information below is being kept as an archive. For up-to-date resolution status for those looking forward to receiving a collector’s case, please visit this page.
Q: Why must I contact you and supply my PayPal information to get a refund?
A: This is a multi-part answer: First off, not everyone wants a refund. A few people have stated that they genuinely appreciate the work done by Operation Rainfall in promoting niche games. Secondly, we have been reimbursed for the full value of the cases plus shipping, and we will be ordering a re-print, so for those that choose, we will be shipping a re-printed case. Third, even though we do have a record of each donation made, circumstances may have changed over the past few months for some who donated and we want to verify that we have the correct PayPal account information on file. Some PayPal accounts may have closed or become inactive. If you know your PayPal account information is still the same from when you first made your donation, all we need is your PayPal email address to issue the refund.
Q: Why did Operation Rainfall order 1000 cases?
A: 1000 was the minimum order with the printer. It would have been nice if we could have ordered half of that amount, and we’d still have huge stack of surplus cases sitting in someone’s closet. If we manage to ever get rid of all of these, we will not be ordering additional cases. Needless to say, this was our first (and last) attempt to have items printed as a reward for donations.
Q: What are the “cases”?
A: Earlier this year, Oprainfall created a fundraiser to create kits to pitch Pandora’s Tower to several U.S. publishers. The total cost asked for was roughly $600.00. At the time, we had not researched how much it would cost to have “collector’s cases” made, but we thought it couldn’t be that expensive, so we it would be cool to print a special case that we would have commissioned, printed, and shipped as a gift to anyone that donated $10.00 (US) or more. The case has a custom design that includes art from the three games that inspired the Oprainfall campaign. It is designed to hold three Wii game cases, but will not actually contain any games or plastic cases. It is simply a piece of cardboard that will be shipped flattened and must be assembled by the recipient of the gift.
Q: When did Oprainfall expect to have the cases shipped?
A: This was our first time dealing with having a product manufactured. Since at the time we did not know how long the process would take, our initial estimate was late June/July 2012. Due in part to both the limited time of Oprainfall volunteers and the printer we chose, we ran into several delays, pushing it eventually into late November. The actual arrival date was November 29, 2012.
Q: What happened to Pandora’s Tower?
A: We assembled six kits to pitch Pandora’s Tower to several U.S. publishers. A few of the publishers shot us down with a single email before we even had a chance to send them the kits. We spoke to a few of the publishers at E3 2012, and we even arranged a special meeting at E3 with one of the publishers to discuss the prospect of the game being released in America. Here is a quote I will use from one of the publishers, who shall remain anonymous: “[We] have made the decision that with an already ‘intense’ new title release schedule for 2012…..we will not look to publish any Wii titles in the USA this year.” The end result is that no publishers have openly agreed to publish Pandora’s Tower in the U.S., and the fate of the game’s localization rests fully with Nintendo.
Q: What is the name of the printer that printed the packages?
A: We will disclose the printer name after the cases are securely shipped to those who donated. Also, out of complete fairness, the delay in the cases was partially the fault of Oprainfall staff as well. For the moment, as we still have pending business with the printer, they shall remain anonymous.
Q: What happened to the cases?
A: On the night of November 29, 2012, while one of our staff members was away from home, a break-in occurred resulting in the theft of several boxes containing electronics and other valuables. Obviously the crime was organized because it was done in a very short period of time and resulted in the theft of several valuable objects. This was the same day that the box containing the cases was marked as “delivered”. Both our staff member and his family were away from the home during this incident, but the damage dealt was emotionally and financially.
Q: Will Oprainfall be posting a police report or tracking numbers?
A: Due to the fact that the police report contained sensitive private information and our staff member would like to maintain a level of personal privacy, this information will only be disclosed on a need-to-know basis. At the moment, the only party privy to this information is the shipping company. Also, in respect of our staff member’s privacy, we will not publish the tracking number, which discloses address information.
Q: Were the cases insured?
A: Yes. At the time the incident was originally reported, the staff member that made the original post was not sure, and the documents could not be located. We have since had the opportunity to speak with the printer, and we again have access to all documents and receipts.
Q: What condition were the cases shipped in?
A: The cases were shipped flattened in a large, nondescript cardboard box that would be large enough for 1000 flattened cardboard cases. We have not reached out to the printer for the exact measurement of the box containing the cases. We assume whoever stole this box thought it contained something more valuable than 1,000 sheets of cardboard.
Q: How much had been donated to Oprainfall, and how much did the cases cost, exactly?
A: If you would like to request a copy of our earnings statements, including donations and expense reports, please send a request to us using our contact form. However, this information is released to parties only on a need-to-know basis, so please understand if we cannot accommodate your request. We do not make our accounting information available to the general public.
Q: Why was the original post deleted and not simply updated?
A: Quick damage control. The post contained inaccurate, rushed information that was meant to be helpful and informative, and really just a case of bad public relations. Also, the post wasn’t deleted, it is simply no longer available to be viewed by the public as we’ve now posted much more information on this page. A copy of original post and all comments on it can be made available upon request if we determine that you need access to that post.
Q: How much influence did Oprainfall have on the release of Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story in America?
A: Officially, none. Oprainfall does not claim to have impacted the decision to release (or not release) those games in North America. We’d like to think that we may have helped promote sales of the games after their release, but nothing more.
Q: How can I request a refund?
A: Oprainfall will grant a full refund for individuals that donated and submit a request via our contact form. Please be sure to include your name, the email address attached to your PayPal donation, and the name attached to the PayPal account. It would also be helpful if you include a PayPal transaction number. If you request a refund, your name will be taken off of our mailing list for the cases. Once the replacement cases are shipped, you will no longer be eligible for a refund.
Q: If the cases were insured and are still going to be reprinted and shipped to everyone that donated, and individuals also have the option to request a full refund, why are some forum-goers and commenters claiming that this is a “scam”?
A: First off, it was an honest mistake on the part of one of our administrators to rush out with incomplete information. This was done with honest intentions, to make our readers aware that a major issue had occurred that involved the cases. The fact that it happened over the weekend while both the shipping company and the printer were closed for business hours only exacerbated the problem. The staff member in charge of shipping the cases had a traumatic event occur, which also caused temporary gap in communication, which also didn’t help. Finally, this is the internet, and the internet will always be the internet, rushing to conclusions without taking the time to get the full story. Since the incident was first reported, the situation has blown dramatically out of control for a website that only gets 200,000 users per month in traffic. In a single phrase, the entire incident could have been avoided had it not been for “bad PR”. Please consider that this was a devastating crisis for one of our staff members.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.
More information can be found regarding our Pandora’s Tower campaign by visiting this link: http://operationrainfall.com/final-update-pandoras-tower-campaign/