Gamers’ uprising

The funny thing about « Springs » is that they almost never happen in spring. The Prague Spring started in January, Ben Ali and Mubarak fled last winter… In fact, the only revolution that takes places in spring sees its ass being kicked by Muhamar Qadafi’s loyalists. The gamers’ spring is no different, since it finds its source in events that happened this June.

The backlash after Charlotte Toci’s statement on Tales of Vesperia 360 exclusivity (see below) made many outraged PS3 owner regroup on twitter behind @vesperiaps3. The group’s aim is clear : to have NamcoBandai localize the complete (PS3) version of Tales of Vesperia, only available in Japan so far. Before even hitting 100 followers, they were already in contact with the US community manager of NamcoBandai @Filthierich. The latter, whose potentially polemic declaration were recorded by @vesperiaps3, officially refused to comment and left the conversation to “look further into the matter”. I bet he didn’t want to share the same fate as his colleague.

At the same time, crestfallen Wii gamers decided to ask Nintendo about Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora Tower, which were a no-show at E3. Xenoblade being scheduled for Europe, they can’t accept that it could miss a US release. Therefore, they engineered a little incentive : every mobilized gamer shall send 1 to 3 letters to the President of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aimé, on the same day! I’d love to see his face when the mail comes in endless trolleys! Besides, NoA’s hesitations on those titles is ridiculous : the US market is by far the most flourishing for Wii JRPGs. If Xenoblade is expected to profit in Europe, it will even more stateside. Even on PS3, many “small” JPRGs tend to overperform in the US. The group forged itself a cool name : Operation Rainfall. @OpRainfall quickly topped 1000 followers, and made the buzz on reference websites like Vgchartz or IGN. Operation Rainfall takes daily actions such as flooding Wii’s Facebook page (more than 800 wrote «Wii want to play Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora Tower» in less than 24h) or pre-order Xenoblade on Amazon (which had been #1 for a few hours). Nintendo of America has yet to comment…

Interestingly enough, both movements collided with each other and exchanged followers, growing to twice their original size in only three days. Operation Rainfall is close to 2000 followers while @vesperiaps3 is 227-strong. I might well not be enough to influence the decisions of those big publishers, but at least this new form of protest will have them think a bit more about their fanbase in the future.

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