Posted on June 23 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
We here at ZI have been hoping to play Xenoblade Chronicles here in the U.S. for a long time, before the game was even announced for localization over in Europe. The game had been on the NA release schedule under its original title of Monado since a couple E3s back, so even though Nintendo of America didn’t follow suit after the PAL announcement we were still pretty optimistic. Now E3 2011 has come and gone, and Xenoblade Chronicles seems to have been all but forgotten here.
Head of the French branch spoke on a TV program about plans for Xenoblade over in Europe, including a special limited-edition Classic Controller, and let slip that the reason for the game’s absence from E3 was because Nintendo of America didn’t want to showcase products they did not plan to sell.
What else can I say but… ouch, Nintendo of America. Your marketing choices with the Wii lately have been… well, honestly they’ve been terrible. You’re pulling the plug on major Wii support for your region when the system was still going strong during the last holiday season, despite the fact that several Japan-only titles are sitting around waiting to be released – including one that actually is being localized. If you really want your customers to believe that your brand is for everyone, then why is your American branch ignoring an entire genre on your current platform? I guess pretty much the only sliver of hope is that they might be waiting to announce localization until after they see how the game performs in Europe, but I’m still pretty skeptical of that at this point.
Suffice to say that I’m pretty pissed – aside from Skyward Sword, Xenoblade was the only Wii game I was really looking forward to this year – and if Nintendo doesn’t really step up their game with Wii U in terms of software they’re coming dangerously close to losing my business in the console division. I’m getting to the point in my life where I have to decide between spending my money on gaming or getting a head start on investing before I settle into my career, and if Nintendo keeps making odd exclusionary decisions they’re eventually going to push me away. Besides, it’ll be much easier to keep up with just the 3DS side of things than to try to fill both my handheld and console libraries.