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An open letter to Nintendo (RE: Xenoblade, The Last Story, Pandora's Tower)
Editorial by 
July 02, 2011, 08:45:28
I could start this off by talking about how I'm the biggest Nintendo fan ever, but anyone can say that, and half of the people who write these kind of criticisms of Nintendo have moved firmly into the Sony or Microsoft camps over the years, whether they admit it to the world (and themselves) or not. So instead I'll just post some evidence that, while not particularly proving one thing or another, will at least give you an idea of the type of fan of Nintendo that I am:

$10 to anyone who can name all of the games in this picture!

There you go. As you can see, my Nintendo collection greatly dwarfs my Sony collection, and I don't even own a Microsoft console. I'm not trying to make any striking claims here, I just want to set a bit of context. The following isn't coming from some long disenfranchised Nintendo fan, but from someone who has primarily supported Nintendo up to this point.

I'm also not going to threaten that I'm done with Nintendo and going to skip out on the Wii U. I'm not going to threaten it, because it would be an empty threat. Of course I'm going to buy a Wii U. But that's just me. Many others are making this threat right now, and although some of those will probably give in and buy the Wii U eventually, I am certain that some will not. Do I really believe that people will pass on the Wii U because of three missing Wii games? Well, no, not really. But I believe that this goes far beyond just three games: there is a much bigger picture here that you have been missing, Nintendo, and perhaps I can help you to see that picture.

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to clarify something here. I don't really like the term “core gamer”. It's a very difficult term to define, and it is usually used in ways that completely marginalize many of the great experiences that exist on Nintendo platforms (specifically the Wii.) From Muramasa to Trauma Team to Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, the Wii has gotten plenty of great titles that get ignored in discussions about core games for core gamers, and any true gaming enthusiast should be able to find at least some things to love about the Wii. Or rather, about the pre-2011 Wii. Still, I think the term core gamer can be useful when speaking in broader terms and I believe, for the most part, that we all at least have a working understanding of what the term core gamer means in a discussion such as this. To be more specific, I'm going to focus my use of the term on the Nintendo core gamer, IE core gamers who still buy and love Nintendo platforms. People such as myself and the others at Negative World, the type of people who know and care about games like Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower. If you start losing us, you're going to have a lot more trouble expanding into the greater core market again.

I also want to clarify that I am speaking only as a North American Nintendo fan. The rest of the world seems to have a much different experience than we do, nowadays. Although this wasn't always the case.

So Nintendo, you seem to want to appeal more to the core gamers with the Wii U?

If this is not just PR speak, and is a legitimate desire of yours, there are a couple of things about core gamers that I think you desperately need to know. I may be able to help you understand why the lack of North American localization for the three games in question has become such a touchy point for Nintendo fans in recent days, something that, based on your recent handling of the issue on Facebook, you don't seem to fully understand yet.

1. Core gamers enjoy casual games, but get truly excited about deeper games

I think it is a pretty amazing fact that core Nintendo fans will buy casual (and bridge) titles such as Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit, and Mario Kart Wii in massive numbers. And why shouldn't we? These are great games that have a lot to offer for anyone, from the casual to the core. But these are, for the most part, not the games that get core gamers truly excited about a platform. This is to say that, while we buy them and enjoy them, they are not the games that, when announced, make us run off to instantly add to our wish lists and post about on forums and generally raise our excitement levels to that of a frothing demand. Yes, of course it is nice to see a new Mario Party or Mario Strikers announced, but it is the deeper (and often more character based) franchises like Zelda and Metroid that make us core Nintendo fans get excited about the Nintendo platforms that we own. After all, you don't see people put time and energy into fan projects like this for Mario Party games.

This is also, incidentally, why Nintendo fans as a whole did not react well to Reggie's comments following E3 2008 about why we core gamers should be happy with the Wii because a new Animal Crossing was on the way. I love Animal Crossing, as I'm sure many core gamers do, but it's not exactly what we're talking about when we say that we want core games from Nintendo. (It didn't help that City Folk was a bit of a rehash either.)

We need something more to fuel the fires of fandom. Which leads me to...

2. Core gamers get super excited about new IPs

Let's take your average casual gamer, and say that they buy 1 or 2 titles per year. Even over the course of 10 years or so, there are probably plenty of Nintendo franchises that they have yet to explore. Not so much for us core gamers. We have been steeped in Nintendo, many of us for years and years since Mario hopped his way into our hearts back on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. I can't even begin to count the amount of Mario, Metroid, and Zelda games that I have played over my years of following Nintendo. And Nintendo, I love you for continuing to make them feel fresh, and incorporating new ideas into most of your franchise releases. I honestly believe that no one does this better than you do, and I eagerly look forward to the latest games in my favorite Nintendo franchises.

However, the core Nintendo gamer wants more. Call us selfish, but we do. We see the fact that companies like Sony and Microsoft are supporting their older franchises while continuing to introduce new ones, and we get jealous. We want to try out new characters in new worlds, and this is something that you have not done the best job of giving us lately. And this is part of why it hurts so much to see three Nintendo published games that are new IPs (barring the loose connection of Xenoblade to past Xeno games) that are not being released in North America. To you, perhaps, they are just a few more games on a list that includes many. But to us they represent something that we have really not gotten from you on a home console since the original Pikmin nearly ten, yes ten years ago. It's been a very long wait, and now you are telling us that, despite the fact that the rest of the world is getting these games, us North Americans have to wait even longer. You have to understand that we are not going to take this very well.

Part of the excitement over this game? It's a brand new IP!

And, for the record, banking on third parties providing the new IPs on your platforms instead doesn't quite cut it. For one, that simply hasn't happened on the Wii much, in fact core third party support has pretty much been absent in 2011 and looks to be even more absent in 2012. But the main reason it doesn't cut it is simple. Many of us truly believe that Nintendo is the greatest publisher/developer combo in the world, and that third parties simply can't match what you can do. We don't want just anyone giving us new IPs, we want you giving us new IPs. Because we love you that darn much.

3. Core gamers see home consoles and handhelds differently

I remember after the backlash of E3 2008, Reggie also seemed confused about why Nintendo fans were talking about lacking core games and listed several upcoming DS games as evidence that they were coming. What he missed was that almost no one was talking about the DS lacking core games, we were talking about the Wii lacking core games. These are two separate platforms, Nintendo. Yes, many of us core Nintendo fans own both, but that doesn't mean that we consider them interchangeable. Besides, there is a certain type of core game, call it the “epic”, that gets us most excited in a way nothing else can, and is very hard to translate to a handheld and keep the epic feel. One genre that is known for epics is the Japanese RPG. Incidentally, two of the games Nintendo fans are currently fighting to get released in North America are Japanese RPGs. Coincidence?

This E3 Nintendo had a pretty good show overall. The 3DS had a ton of great games to show off (if not much new), and the Wii U debuted and looks to have a lot of potential. But the Wii was pretty much completely ignored, outside of a small handful of decidedly non-core games, despite the fact that you have several excellent looking games that could be released in North America on the Wii. Nintendo, we are fighting to get these games released because we want to play games on our Wii, a system that we have loved and supported for years and we would like to continue loving and supporting until the Wii U comes around. And frankly, we didn't expect to see the Wii all but die off nearly two full years before the release of the next home console. Pointing towards the 3DS and the Wii U isn't going to change how badly we want Wii games to play in the upcoming months, and Zelda alone isn't going to cut it. And this again leads to my next point...

4. Core gamers will put up with a lot... if the games are coming

There are a whole host of reasons, whether they be legitimate or overblown, that are cited by core gamers who have not chosen the Wii as the console of choice for this generation. I'm not going to get into that here. What I will say is this; despite the fact that the Wii was lacking in many areas that core gamers consider essential (HD, “mature” games, online functionality, etc.) it still maintained a respectable amount of core gamer fans, if mostly from the long-term Nintendo gamers. And the reason these fans remained Nintendo, was not that everything was all peachy keen in Nintendo world, because it wasn't. It was the fact that despite many things that could potentially push people away, there were great games to play. Heck, I'll go on record and state that, for my tastes, 2010 was the best year yet for the Wii. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Monster Hunter Tri, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, Metroid: Other M, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Donkey Kong Country Returns all hit the spot nicely. The Wii could have used some more third party support, but us fans stuck around because the first party games were there.

Fast-forward to 2011. It is now July and what have us core gamers been playing on our Wiis in America this year? Well, I played some BIT.TRIP FLUX awhile back, and that's about it. And what is left for the rest of the year? In the eyes of the core, it basically comes down to another Kirby game, and Zelda. Yes, Zelda is huge, and will undoubtedly be one of the best games of the year, if not the generation. But outside of that, 2011 has been a pretty barren wasteland for the core on the Wii, and 2012 looks even worse. It may actually end up that Zelda is the only notable core release left on the Wii in North America until the Wii U comes along. This is not a good way to end a platform cycle, Nintendo.

The games are coming... right Nintendo? RIGHT?

I'm not even necessarily saying that this is how I personally view the Wii line-ups of 2011 and 2012 (although it is close), but that this is what I'm picking up, on various forums and the likes, as the Nintendo core gamer viewpoint. So you may as well stop pointing at your release lists and thinking you have your bases covered, to a large majority of your fanbase you are coming up very, very short at the moment. You don't have to agree with this outlook, Nintendo, but if you want to satiate the core you darn well better understand and respect it. I hope you are beginning to understand why these three games mean so much more to us than would first appear.

5. Core gamers are informed about the global market

One of the things that you need to understand, Nintendo, is that video game fans, especially Nintendo fans who have been with the company for 20+ years, view their fandom as a relationship. Likewise, the rules of a relationship apply. If I tell a girl that I care about her, and then she finds out that there is another girl who I'm not only telling the same things to but actually giving so much more to, what do you think her reaction would be? She would be distressed, of course, and moving forward, distrustful of the words that were coming out of my mouth. And why shouldn't she be? Actions have to match words, or words mean nothing.

We live in an age of global connectivity, where anyone and everyone can have their fingers on the pulse of worldwide happenings. And core gamers most definitely have their fingers on the pulse of worldwide happenings in the video game industry. We know what is going on. We know that these games are not only releasing in Japan, but that all three have been confirmed for Europe as well. We know that, on some level, you are singling out North Americans as not worthy of games that the rest of the world is receiving.

And it stings, Nintendo. It really does. We start to ask ourselves why does this have to happen to us? What is it about North America specifically that makes us undeserving of these games? You tell us you care about us, but why won't you give us what everyone else is getting from you? Do you, on some level, just not like us very much? Ok, maybe I'm not totally serious with that last question, but you have to understand that we have a real investment in Nintendo, and to feel like the rest of the world (even Russia and South Africa?!) are getting games that we are not hurts. You have to understand that this is not, and can never be, a neutral decision that you are making.

And, to be 100% frank, it makes us wonder why we should believe anything that you say when you talk about wanting to appeal to core gamers (in respect to North America.) I mean really... why should we? What reasons are you giving us to believe you?

6. Core gamers have long memories

And now I'm going to say something that might be a bit controversial, but is true nonetheless. The recent outcry over Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower isn't really about these three games. Or to be more precise, it isn't just about these three games, and if these three games not releasing were the only issue, it probably would never have blown up into what it is. I almost imagine the minds over at Nintendo trying to figure out why a mere three games are causing such a ruckus. But it goes back. Way back. Let me add a few more to the list:

Another Code: R - A Journey into Lost Memories
Disaster: Day of Crisis
NPC! Pikmin 2
Captain Rainbow
Fatal Frame 4
NPC! Chibi-Robo!
Takt of Magic
Zangeki no Regenleiv
Earthbound (Virtual Console!)

I could mention many DS titles as well, but I want to focus on the Wii. Nintendo of America seems to have taken an almost religious view of what can sell on the Wii, for the most part localizing only two types of games, Nintendo's staple IPs and Wii *insert something here* titles. Ok, fine, you guys clearly don't feel that the North American market has enough gamers who want anything else to bring over some of the more niche and/or obscure titles (yet somehow the European market does?) But, keeping in mind some of the points that I made above, what message does this send to core gamers, Nintendo? These are precisely the type of titles that we feel like we are lacking, and need to see more of. Failing to bring them over, to the point of what feels like exclusion in North America, sends us a pretty clear message. The message is simple, Nintendo of America has no interest in appealing to core gamers. How else do you expect us to interpret this?

Another famous lost Wii game. Lost in North America, anyhow.

The recent games are only the icing on the cake (the cake that we see but don't get a taste of), the bigger issue at stake is that we see a long-term pattern of being denied games that we want, even in the midst of what core gamers like us perceive as massive game droughts, and there is no real indication that this is going to be changing anytime soon.

7. Core gamers will play the games they want to, one way or another

I kind of hesitate to put this one in, because I certainly don't condone piracy, and I'm not totally sure if I condone hacking the Wii either. And I also don't want this editorial to come off as threatening, because it is definitely not my intention to make threats. But the fact is, after the recent announcement that these three games were not coming to North America, the desire to hack a Wii has grown exponentially. Just look at the comments on your own Facebook post, Nintendo. And although I'd love to believe that everyone will hack the Wii just so they can play these games and leave it at that, the temptation to take it further once you have a hacked Wii is difficult to ignore. It's a fact that many of the games we pay for can be obtained for free illegally, and it's (probably) a fact that once someone has the means to do so easily (IE a hacked Wii), they will be much more likely to do so. As a company who generally fights piracy tooth and nail, Nintendo, it is kind of astounding to me that you would make a decision that everyone in the core gaming community knew (did you really not see this coming?) would lead to a much greater interest in hacking Wiis.

And honestly, can you really blame someone for wanting to hack a Wii to play these games at this point? The Wii has been all but abandoned for core gamers, and hacking gives North Americans a chance to play some of the core games that the rest of the world gets to enjoy. Combine this with the fact that there really isn't much left coming to the Wii for core gamers, and hacking a Wii becomes a very appealing solution. Again, I don't really condone hacking a Wii, and I definitely don't condone pirating, but without the option to legally purchase copies of these games, your fans will naturally take action into their own hands.

8. Core gamers take things personally

If it appears that we are being mistreated, Nintendo, it feels insulting. And it definitely feels that we are being mistreated at the moment. Not just because of the unexplainable failure to release these games in North America while the rest of the world is getting a release (although that is certainly a part of it), but because of the way that you handled your PR response to Operation Rainfall as well. And this shows me something about the way that you are thinking that is not in tune with the way that we, as your fans, are thinking. Because when you announced that you would have something to say, it naturally led to excitement. Many of your fans assumed that you would not plan an announcement unless there was positive news to come out of it. A natural assumption, no? Instead it merely created a larger build-up to disappointment. And the result was something that anyone who had spent more than 10 minutes on a gaming forum could have told you it would have been: your fans were not very pleased. At all.

We take these things personally because, as stated above, we are invested in you, Nintendo. Many of us have spent years of our lives telling everyone we knew about how amazing you were, selling them on your products, getting them to join your forums, etc. Again, you simply cannot make decisions like keeping these games out of North America and expect them to be taken neutrally. A relationship of any sort, even that of a corporation and its fans, is a two way street. And a poorly worded PR statement as your only response makes us question why we continue to support you to such a high degree.

Why do you do this to us Nintendo? Why?!!!?!

Does it make sense that we can feel so connected to what is, in the end, a corporation that will inevitably make decisions to put money in the bank first and foremost? Probably not. But that doesn't change the fact that when we first picked up a controller and played Mario, or Zelda, or one of the many other excellent and creative titles of yours, they drew us in and made us feel something truly special. Remember the reaction when John Lennon died? Kurt Cobain? It doesn't have to make sense, people tend to feel a strong connection to those who create the things that they love, whether or not it is reciprocated.

Still, the PR statement only caused this reaction because we were already feeling hurt by a wide variety of things, many of which I have already detailed above. There is another path, however...

9. Core gamers want to be your biggest supporters

As stated above, we tend to view our fandom as a relationship, and have a personal stake in it. And you know what Nintendo? This can only benefit you, if you will allow it to. Because we will be the first to jump to your side on forums, in the workplace, with friends, whatever the situation may be, and we will often defend you with a passion that no other company can expect from its fans. We're your word of mouth marketing, and the Internet knows that no one is more passionate than a diehard Nintendo fan. We don't just approach fandom passively, we pride ourselves on how big of a fan we can be.

And I think you need us.

I'm not going to call the casual gaming thing a fad because I don't think that it is a fad, I think video games are moving towards broader acceptance and someday, perhaps very soon, people will think of video games the way people think of TV and movies. Which is to say that there won't be “gamers” and “non-gamers”, it will be something that almost everyone partakes of, in some form. However, whether Nintendo can continue to dominate the casual gaming market moving forward has yet to be seen. Microsoft has successfully taken a chunk of it with the Kinect, and I think the battle for the casual gamer is going to get even more heated moving forward. It's certainly no longer a blue ocean.

Will casuals prove to have the same kind of dedication to Nintendo as its core fans have had over the years? Who knows. But I'll say this Nintendo, you have a lot of fans who absolutely love supporting you, and they're mostly what could be called core gamers. I built this very website nearly ten years ago as a haven for Nintendo fans, and I've been running it strong ever since. I know a bit about core Nintendo gamers. Right here is your Nintendo hardcore, and if you want to seriously crack into the hardcore market that Microsoft (and to a lesser extent Sony) have been successful with this generation, you most certainly need to maintain your relationship with us. Consider the Nintendo faithful the bridge to the broader core market.

Many of us have been here since day one. What happens next?

However, we also tend to feel like we deserve something back in return for the years of support that we have given you. And right now, I'm sorry to say, we're really not seeing it. Not us North American Nintendo gamers, anyway. We're seeing a lot of lip service about appealing to core gamers, in the midst of one of the biggest droughts we have ever seen on a Nintendo home console, while watching the rest of the world get big game announcements that we are not getting. This feels like nothing less than a slap to the face. And it makes us feel marginalized, and then confused about why you would want to marginalize the biggest gaming fanbase in the biggest market in the world.

And if you don't believe that this is as big of an issue as some people are making it out to be, I'd suggest popping on some video game forums and taking a look at what Nintendo fans are talking about at the moment. It's not good Nintendo, not very good at all.

I'm not writing this as some kind of ultimatum. What you do is up to you, and whatever the case is with anyone else, I'll be playing your games on your platforms for a long time yet. I simply think that there is a large misunderstanding between yourself and your core fans, and there are certain things that you need to understand if you truly want to reach us. Whether you actually want to do this or are just speaking PR, I have no idea. But you should know that your actions will always speak louder than your words. If you're really serious about reaching out to your core fanbase, you should take another look at the localization of Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower for the North American market. You might not make millions off of them, but I guarantee that it will be worth your while if you want to win the core gamers back. It can't be the end of your efforts, but it might be a good beginning.

(PS. To anyone who has read this and wants to know more about the campaign to bring Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower to North America, please visit the Operation Rainfall site for full details.)

(PPS. Yes I know, it is unlikely that anybody that matters from Nintendo will ever read this. But then, you never know.)

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Posted: 07/02/11, 08:45:28  - Edited by 
 on: 07/02/11, 20:41:31    
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
Uncharted and Halo were new IPs once upon a time, and they got core gamers excited enough to establish the IP as very successful. Nintendo knows best that strong IPs are bank, but they alse should know that you need to create new ones on a periodic basis, and Nintendo has the potential to create the most memorable ones.

Core gamers will put up with a lot if third parties fill in the gap. The reason for this "exodus" as you put it was that Nintendo's games were too few and far between while solid content was overflowing on the PS3/360 side of things. The Wii just could not be ported to, and did not attract substantial development from third parties. If the Wii was getting the content spread across PS3/360/PC this year then the campaign for Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower would be much less strong. The problem is that Nintendo is not releasing its games in North America, when there is nothing else to play.

Nobody is hurting the cause by saying "I won't buy a Wii U because Nintendo isn't trying". It might be true, it might not be. But what's not debatable is the fact that Nintendo's decisions on these three titles is hurting them, whether they care or not. It sure does not look like Nintendo is trying [to please core gamers] from over here.

The more you post about this topic, the more I think you are just arguing against the cause for fun. Your rationale, and enthusiasm towards the cause, leave a lot to be desired.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 17:31:48
anon_mastermind said:

Nobody is hurting the cause by saying "I won't buy a Wii U because Nintendo isn't trying". It might be true, it might not be. But what's not debatable is the fact that Nintendo's decisions on these three titles is hurting them, whether they care or not. It sure does not look like Nintendo is trying [to please core gamers] from over here.

Of course that's hurting your cause. If someone is jumping ship over a WHOLE NEW SYSTEM because at the end of a life cycle Nintendo is not taking a chance on losing money by releasing a few games in the US, that's a big red flag to any company "Let them go, and don't look back." That's utter nonsense if you're in their shoes. Because when you're a company, you CAN'T please everyone. The first people on your list of "might as well not try" are the ones who will leave for silly reasons. Please note: Not silly to YOU, but silly to the BUSINESS. Not having three (or 8 if you want to include Captain Rainbow and the like) games out of dozens and dozens so you won't buy the next NEW CONSOLE and you as a customer are not worth fighting for. The resources are too great to try to keep you.

You keep fighting by YOUR rules, but you can't win that way. You have to fight by THEIR rules.

And, if you read my posts about all this without discrimination, you'll see I keep posting how to make small changes to HELP the cause, not argue against it. Am I enthusiastic about the cause? Abso-crap-alutely not. The only reason I care at all is because I'm thrilled people are trying. I wouldn't buy a single one of these games. That gives me the ability to step back outside of being emotionally attached and tell you that if you want to do it better, here's the way to do it. Play by their rules on their ground and stop being so emotional about it. Stop living online and wondering why a super-non-online focused company isn't listening.

If you want to ignore me, ignore me. I'm just trying, from the outside, to show you better ways to work towards your goal. And I guarantee you threats like "I won't buy a Wii U" is not that better way. It shows that person is being irrational, and if they're irrational now then chances are PRETTY FREAKING GOOD that come the Wii U and HD Mario, they'll be back begrudgingly or not. For as "long of a memory" that gamers have, wounds are quickly healed if a game they really want to play is released down the road.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 17:49:45
That was a very good read.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 17:50:35
@-JKR- Uncharted was a new IP this generation. There's also stuff like BioShock, Assassin's Creed, Dead Space, Mass Effect, and Gears of War, which all started as new IPs this generation. Sure, they've all got sequels now, but they were new IPs this gen.

Also, I find it odd that you write a long reply to tell Zero his letter is too long.

Zero, I applaud you for doing this. It probably won't do anything, but it does a great job of communicating our feelings without just sounding angry, as a lot of people have sounded when responding to NOA about this (myself included). I posted this on my twitter, so hopefully some more people see it.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 18:45:03  - Edited by 
 on: 07/02/11, 18:46:45
-JKR- said:
anon_mastermind said:

Nobody is hurting the cause by saying "I won't buy a Wii U because Nintendo isn't trying". It might be true, it might not be. But what's not debatable is the fact that Nintendo's decisions on these three titles is hurting them, whether they care or not. It sure does not look like Nintendo is trying [to please core gamers] from over here.

Of course that's hurting your cause. If someone is jumping ship over a WHOLE NEW SYSTEM because at the end of a life cycle Nintendo is not taking a chance on losing money by releasing a few games in the US, that's a big red flag to any company "Let them go, and don't look back." That's utter nonsense if you're in their shoes. Because when you're a company, you CAN'T please everyone. The first people on your list of "might as well not try" are the ones who will leave for silly reasons. Please note: Not silly to YOU, but silly to the BUSINESS. Not having three (or 8 if you want to include Captain Rainbow and the like) games out of dozens and dozens so you won't buy the next NEW CONSOLE and you as a customer are not worth fighting for. The resources are too great to try to keep you.
When the Super Nintendo released, there were still NES games being released. Sure, they were few, but they kept coming. We've got at least a year before the Wii U launches. Name five good, core games launching on Wii between now and then that aren't called Zelda or Kirby.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 18:48:49
I actually read that entire thing. Well said Zero, that was very well written.

I agree for the most part, however I feel like a lot of the anger a lot of people here are feeling are emotions I went through with the GC. I walked away for the first half of the Wii's life and came back. Nintendo and I are good again... though I wont deny some decisions of late are bizarre.

All of that being said I don't feel all that disappointed because I quit caring about 3rd party support on Nintendo platforms about the time I got fed up with the Cube. The truth is that this has been a process that started before the 64 came out... we didn't wake up in 2011 and all of a sudden there was a problem, it's been in the making since I was in high school. Frankly it's why people here from IGN and I used to argue so much on the GCGB.

Regardless that was an excellent editorial and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for posting!

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 18:59:25
The whole "I won't buy a Wii U" comes from the fact that Nintendo said the Wii U would appeal to core gamers, and Nintendo is not bringing over the core games, and on top of that there is nothing to play on the Wii. It's a rational line of thought, I think. There are a lot of gamers "on the fence" with Nintendo, they still love Nintendo games but they have the right to doubt Nintendo's commitment towards them when so many games fail to reach the US. It only adds fuel to the fire when Europe and Russia, and South Africa get these games but we don't. The financial hit Nintendo would take to do a limited release in the US for these games is almost insignificant compared to the positive vibe that would set in for core gamers on Nintendo consoles, and that's important heading forward with the Wii U.

I do agree with you that the fight should be taken off the internet and into the real world. But that's tough to do. I think the online campaign is necessary, because it increases awareness to a much higher degree among those interested.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 19:12:19
@Anand Hey I love Russia and South Africa! I really only brought them up because it is kind of a strange notion to think about that that they would get games that we don't get in North America, considering the sizes of the markets. Of course I realize that it isn't so straight-forward, I mean, they're part of other regions that are getting the game, no one sat down and singled them out over North America or anything. I'm not trying to base some major point off of that, just kind of a tiny thing to think about.

@-JKR- Well, early on I say this:

To be more specific, I'm going to focus my use of the term on the Nintendo core gamer, IE core gamers who still buy and love Nintendo platforms. People such as myself and the others at Negative World, the type of people who know and care about games like Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower.

So that explains why I say core gamers will put up with a lot, if the games are coming. I'm mostly talking about the people who are still with Nintendo, even after all of these years, not the people who abandoned ship long ago. The people still here are also screaming for new IPs from Nintendo. That doesn't mean new IPs are going to sell gangbusters, it is a tough market to break into with a new IP, but Sony and Microsoft have been doing it successfully and we both know that Nintendo fans have been bringing this up as a sore point for years. Of course we're going to go out and buy every Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Smash, etc. game that gets released, but there will still be a yearning for new IPs as well.

But that's really just a part of it. This whole editorial is based off of the idea that the "issue" here isn't a single thing you can point to and say "there is the problem", it's a combination of a lot of factors, whether major or minor, and I never tried to state how much any of those factors contribute to the whole because I really don't know. Core Nintendo fans might not be sitting around going "where are our new IPs?" every day if you look at it in a void, but you can damn well be certain that when they see new IPs that Nintendo is giving to the rest of the world but not North America that this matters. As a response to the specific topic at hand (Operation Rainfall, Nintendo's actions, etc.), I think that it is a valid point.

Does that help clarify my view a bit more?

As for the medium, I think you're right in general, but I think right now, it can be effective. Because Operation Rainfall is huge and being covered all over the Internet by most every major game site, and I'd bet Nintendo is watching, in some manner. And I'm not going to start naming names, but this editorial has already been picked up by a few major sites. It's the perfect time for anyone who has something to say and will spend the time to make it more than just an angry rant to come out and say it. Actually my main intent in writing this wasn't to get Nintendo to read it and change their minds solely because of me (that'd be nice, but pretty unrealistic.) It was more to add to the already pretty large deluge of people talking about this on professional gaming websites, something that as a whole Nintendo has already taken note of (hence responding on their Facebook) and will continue to take note of.

@Oldmanwinter I'm not even going to disagree with a lot of that, but I do think this is a pretty unique situation in that core 3rd party support isn't just lacking, it's pretty much non-existent right now, and Nintendo themselves aren't doing much better. I think the last two years of the Wii will easily be the worst drought Nintendo has ever seen on a home console. But moreso, it's a unique situation because Nintendo has some pretty major games they are withholding from North America and nowhere else in the midst of this drought. I mean really... you have an RPG from the makers of Xenogears/Saga and an RPG from the creator of a little series called Final Fantasy and neither are coming to fill the void. Pandora's Tower as well, although that's not quite as big. I don't think NOA has ever withheld games of this magnitude at a point when they desperately needed more games.

anon_mastermind said:
I think the online campaign is necessary, because it increases awareness to a much higher degree among those interested.

Exactly. Operation Rainfall has a very large "real world" component that many of us are also taking part in. But one way for this to succeed is to get the word of Operation Rainfall out to as many gamers as possible, and the best way to do this is most certainly through word of mouth on the Internet.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 19:20:10  - Edited by 
 on: 07/02/11, 19:30:43

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 20:37:09
I thought it was confirmed? Or is that not an official confirmation? Either way it looks like all three are probably going to Europe, which makes NOAs lack of releasing even one of them stand out all the more.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 20:43:14
You said what I couldn't say, but felt. I'll still be a fan, but I'm very disappointed with NOA for denying us so many good games. But I will say that it's the loyal fanbase that will keep them strong, because they're the ones that support them the hardest. Casual players won't sell games as well because they hear about games, but don't spread the word like real fans do. And casual players might be hard to keep with all those silly free games on the Internet. That audience is more likely to go the cheapest route whether it's good or not, especially in these hard economic times in this country right now. But the loyal fans will buy the games even when it's hard. I'm jealous that you have so many Nintendo games, though! I never had enough money to get that many.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 21:26:13
I thought it was a pretty good letter, but I do agree with @-JKR-, too.

I avoided a lot of Xenoblade stuff because I didn't want to be spoiled, and I'd find out when I played it (...), but quick glances look almost exactly like Arc Rise Fantasia to me. Go ahead and click on that link;, thats our game database with the full list of owners..

Now, I know that everyone doesn't use the database for games, but do we really only have three owners of this game? (Myself, Chrisbg99, and helaciouscrumb). NONE of them/us have rated the game, which says "we haven't finished it." Its true, I haven't finished it. Compare that to Super Mario Galaxy 2. I was going to say the original Super Mario Galaxy(113), but I figured that maybe the database was used early so maybe Super Mario Galaxy 2 wouldn't have as many? Nonsense. EIGHTY-F'N-ONE. Why should Nintendo, or even me, believe you guys?? You HATE RPGs on the Wii. (BONUS - Fire Emblem and Tales of Symphonia for further comparison. Pffffffft.)

Here is my thread for when the game was released. It appears as if some other people DID get it (Scrawnton, Bjomesphat, Raider745) on Day one or near..but SIX people from the hardest of the hardcore? We're the most pro-Nintendo site, clamoring for these games..and roughly nobody even bought this game here? It released in the US, over a year ago, and I never hear anything about it from anyone other than myself remarking how I never hear anything about it from anyone else.

There were complaints about voice acting -- who f'n cares? I didn't know that voice acting comprised the entirety of a game. And its not even THAT BAD. Play the game for like an hour and change and it'll be fine (or turn it off! I think you can..). What if we got Xenoblade and the voice acting blew? Are you NOT going to buy the game? That'd be good..

--So yeah. ~6 people played Arc Rise Fantasia.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 22:21:16
@thereelBT That's an interesting point about the casual games, at some point casual gamers may start asking themselves why they're even bothering to pay premium prices for games when they can find them for much cheaper. Hardcore gamers tend to have a better understanding why one game may be worth the price, whether because of the developer behind it, the development cycle it went through, etc. I don't think this will happen in massive numbers, but it seems like it would make sense for Nintendo to not put all of their eggs into the casual basket.

Another thing I just thought of now is that NOA may lead other developers into ignoring North America by example. Or in other words, if Nintendo gives the message that only well-known brands or casual games can sell here, 3rd parties may follow, and since Nintendo has no control over 3rd parties they may follow in a way that actually works against what Nintendo is trying to do with Wii U (gain more 3rd party support.) I don't think it will happen, but we may see 3rd parties who start giving more support to Europe than North America just because the message they are getting from Nintendo is that, for one reason or another, Europe is a better place to sell some of your games than North America is.

That is assuming that this strange trend continues into the Wii U (and I hope to god that it doesn't.)

@Mr_Mustache I'd love to think otherwise, but I don't believe that our database is actually accurate compared to the amount of users we have. It seems like you, I, and a small handful of others actually care about it! The rest just use it here and there. You're also talking about a game that scored in the 60%s on Gamerankings from a relatively smaller publisher versus the potential of games that seem to be getting more praise and are published by Nintendo, supposedly the only company who can sell games on the Wii.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 22:25:00  - Edited by 
 on: 07/02/11, 22:29:42

Well you could e-mail it to them. Doing so would run the risk of them just ignoring it though, so maybe you could even submit it to one of the big gaming sites like IGN, GameSpot, Destructoid, etc., and see if maybe they'll publish it; Nintendo does keep an eye on the gaming media after all.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 22:27:50

Yeah..so what makes 81 people go add Super Mario Galaxy 2 and nothing else?

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 22:30:00

I'm a JRPG fan, but that doesn't mean they ALL have to appeal to me. Arc Rise Fantasia didn't. Xenoblade does. That's the end of it, really.

I was too busy playing JRPGs that interested me more of the DS when ARF came out.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 22:42:20
*looks at ARF footage for the first time*

How to say...ARF has me executing much of doubt's benefits.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 22:58:17
@Mr_Mustache I wish I knew, really. Probably in part because when you click on "game database" it sorts the games by rating, which means stuff like SMG 2 will be at the top. So someone goes to game database, sees a few games they own, adds them, gets bored and... that's as far as they get?

I try to keep my entire collection updated in the database, but (unfortunately) I don't think that most people use it like that.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 22:59:20
-JKR- said:
-Make your arguments as if you were Nintendo, not as if you were you.

I kinda think that was the point of the editorial though. Nintendo doesn't necessarily need to care about how it's hardcore fans feel about certain things, but if it wants to know, this article completely summarizes why some of its fans are feeling a little isolated right now.

Posted by 
 on: 07/02/11, 23:56:34

What do you know about Arc Rise Fantasia?


I don't understand what you've written here. Call me an idiot, whatever. You made it too wordy.


For both of you (and others), Arc Rise Fantasia uses a new system instead of simple turn-based tactics where each player gets to go once. In this one, you can have one player go three (four?) times in a round, or split it up, or have somebody do nothing at all. Also, some moves take more points to pull off, so a simple "attack" will cost less than a special move. This is something that I haven't seen done in a game before, and really adds a whole new element of strategy that is otherwise missing from several RPGs.

Remember those times when you have your White Mage in Final Fantasy and you really don't even want to attack because it won't do anything? Don't. Simply skip that person, and have someone else use those points to attack. Also, saved points carry over to the next round, so if you start with, say, 6 points (and you're issued 6 points per round, 2 points for 3 characters), and use 5 in Round 1, you'll be at 7 points in Round 2, so you can do a bigger attack.

Furthermore, you get attack bonuses sometimes for attacking the same enemy as another character. Its a really deep game; and its pretty sad that so many people judge it basically on what they've heard about the voice acting (or a video), ESPECIALLY when all kinds of people are complaining about the shortage of deep, engaging, RPGs on the Wii.

I didn't finish it because I got hung up on something else, not necessarily the content of the game or any perceived shortcomings (and when my Wii went down in January, I haven't really been back. Tough to rebuild 20-30 hours of something. I haven't been back to Monster Hunter Tri that much either, or Animal Crossing, and I put 300+ on each of those).

Posted by 
 on: 07/03/11, 00:29:58
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