If you're a Wii owner, you're probably familiar with Operation Rainfall.
Beginning as a grassroots campaign specifically focused on the task of convincing Nintendo to localize three great Wii role-playing games (Monolithsoft's Xenoblade Chronicles, Mistwalker's The Last Story and Ganbarion's Pandora's Tower), the movement has since grown into an organization that celebrates Japanese gaming in all its forms, and is even taking a decent stab at being a new news and reviews outlet on the Web.
Just recently, however, the organization has been making moves back towards what it does best: applying pressure on developers and publishers to bring their Japan-only titles to the West. Last month, Operation Rainfall entered into a partnership with game localization company Language Automation, Inc (LAI). The partnership sees Operation Rainfall polling its community for what titles they would like to see localized, and LAI will then offer the Japanese developers and publishers of these titles discounts on their localization fees should the companies in question decide to bring these games to the West.
Being a community-organized campaign there is, of course, no guarantee that securing a large number of votes will automatically lead to a localization of a highly-demanded game; instead, the polls are intended to allow LAI to go to publishers with additional ammunition showing that community members are clamoring for specific titles. It's as good a means as any of showing your support for Japanese-developed titles with questionable hope for localization, and Operation Rainfall has a good track record of supporting the enthusiast community.
The movement's first poll is up now, focusing specifically on Konami and Sega games. Konami and Sega were chosen due to the fact that LAI has worked with both in the past.
On the Konami front, you can vote between non-canonical PSP-based Suikoden side story Genso Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki ("The Woven Web of a Century") or the 3DS title Beyond the Labyrinth, developed by Tri-Ace.
The Sega titles under consideration, meanwhile, include PSP title Valkyria Chronicles III, PS3 title Yakuza 5 (which, to be honest, I'll be very surprised if we don't see in the West anyway), the PS3 and Wii U HD remakes of Yakuza 1 and 2, or the first PSP-based entry in the long-running Shining series, Shining Hearts.
Response to the poll has been strong so far, and Operation Rainfall representatives note that while there will be "winners" of both polls, all data will be taken into consideration when pitching to the publishers, and just because something didn't get first place in the polls doesn't mean eventual localization is out of the question; simply that the titles with more votes will get priority.
Find out more on Operation Rainfall's site.
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