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Pandora’s Tower Campaign Update

UPDATE: Pandora’s Tower has been announced for North America, published by XSEED Games, and scheduled to be released Spring 2013!



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.

 



 

 

UPDATE – OCTOBER 11, 2012

PANDORA’S TOWER UPDATE:

After 15 months of campaigning for Pandora’s Tower, and the launch of Nintendo’s next console in just over one month, Operation Rainfall will be ending our campaign for Pandora’s Tower to be launched in America via physical release. It’s been a great run. We’ve met some fantastic people that have helped us with the campaign and we’ve met some great people that are a part of the video game industry.

We have approached several niche publishers with regards to publishing Pandora’s Tower in North America, and while some were more receptive than others, and some were open to the possibility, to date there is no confirmation that Pandora’s Tower will be picked up for release in America, despite the fact that it is already localized for the West.

As proven to us by our last three drives for the game, the fan support is dramatically dwindling for the game. The possibility always remains that Pandora’s Tower could see release as a digital title on the Wii U, and if Nintendo announces intentions to support Wii games via the Wii U eShop, we may decide to bring the subject of Pandora’s Tower back up.

For now, Pandora’s Tower rests fully in the hands of Nintendo, as all final decisions to publish the game in America rests with them. We want to thank everyone that participated in our campaign projects over the past 15 months.

COLLECTOR’S CASE UPDATE:

Everyone that made a donation of $10 or more will be receiving a Collector’s Case we had commissioned for this project. The cases are currently still in the production and printing process. We will notify everyone that will be receiving a case when they will be ready to ship. The original anticipated date was June/July 2012, and due to various reasons from volunteer errors to production problems, they have been delayed until further notice.

The Collector’s Case is a free gift that we are giving to each person that donated $10 or more towards Operation Rainfall. The Collector’s Case is not a purchase. As stated in our original petition, all funds received above what we requested will go directly into Operation Rainfall, and will be used to expand our coverage and reach, develop partnerships with publishers, and improve the quality of our coverage. Our staff is made up of worldwide unpaid volunteers and remains strictly non-profit.

Also, as stated in our original petition (seen below), the funds donated cannot be reimbursed. Why is this? As we mentioned, we made use of the funds for the purpose intended, while clearly stating that the fate of Pandora’s Tower does not rest with Operation Rainfall (as we do not own the rights to the game). The majority of the funds went into producing special kits, which were in turn used to pitch the game to publishers. In the end, we have no control whether a publisher decides to publish a game or not.


 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

 

 

 

– Click here for the latest update, July 17, 2012 –

Original Post:

With the recent revelation that XSEED Games approached Nintendo of America to publish The Last Story in North America and the fact that GameStop may have played a large role in the localization of Xenoblade Chronicles, the staff of Operation Rainfall have decided to try a different approach regarding a North America release of Pandora’s Tower. Our previous campaigns involved a lot of messaging Nintendo of America – on Facebook and Twitter, through email and over the phone, and even via physical mail.

This time, rather than asking Nintendo for Pandora’s Tower directly (which we have already been doing for the past 9 months, alongside Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story), instead we would like to pitch Pandora’s Tower to the publishers themselves. This does not involve any spamming or harassing of the various publishers, but instead we plan on sending a special promotional kit to each of the publishers we have selected.

What publishers will we pitch the game to?

The staff of Operation Rainfall laid out three specific publisher requirements:

  1. The publisher must have a working relationship on the Wii console (i.e., they have published at least one game on the Wii, either to North America or Europe)
  2. The publisher must have experience with localizing titles that were developed in Japan
  3. The publisher must have experience publishing action/role-playing games

Based on that criteria, these are the six publishers we have decided to pitch the game to, in alphabetical order:

What will be included in the promotional packages?

Since we are pitching the game directly to publishers, with the hope that they will approach Nintendo to publish Pandora’s Tower, we want to make sure the kits contain everything the publisher needs to evaluate the benefits of localizing the game. Some items the staff are deciding to include are: A physical copy of the PAL version of the game, hi-res printouts of concept art for the game, printed copies of the many glowing reviews for the game, and possibly even a full printout of our original Operation Rainfall petition.

We already have the staff on-hand to print everything and obtain PAL versions of the game, however, all of this will come at a cost that is beyond what our current staff team can afford, who have been funding this entire campaign from their own pockets since day one.

What we ask of you is to help us out by offering a small donation through our official PayPal account.

 

PayPal Vs. Kickstarter

Why did we pick PayPal over the currently popular Kickstarter? The simple reason is because we do not actually own any of the rights to the games we are trying to have published.  These rules from the Kickstarter website that prevent us from utilizing their program are as follow:

No charity or cause funding. Examples of prohibited use include raising money for the Red Cross, funding an awareness campaign, funding a scholarship, or donating a portion of funds raised on Kickstarter to a charity or cause. (Kickstarter Project Guidelines)

Don’t post copyrighted content without permission. Only post content that you have the rights to. (Kickstarter Project Guidelines)

However, there will still be rewards!

Even though we are not able to use Kickstarter to fund this project to pitch Pandora’s Tower, we are in love with the idea of providing tiered rewards to people that donate. The staff of Operation Rainfall have currently decided on two tiers of rewards for people who help us pitch the title to publishers:

  • Tier One

Donate $5.00 (US) or more and you will receive a digital downloadable pack of Operation Rainfall themed wallpapers. There will be several designs and multiple sizes, each of these will be designed with the cooperation of Operation Rainfall Staff and members of our DeviantArt community. UPDATE: We will notify donators who qualify when their wallpaper pack is available for download. ETA: Late June 2012.

  • Tier Two

Donate $10.00 (US) or more and you will receive the wallpaper pack included in tier one AND a special 3-disc collector’s case to hold  Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. The case is made of high quality glossy paperboard, featuring a black background with the Operation Rainfall raindrop logo and the words “The Operation Rainfall Collection” embossed on the sides.

UPDATE:

  • This offer is open to anyone who wishes to donate, worldwide.
  • The case will be big enough for 3 individual games within their original cases, like a trilogy or season collection set.
  • The design is not final.
  • We will take an image of the finished cases as soon as they are printed.
  • Operation Rainfall will cover the shipping cost of the cases.
  • We will verify your address and notify you before shipping your case.
  • We will notify donators who qualify when their wallpaper pack is available for download.
  • ETA: June/July 2012 (Not Final)

 

How much money is needed to create the promotional kits?

Our calculation includes roughly $65.00 (US) to import a PAL copy of the game from retail, and another $20.00 for printing expenses per kit. Add another $15.00 (US) for shipping + insurance + tax. That is $100.00 (US) per publisher.

Multiply that by the six publishers we will be sending the promo kits to, and you have our final estimate of $600.00 (US).

*PLEASE NOTE: None of that estimated expense includes any of the time volunteered by our staff to put these packages together, printing, purchasing, and mailing. Also keep in mind that our team of graphic designers are also donating their time to create wallpapers and we will be sending all who donate $10.00 or more an amazing high quality collectors case as a “thank you” for their donation, this is all done voluntarily and not included in the overall estimate.

How will the donations be used?

We will begin using the funds immediately as they come in, and will begin purchasing import copies of the game and printing promotional materials as the funding is available.We will begin by creating single promo kits individually and sending them off to each publisher, one at a time, based on the publisher’s experience on the Wii console. Publishers that we feel have a higher chance of localizing the game will be our top priority. We will be notifying each publisher in advance via phone call, email, and an advance physical letter before sending the completed package.

For how long will donations be accepted, and what happens if we do not reach our goal?

Since we will be assembling the press kits individually and mailing them one at a time, even if we do not reach the estimated goal, we may still see success by reaching a small number of publishers. Since we will be using the donated funds to create these press kits as we go, there is no way to refund money if we do not reach the estimated goal; this holds true especially since we will be using all donations for the intended purpose of creating promotional kits to pitch Pandora’s Tower to publishers.

Of course, if a publisher picks up the title, we will close this donation page. Also, any proceeds that exceed the amount needed to create the promotional kits will be used to help fund this campaign in the future. Many of our followers have been asking for us to add additional games to our localization campaign, and the extra funding will go a long way towards how far we can extend our reach to publishers.We will always maintain a “donate” option for individuals who simply wish to donate to the campaign to help cover operating expenses.

Due to the nature of this campaign, regardless of whether or not the game is announced for localization in North America, we will be unable to reimburse donations or provide refunds. However, you can rest assured that all funds donated will only be used to further expand our localization efforts in the future.

The commercial viability of the Wii console can only last for so long, so if we do not reach the goal of $600.00 (US) by August 31, 2012, we will close this donation page.

Please help us make this project a reality!

Putting the game directly in front of the publishers is the best way to have Pandora’s Tower localized, and we want the first impression to be the best. If our small staff could afford to pay out of our own pockets, we would, but this project is a little too ambitious for our small team of twenty. That’s why we are asking you, the ones who have been clamoring for Pandora’s Tower since it was first revealed in January of 2011, to help us with the costs.

The staff and leaders of Operation Rainfall would like to thank you in advance for helping in any way you can towards the localization of Pandora’s Tower. We are quite confident that if pitched correctly, Pandora’s Tower will be published in North America very soon.

Again, thank you.

Sincerely,

Operation Rainfall Staff

 UPDATE:

Thank you everyone that donated toward helping us create promotional kits to pitch Pandora’s Tower to publishers!  We have reached our monetary goal and will be creating the kits over the course of this week!  Also, our PayPal account has been verified, meaning we can now access the funds and begin purchasing the materials required to assemble the promotional packages. We will start by importing 6 copies of the Limited Edition of Pandora’s Tower, one for each of the six publishers to review. We will also have large posters featuring official artwork of the game professionally printed. We will be including a copy of all print reviews for the game, along with print-outs from various online publications. We will also be including a physical petition and a detailed letter from Operation Rainfall staff, personally written for each publisher. The packages will be hand delivered by one of our campaign leaders to 5 out of the 6 publishers and mailed to the final one. (5 of the publishers are located in the Los Angeles area which is about an hour and a half from one of our leaders). We will be taking pictures and (possibly) videos each step of the way, along with notifying the public of our progress via our social media pages.
Below you will find the answers to a few questions you may have.
Thank you again for all of the support. With this type of fan support, we are confident that one of these publishers will pick up the game!
Q. I didn’t get a chance to donate, is there still a way to get one of the collectors cases you were giving away?
A. For those who are still interested in a copy of the collector’s case, we will be keeping the option to donate open. The cases will be available to anyone that donates $10 or more towards the campaign.
Q. What will happen to any proceeds above what is required to assemble these promotional packages?
A. All donations that exceed the amount required to assemble the kits will be used to help expand the reach of our campaign. This includes covering the cost of campaign expenses such as website hosting fess, creating promotional kits for future campaign games (added after E3), and holding community events (such a contests and giveaways). Operation Rainfall currently maintains a worldwide volunteer staff, and we are not for profit. This campaign will remain strictly volunteer for the foreseeable future.
 Q. When will I get my rewards for making a donation?
A. For those that donated $5.00 or more: We will notify donators who qualify when their wallpaper pack is available for download. ETA: Late June 2012.  For those that donated $10.00 or more: – This offer is open to anyone who wishes to donate, worldwide. – The case will be big enough for 3 individual games within their original cases, like a trilogy or season collection set. – The design is not final. – We will take an image of the finished cases as soon as they are printed. – Operation Rainfall will cover the shipping cost of the cases. – We will verify your address and notify you before shipping your case. – We will also notify donators who qualify when their wallpaper pack is available for download. – ETA: June/July 2012
Q. Will the box really have the word “Epic” on it!?
A. No, while arguably appropriate for these three games, the word has lost it’s meaning.  Rest assured this “epic collection” won’t have anything to do with that word.