Petitions by fans are nothing new. Angry PlayStation fans started one in 2008 to try and force Square Enix into cancelling the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII. A Grand Theft Auto V PC petition has garnered over 600,000 signatures. Recently Bayonetta fans have begun a petition to bring the original game to the Wii U. However, perhaps the most famous petition of all is Operation Rainfall, a huge petition that demanded that Nintendo release The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower and Xenoblade Chronicles worldwide.
Ultimately, Operation Rainfall was the only one to succeed with all three games getting Western release dates. However, according to Nintendo of America head honcho Reggie Fils-Aime says that Operation Rainfall had little to no impact on the fact that the games were released.
“I have to tell you – it doesn’t affect what we do,” Reggie revealed to Siliconera. “We certainly look at it, and we’re certainly aware of it, but it doesn’t necessarily affect what we do.
“I wanted to bring Xenoblade here. The deal was, how much of a localisation effort is it? How many units are we going to sell, are we going to make money? We were literally having this debate while Operation Rainfall was happening, and we were aware that there was interest for the game, but we had to make sure that it was a strong financial proposition.
“I’m paid to make sure that we’re driving the business forward – so we’re aware of what’s happening, but in the end we’ve got to do what’s best for the company. The thing we know [about petitions] is that 100,000 signatures doesn’t mean 100,000 sales.”
This is a stark reminder that the games industry is a business and that executives can’t always do what they want to do. If Nintendo didn’t think that these three games weren’t going to sell then they would never have put in the time and effort to localize them.