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Operation Rainfall

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Operation Rainfall was a fan campaign launched on June 23, 2011 that worked to promote Japanese games that are obscure in the West or have not been released. Its original goal, and most famous endeavor, was the localization and release of the games The Last Story, Pandora's Tower, and Xenoblade Chronicles. This campaign could be considered the reason that Xenoblade Chronicles has been released in North America.

History

On June 23, 2011, Mathieu Minel, at the time the marketing manager of Nintendo France, said that Nintendo of Europe wished to display Xenoblade at E3 2011, but that Nintendo of America (NOA) denied them since they had no plans to localize the game. 11 days later, Minel had departed from Nintendo. As a response, numerous role-playing game fans from the IGN message boards started a campaign titled "Operation Rainfall" with the intention of pressuring or persuading NOA to release Xenoblade, as well as two other high-quality RPGs that were left out of E3, namely The Last Story and Pandora's Tower.

The early campaign was composed into three separate efforts, one for each of the games. The campaigns focused on sending countless letters, e-mails, and phone calls to NOA's headquarters, as well as garnering messages on Operation Rainfall's Facebook and Twitter accounts to request localizations of the games. When Xenoblade, under the placeholder title Monado: Beginning of the World, became available for preorder on the retail website Amazon.com, the campaign also pushed an effort to make enough preorder purchases for Nintendo to realize the game's potential. On June 25, 2011, just two days after the campaign began, Monado: Beginning of the World had reached the #1 spots in Amazon's Wii game sales, Wii action game sales, and Top 100 overall game sales.

The fervent efforts of the campaign attracted the attention of gaming websites and magazines including Kotaku, IGN, GameInformer, and the Japanese gaming site Inside, and Nintendo of America itself.

Success

On December 2, 2011, following the commercial success of Xenoblade, Nintendo revealed via Facebook that Xenoblade Chronicles had been slated for North American release on April 6, 2012, and would be sold through their online store and through GameStop. The Last Story was released in North America on August 14, 2012. On January 16, 2013, XSEED announced that Pandora's Tower would be published in North America in Spring 2013, completing the mission that Operation Rainfall set out to achieve: all 3 games would finally receive worldwide releases.

Aftermath

After the release of the games in North America, the Operation Rainfall website became a blog and news site devoted to gaming and Japanese culture and raising awareness of lesser-known video games.

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