And let's throw in Zangeki No Reginleiv, Earth Seeker, Disaster, and, what the hell, Takt of Magic. What are your genuine predictions for sales for each title, assuming a modest ad campaign and decent reviews?
I don't think they would sell very well, honestly. I know that gamers like us care, but the vast majority of Wii owners probably wouldn't give a shit. I'd make an exception for The Last Story, though. It has some decent bonafides, it seems reasonably accessible (action-based battle), and Final Fantasy is one of the only JRPGs that still sells in the US.
Excepting the weak release schedule for 2011, I can almost understand Nintendo choosing not to bring these titles over. What I can't understand is why NOJ kept greenlighting so many niche titles. Do you know how much Earth Seeker sold in its first week? Like FIVE THOUSAND COPIES. And Pandora's Tower didn't fare too much better. What a frigging waste of money! What must Iwata be thinking as he reads those figures? They might as well have just thrown money down a hole. It's fine to condemn NoA, but let's save a little contempt for the Japanese Wii audience. The Japanese are reputed to be enormously trend-driven, and the Wii just isn't hot anymore, no matter how many good games come out for it. Not that we did much better, considering Sin & Punishment 2, though.
I guess these titles could have been in development for a long time, and Nintendo probably thought they'd just be shoring up their release list, rather than exclusively populating it, but the original funding of these games is as big of a mystery to me as their lack of localization. Or perhaps the real mystery is their reception in Japan, since almost all of these games are by quality, proven teams.
I don't know how well they would sell; I haven't paid much attention to sales figures for any game in a long time now. I can't imagine they would lose any significant money on Xenoblade or The Last Story in particular, or really any game if they actually advertised it.
Any numbers I'd throw out would just be pulled out of thin air, so that's pointless. I'll say this: I think most of them could be profitable for NOA, especially considering that these sort of Wii titles seem to have done better in the US than in Japan and Europe. Hell, they have to opportunity to outright exploit the fact people are asking for it, which could inflate sales to the merely curious. ("Pandora's Tower? That's that game that all those nerds on the internet were demanding. Must be pretty good. Let's check it out.") I'm not the biggest RPG fan, but I'd have picked up a couple of these out of curiosity. Show support, if nothing else.
There's also the "catch a small fish to catch a bigger fish" aspect to this. If NOA is demonstrating right now that they won't take care of their core audience, what's to say they'll deliver on all these promises they're making with the Wii U? I know I have fresh doubts about that, now. There were a lot of similar promises made to us about the Wii that Nintendo didn't deliver on, so who's to say anything has changed? Where's the proof? If Reggie had stood up and said "We hear you and we're going to deliver because we care about our loyal customers" it would have made me feel like they're serious about all the stuff they've been saying. Right now... I'm not sure about it.
If they released them in a timely manner, they had the potential to sell anywhere from 100k to 1.5million. But that is not the point. The point is that junk like Wii Play would pay for gems like Last Story if Last Story wouldn't sell millions. They could even release a limited number of discs like Atlus does with their games and still be profitable, not to mention preserving the game's market value which Nintendo is so fond of doing. And if they were marketed right, they would sell millions. Pandora's Tower could be Nintendo's God of War. The Last Story could be Nintendo's Final Fantasy. Xenoblade could be Nintendo's Valkyria Chronicles. Etc.
There is only one way that NoA's decision would be good by me. Release an HD version of the games on the WiiU near or close to WiiU's launch.
@kriswright I don't really play RPGs much, either, but The Last Story, at least, is an Action-RPG. And Xenoblade does away with a lot of the genre's bad habits, like random battles.
@gencid I think a really important question that needs to be prioritized and asked over and over again is: "Nintendo, why don't you let another company localize these games?" Put the risk entirely on them, take a cut, and, if they're successful, retain the rights to any potential sequels.
WHY NOT?? It totally benefits their platform.
XSEED made a very conspicuous NO COMMENT when all of this went down.
I don't think another company localizing them is entirely out of the question. XSEED makes sense, though in the past they've said trying to acquire a Nintendo license was something they couldn't do at the time (not sure if it was a money issue or what). Atlus did it before, so I wonder if they might try again...
@ludist210 Yeah, Atlus has done it multiple times, with Cubivore and Polarium Advance. Maybe someone should ask THEM for a comment. To be honest, I can understand why Nintendo would be a little leery of the other small-scale localization companies.
Exactly. Makes no sense to me to buy publishing rights and never publish those games. They're doing more damage to the developers and fans than they're doing them a favor. Actually, they aren't even doing themselves a favor. Why would you pay money for something that you'll never use? Just to make sure that no one else uses it? Keep pissing up fans and they'll make sure they won't come back. I know I won't.