Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nintendo of Europe's a Pretty Cool Guy

Since you’re currently on the internet, looking at our little independent, nerdy game blog, it’s safe to assume you’ve already seen this super fine new 3DS bundle being released in Europe later this year. If not, take a look, it’s amazing.

I want to bear it's children.

Now, I’m not here to bring the news that this beautiful handheld is actually going to made available to people in a certain part of the planet, though that alone is totally worth posting about. No, I have an ulterior motive here. I want to complain about Nintendo of America for a second. I promise not to take up too much of your time but I want to get it out there.

When did Nintendo of Europe become the super cool guy you want to hang out with at parties? Not to discredit NoE or anything, they’ve been doing their thing for years, but they never seemed to get more attention than Nintendo of America. But with the recent generations of Nintendo consoles, specifically the Wii and 3DS, Nintendo of Europe has really been on the ball. By now, you likely all know about the whole “Operation Rainfall” debacle. Europe got or is getting all the super cool JRPGs being released on the Wii in Japan like Xenoblade Chronicles and Pandora’s Tower, while America is getting…Fortune Street. Xenoblade Chronicles is being called the best JRPG of the last decade and we don’t even get to play it. Why? What’s the big deal? Why is Europe willing to take the risk on a niche title but America isn’t?

Woah! Look at those graphics! It's not Playstation, it's Wii!

I see no reason people wouldn't want to play this.
This isn’t the first time in the Wii or DS’s lifespan either. Europe also got Disaster Day of Crisis, a more Mature, Second-Party Nintendo title about trying to live through Earth’s natural disasters. I hear it’s just okay but the most common complaint about Nintendo and the Wii is that they don’t release enough games aimed at the “mature” and “hardcore,” and NoA just completely ignored this game. Europe also got Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland, the Zelda spin-off about the infamous, love him or hate him character, Tingle. While this one is a little more understandable, Tingle isn’t the most beloved character over here, I actually imported this game and you know what? It’s actually pretty fun. It’s not Legend of Zelda or anything, but it’s a quirky, fun and surprisingly deep action/RPG. Both of these titles, as well as Xenoblade Chronicles, are already in English. Obviously, it’s Europe’s native language. So why can’t we get them here? 

Why didn't this sell, again? I mean, it is a shooter.
The reason I believe Nintendo won’t release these games is because, as I already said, they’re “niche” and they likely wouldn’t sell enough to warrant the cost of printing copies. Take a look at the sequel to the Japan-only release, Sin and Punishment: Star Successor. Nintendo of America took the risk of printing that game in English and releasing in the US and it didn’t sell. Newegg is still currently selling copies of the game for a mere 14 dollars. That’s sort of understandable. Nintendo is a business after all and if the fish aren’t biting, why bother casting at all? Well, because there’s a big enough group of people who want these games to make it worth it if they play their cards right. Take a look at the DS game 999. It was developed by a the company Chunsoft and published in the US by Aksys Games. 999 is a text based adventure game, a genre that hasn’t really been hugely popular since the early days of the PC. Knowing that was such a niche title, Aksys only produced a small number of copies of the game at one time. Through reviews and word of mouth, the game actually managed to sell out of it’s small, initial run and was going for a pretty penny on second hand sites like eBay and Gamestop. Taking note of the sales, Aksys has since printed a second shipment of the game. This is what Nintendo should be doing. Print a small number of copies of the game, that way if the game bombs, it won’t have cost them as much as shipping copies out to every Wal-Mart and Best Buy in the US. Through word of mouth about how good the game is and how few copies actually exist, I guarantee they will sell.

Marketing: You're doing it right.

Seriously, Reggie, please?
But from the looks of things, Nintendo of America isn’t going to change any time soon. Within the last few months alone, 2 brand new 3DS colors have been announced for Japan and Europe, but not America. Two bundles for the 3DS, including the Zelda bundle and a Super Mario 3D Land bundle, have also been recently announced for a UK release and are set to be out by Christmas. NoA, take note, the 3DS isn’t selling as well as you want it to, so follow the UK’s lead and pack in the two games likely to drive sales upward with your floundering console. And while you’re at it, release Xenoblade Chronicles! I mean, it’s already in English! Oh also, Captain Rainbow. I know that bombed in Japan but it looks so cool.

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