Hideo Baba says there’s still a “possibility” for Tales of Vesperia on PS3

Maybe, maybe not… that’s all the producer of the Tales of series has to answer to the rightful concerns of Gematsu regarding the PS3 version of Tales of Vesperia, still blocked in Japan’s customs. The question asked at New York’s Comic-con was clear though : “Can you, at least, officially shut down a possible localization for Tales of Vesperia on PlayStation 3? There may still be fans holding back importing”. Although it would be high time to be honest with people whom they’re asking money from through Tales of Graces F and Tales of Xillia, Namco keeps telling lies and sham.

It’s been three years since Tales of Vesperia was released everywhere on Xbox360, and in Japan on PS3. I would rather think the producer has a precise idea on what to do with his game. But we still can’t get a clear answer. The publisher is unable to take responsibility for the original sin they commited when they sold us fans for a few bucks. Baba-san again says they lacked workforce to localize, but this argument, already used during Japan Expo (Paris, France) is pathetic : any company that has growth opportunies hires to ensure the expansion of it business.

In short, again a childish attempt from the publisher to hide the truth in the tricky situation in which it has to withstand to rightful anger of fans but also to promote its future titles to those same fans. Such pitiful guys don’t deserve your money, remember to NEVER buy anything from them outside Tales of and Ni no Kuni.

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New details emerge on Tales of Vesperia for PS3

During Japan Expo (held in Paris earlier this month), some fan sites had the occasion to interview staff from NamcoBandai France, and even Hideo Baba himself, the producer of the Tales of series.

Kingdom of Tales (English at the bottom) got some answers from a NamcoBandai Partner rep. It was once more denied that Tales of Vesperia had any kind of exclusivity on Xbox360, but that some Tales of titles specifically developed for Japan make localization “longer” and “more difficult”. Tales of Vesperia on PS3 and Tales of Innocence are clearly of those, so their situation doesn’t improve dramatically. NamcoBandai assure that “they work to release games in the west as soon as possible”, which sounds good for future projects. 

The second interview, of Hideo Baba himself, makes me real mad. He points out that the simultaneous release of Tales of Vesperia for X360 had been «a burden» for the staff and that they therefore decided to «reduce that burden» but keeping the PS3 version in Japan. That means, my dear friends, that we PS3 players who are about to make them incredibly wealthy by buying wagons of Tales of Graces f and Tales of Xillia, are not worthy of their time, while Xbox players got all their care. Secondly, he thus says that the reason WE REAL FANS are not playing Tales of Vesperia lies in the little comfort of people WHO ACCEPTED MONEY TO STAB US IN THE BACK! Damn I would expect those guys to be freakin’ localizing the bloody game or die trying AS WE SPEAK if they want to atone for their treachery.

What to make of all this? Either there’s indeed Xbox exclusivity or they just don’t expect Tales of Vesperia to profit after the xbox version, which again leaves the question : why did Tales of Vesperia release on Xbox first? A shame no one had the idea to ask it… Either way, don’t give A PENNY to those miserly liars : buy all their games USED, except for Tales of.

Tales of Vesperia on PS3 NOW! Operation Blackhole launched

Back in June, I created a Facebook group to invite PS3 owners to buy NamcoBandai games USED, so as to get the publisher to negotiate the release of PS3 Tales of Vesperia.

However, many @vesperiaps3 members considered that too radical or counterproductive, so I chose to lay low for a while. Unfortunately, neither @Filthierich nor NamcoBandai takes them seriously and lately, they’ve been ignoring them. Meanwhile, even the 3000-strong Operation Rainfall failed to have any significant impact on Nintendo of America’s policy. NoA actually responds to all letters with a two-line refusal.

That can mean only one thing : pacifist methods have failed. I recently came back from Japan with Tales of the Abyss and Tales of Xilia in my trunk, bought used of course. Sure, this 180$ loss is nothing in NamcoBandai’s books, but multiply that by the number of people in @vesperiaps3 and there will be a lot of money at stake already.

At a time when the number of unlocalized games is increasing, we must make a strong move in order to change this industry, which locks players in their respective regions. Operation Blackhole has been designed to suck up the money that corrupts publishers, like a black hole extinguishing all light.

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.

Tales of Vesperia not coming to PS3 – Namco admitted that they sold the Western exclusivity to Microsoft! (Updated)

BandaiNamco community manager Charlotte Toci (probably tired of being flooded by angered PS3 gamers) wrote on her Facebook the awful truth : Namco accepted money from Microsoft in exchange for the exclusivity of Tales of Vesperia in the West. But Charlotte adds a disturbing point : “PS3 Tales of Vesperia won’t happen” she says, meaning that… it is not just a timed exclusive! SquareEnix, Tecmo, Electronic Arts… many have accepted Microsoft’s largesses, but still had the DECENCY to release their games on PS3 later in superior versions.

But politness and gratitute towards generations of Playstation gamers doesn’t seem to be in BandaiNamco’s vocabulary. In her post, Charlotte Toci mentions PS3 exclusive Heavy Rain in an awkward attempt to justify the deal. Save that Heavy Rain has not been released on 360 in Japan and is not part of of series that has a long history on other platforms. She also hints at the upcoming Tales of Graces f, exclusive to PS3 in the West. I have played both in Japanese, and I can say that ToGf, while being a masterpiece itself, is not as good as Tales of Vesperia.

This means trouble, both for Charlotte Toci, who can start looking for a job, and for BandaiNamco whose reputation has been seriously damaged. Charlotte’s Facebook thread has been relayed by Kotaku, Eurogamer and many others.

And now they have to face me. I invite every PS3 gamer who are upset by all this to join me in my group in which I suggest to buy BandaiNamco games USED, so that OUR money goes to retailers rather than in this corrupted publisher’s pockets. It’s on Facebook, where everything began and everything must end.

If you still want your games on day one, you can also follow @vesperiaps3 (see the below banner)


/!\ UPDATE /!\ The thread at the origin of the buzz has been deleted from Charlotte Toci’s Facebook, but the news had spread too far already, and the young woman had to publish a mea culpa in which she points out that there was no contract at all, at that she was wrong to say so.