Operation Rainfall is a fan-driven campaign meant to persuade Nintendo of America to localize three Japanese Wii titles, two of which are slated for release in Europe. The games are Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower. It was launched on June 23, 2011 and is still ongoing.
Xenoblade Chronicles was developed by Monolith Soft (makers of Xenogears, and the Xenosaga series) and released in Japan on June 10, 2010. The Last Story was developed by Mistwalker and AQ Interactive and was published in Japan on January 27, 2011. Pandora's Tower was developed by Ganbarion and released in Japan in May 26, 2011. Although European localizations of Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story have been announced for September 2011 and 2012, respectively, none of the three games are currently planned for release in North America.
On June 23, 2011, Mathieu Minel, the marketing manager of Nintendo France, stated that Nintendo of Europe wanted to show Xenoblade Chronicles at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, but that "Nintendo of America wouldn't let them because they didn't want to show products they aren't planning to sell." Minel's departure from Nintendo was announced 11 days later.In response, fans of role-playing video games on the IGN message boards, specifically the Nintendo Wii Lobby, started a campaign the next day, dubbed "Operation Rainfall", in the hopes of persuading Nintendo of America to localize Xenoblade Chronicles, along with The Last Story and Pandora's Tower. The main organizers of the campaign do not exclude supporting other titles for North American localizations, but are currently focusing on those three.
The campaign is subdivided into three distinct campaigns, one for each game, all with their own periods; only the Xenoblade Chronicles campaign has currently started. This part includes sending as many physical letters and e-mails as well as giving as many phone calls to Nintendo of America's headquarters as possible, in addition to posting messages on the branch's Facebook and Twitter accounts, requesting for a North American release of the game. It also involves pre-ordering the game on the retail website Amazon.com, which has a placeholder entry for the game under its development name Monado: Beginning of the World, in order to show Nintendo the commercial appeal of the game's release. On June 25, 2011, the game reached #1 in Amazon.com's Top 100 game sales, #1 in all Wii game sales and #1 in Wii action game sales.
Many video game news sites like Kotaku, IGN, Eurogamer, Joystiq, Game Informer, Destructoid, and Japanese gaming site Inside. In addition, video game designer Soraya Saga, who is married to Xenoblade Chronicles creator Tetsuya Takahashi, and Mistwalker have responded favorably to the campaign.
Nintendo of America themselves has taken notice of the project, stating, "Hey fans, we appreciate your enthusiasm. Look for more updates to come soon."
On June 29, 2011 Nintendo of America confirmed on their Facebook page that "there are no plans to bring these three games to the Americas at this time."