Limited Run “We’re Trying To Work Towards a Fatal Frame 5 Release”

Friday, April 29th, 2016

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Fatal Frame Maiden of Black Water

Limited Run Games has been bringing digital games to physical media in limited quantity. Their most recent release was Odd World: New and Tasty for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. There has been some buzz on their Twitter over the past month where fans were asking them for a Fatal Frame 5 physical release in North America.

For those who don’t know, Fatal Frame 5 released on the Wii U physically in the European region, but only made it to the eShop in the North American region. Fans urged Nintendo to rethink the digital approach due to the size of the game and the lack of memory on certain Wii U SKUs. We even assisted Operation Zero on their campaign to get fans together to voice their opinion. Sadly, the game stayed a digital-only release in North America.

Now that we have Limited Run Games, many fans have been tweeting them asking for a Fatal Frame 5 physical release. The company had been pretty vague in their responses up until yesterday, when they revealed what seems like a real attempt to try and make this happen:

So there you have it: there might be hope for a physical edition of Fatal Frame 5. What do you think about Limited Run Games and will you support them if they decide to go through with this? Let us know in the comments below and let them know if you are one of the fans that would purchase a Fatal Frame 5 physical copy.

We got to interview Limited Run Games at Pax East 2016. We will have that posted next week.

  • j0eeyy_p

    While it is good that Limited Run Games are offering to do this, they really shouldn’t be. NoA should have done this themselves at the games launch so that collectors had the option of purchasing it physically. Nintendo have the sufficient economies of scale to make a print run and make any losses if nessecary. I doubt this will materialise, simply because Nintendo won’t be interested in negotiating something that they should have done themselves. II’d be surprised if it does.

    Not like I’ll be rushing out and buying one though even if it does get released, I have the PAL limited physical edition already from NoE, whom actually respects collectors by providing them the option they are entitled to from a large company. I don’t factor in cenorship though in that, that’s an entirely different story….

    • Hexyz

      While I was incredibly annoyed with Nintendo’s decision about this game (I still haven’t bought it because I don’t want to buy an external hard drive for it, turning an expensive game into a pointless investment), I would hardly say that just because Nintendo has the money to eat a financial loss they should. That’s just bad business right there.

    • j0eeyy_p

      One thing you have to remember is that this series has a niche appeal and will never get as much attention as Resident Evil or any other mainstream horror game, so pleasing the existing fans should be among the highest priorities. NoE understood this and released a limited physical edition of the game, so that fans, collectors, physical-only gamers etc. had the means to play this title. That is better business as it gets NoE into people’s good books and are more likely to support other releases from them meaning more support for Nintendo releases in the long run in that area as it shows they have confidence in their products. By contrast, NoA did the opposite and released it digital only while ignoring fan requests for a physical release, suggesting a lack of confidence in the product and respect for the fans, collectors, physical only gamers etc., thus less money earned in revenue. Among other issues, this is putting people off from supporting NoA.

      Admittedly if the Wii U was region free like it should be, this wouldn’t be as much an issue as it means US gamers can get around this crap, but alas Nintendo still do not understand why region locking is anti-consumer.

    • Hexyz

      You’re making an awful lot of assumptions there. A lot of what you’re speaking of is kind of a “in a perfect world” scenario.

      Unfortunately, pleasing the fans isn’t going to be the highest priority for any company – making money is. That’s the goal of all businesses in the end. It’s a delicate juggling act, one that NoA has admittedly not done a very good job at recently. They’ve certainly made bad choices, but that doesn’t mean that you can criticize the bad choices you don’t like and encourage/demand what may be a bad choice that benefits you. I think it’s important to remember that business decisions aren’t so simple or black and white for any business.

      At the end of the day, Nintendo is an entity, something that doesn’t have feelings. As much as their actions might piss us off, they aren’t done as a willful sign of disrespect. It may feel disrespectful, and it may make your blood boil (lord knows I’ve gotten pissed), but to assume that they are making choices with that in mind is making an enormous assumption.

    • j0eeyy_p

      I don’t believe Nintendo explicitly go out to be disrepectful either and if it came across like that that’s not what I meant – I believe they genuinely have no idea what the market for niche games want. Trying to operate in a market with inadequate knowledge can be seen as ignorant and disrespectful to the consumer as you are not market orientating your buisness towards them. Nintendo as a whole can be described as out-of-touch with regards to the home console gaming market, not just for niche games like this.

      Compare that to the upcoming Gal Gun: Double Peace where PQube and Inti Creates are pushing for no censorship in the title alongside a physical option for both US and EU and a limited edition. It’s PQube’s second foray into niche game publishing in all Western territories and they are clearly putting the effort in to understanding what the market wants. That is good business. The audience between these two titles overlap to an extent in terms of them both having distinctively Japanese flavours in thier content (though not fully I will admit, Gal Gun is an ecchi series), so Nintendo could learn a thing or two from them.

      So yeah, Nintendo should definitely factor in money when making business decisions – but if it comes at the cost of things that are expected by the audience, that’s when it sohws their lack of understanding.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      “Nintendo have the sufficient economies of scale to make a print run and make any losses if nessecary.”
      That’s not really how business works. If you are expecting a loss, you do everything you can to reduce or remove it. You don’t say, “well, we can afford to throw away some money”. I’m still of the opinion that America’s lucky Nintendo released the game at all. A physical release is always a good thing, but you can’t really blame a company for refusing to take losses just to please a very small niche group (many of which were pledging to boycott anyway due to the “censorship”). If Nintendo hadn’t already announced Fatal Frame for America, I wonder if they would have even released it. Honestly, if they had just said “no American release”, there probably would have been less backlash.

      “by providing them the option they are entitled to from a large company.”
      You really aren’t entitled to anything. Nintendo makes games, and you buy them if you want them. They aren’t obligated to appeal to you or release things as you want them, just as you aren’t obligated to buy them.

    • j0eeyy_p

      Nintendo had very little else to release for the Wii U and still don’t – realistically the only other Japan only titles they could have paid to localise was a Taiko Drum Master game, Dragon Quest X and Yakuza 1+2 HD. It’s not a case of luck, it’s literally having no games. If the Wii U had better support in general it is likely that this game would have stayed Japan only like Project Zero 4.

      You are correct – Nintendo should aim to minimise losses, but this shouldn’t come at the cost of a physical release, or anything else that is expected from a company of their size. They could have done what NoE did and make the physical copy exclusive to a limited edition. Alternatively, make it online store exclusive. NoA own a store, so this isn’t out of the question. Or perhaps more cynically, they could have done a preorder program where fans pay in advance to print the physical copies of the title. There are many options Nintendo should have went down, yet did not.

      If a company decides to localise a title that have the sufficent scale and resources as Nintendo – they either go all out with a physical or do not localise at all. Smaller companies like Acctil (Ray Gigant) or larger companies localising unknown genres like XSEED (Senran Kagura Burst) exceptions can be made, but Nintendo are an established company. They should continue showcasing their IPs with as mcuh exposure as possible, and that includes shelf space. Project Zero is an established IP dating back to the Xbox/PS2 days, it already had a fanbase.

      I agree on the obligation part though. In this case, if a large company releases a game digital only when they have the resources to do a physical release, then I will get the game cheap in a sale or not at all. Why should I pay a premium for less than what Japan got from the same company?

    • TrueWiiMaster

      The number of Wii U games coming out definitely helped Fatal Frame see a release, but that really doesn’t change my point. It was lucky that it got released at all.

      They certainly could have gone those routes, but it probably wasn’t even close to being worth it. As you said in your first paragraph, Fatal Frame was released in America so that there would be a game released on the Wii U. It was not released so they could please a handful of collectors, nor was it released expecting a big return. You keep saying that Nintendo should have done more because they’re a big company, but in reality it’s probably because they’re a big company that they didn’t do more. They have other, more worthwhile things to do.

      That’s not really true anymore. With the rise of digital stores, it’s not unusual for companies, big or small, to release games, particularly niche games, digital-only. Tecmo released Fist of the North Star digital-only for the Wii U. Namco released One Piece Unlimited World Red the same way. On the 3DS, Atlus released Attack on Titan digital-only, and Capcom released Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies and the Phoenix Wright Trilogy digital-only. I’m sure I’m probably missing some, but as you can see, these are games from fairly big companies. Personally, I’m happy that publishers/developers can put out these niche games, games that might otherwise go unreleased, with less risk. As for the Fatal Frame fanbase, it is very small. There wouldn’t be many people excited because they saw Fatal Frame on the shelf at Gamestop.

      I generally share that same view. If I’m going digital, I want a discount. That’s why most of my digital retail games were from big sales (50+% off), or free from Club Nintendo.

    • j0eeyy_p

      I do agree with that – NoA struggle to give much attention to the mature rated games on their platforms with the exception of Bayonetta. However Devil’s Third got given a very stealth physical release where only preorders and a handful of spare copies were printed as physicals – Project Zero could have recieved the same thing. That way it still would have satisifed the “handful of collectors” and NoA could have changed priorities pretty quickly after. It’s also a better quality game than Devil’s Third, so it would have been more valued as a physical.

      Fair point – though a lot of those are smaller games, plus in the case of Namco Europe did get a physical release of One Piece. Attack on Titan is an anime spinoff, plus was handled by Atlus whom probably released it digital only so they didn’t have to deal with Europeans begging for physical releases, as is the norm for Atlus. I do agree to a point – however I think this only applies to smaller companies or untested genres as already said – and even then, subsequent sequels should be granted physical releases if they were already retail in Japan. As with Senran Kagura 2 getting physical after Burst was a digital only title in NA. That can also draw in audiences whom may have skipped the first title because it was digital only, and may go back and buy it in a sale once they have played through their physical copy of the sequel.

  • Mr0303

    #FatalFramePhysical #GiveUsTheDisc. 😀

    • Panpopo

      LOL I am glad someone said it! First thing I thought of when I saw the article. I really hope a physical disk happens!

    • azariosays

      keep it alive!

  • KissDisqus

    Here’s hoping NX won’t be region locked so people have the option of importing the physical release in the next similar situation.

    • Lord Ackercocke

      Amen to that. At least Sony saw the light.

  • Izanagi

    This sounds like a nightmare came true. Fatal Frame 5 physical release? Onlline only?? If in-store, I will buy it day one!!

  • Lord Ackercocke

    I’d defintely purchase a physical copy. I simply refused to buy the digital copy.

  • Zeonis

    I will definitely buy it if they do a physical release!

  • Raiken

    I still don’t get how Devil’s Third got a disc release while Fatal Frame V did not.

    • Zeonis

      Yeah really… Nintendo of America often makes dumb decisions while Nintendo of Europe gets so much good stuff.

  • Yep I’d buy this right away.

  • Tiredman

    If it releases physical, I will snag it. I don’t really care about it, but I wouldn’t mind supporting the effort.