Nintendo Disappointing Fans: Smart Business

Earlier this week, Nintendo crushed the hopes and dreams of an untold number of fans when it shut the door on bringing Japanese Wii games The Last Story, Xenoblade Chronicles and Pandora’s Tower to the U.S. This, despite an impressive grassroots effort to convince the publisher otherwise.

To rub salt in the digital wound, Nintendo will release Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story in Europe later this year.

We’ve experienced this with portable games for years. The superb DS titleOuendan and its sequel will never appear in the States, nor will a localised version of Mother 3.

Thing is, and as bad as this hurt some Nintendo supporters, it’s still a smart business decision.

Sorry, but Mother 3 will never appear in the U.S.

It certainly doesn’t seem that way. Publishers like Nintendo and Sony need a dedicated fan base, so logic denotes that these companies should do everything possible to appease them, yes?

Not always. Keep in mind that this is, first and foremost, a business. All too often, publishers release sequels and ports “for the fans”, and we watch as these titles slip into the bargain bin.

Bottom line, a few thousand people on the Internet don’t necessarily lead to breaking even, or at best, making a profit.

Like DS, Wii is on the way out, with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword the final hurrah, just as Pokemon Black and White were the DS’ swansong.

Nintendo should not risk spending money bringing these strictly Japanese titles to the U.S.A., when this country routinely snubs its nose at Japanese role-playing games that don’t bear the words “Final Fantasy”, especially to a dying system that’s stock has dropped faster than Tiger Woods’ golf career.

The only way fans can make a difference is with their wallets, and it doesn’t seem like enough of them shell out the dough to keep games like this relevant in the west.

Does this mean Nintendo will lose support? Yes, but only a handful of people. Bottom line, if you’re passionate enough about Nintendo to demand a game like Xenoblade Chronicles, then the publisher already has your money. You’ll buy the next Mario game like everyone else.

Meanwhile, stores will have three less underperforming games clogging shelves.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at