For those unaware, Operation Rainfall is a grass-roots movement to get Nintendo to localize Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower on an international basis. As you might imagine, the core of this effort comes from the U.S., where none of these games are legally available. In a climate where the Wii hasn't had a solid release in eons, this has become a rather thorny issue for both parties. However, both have a case:
Rainfall - The Wii desperately needs new 'gamer's games' and these three are critically well-regarded and did well in other markets. Xenoblade in particular did well in Europe, meaning an English language version of the game already exists. And the Operation has come down firmly against emulation, modding/importing, and any other 'revenge' moves against NOA.
Nintendo - 'Core' games haven't sold well (if at all) on the Wii unless Mario or Link is in them. There's no reason for NOA to believe these won't be another string of well-reviewed duds. If they can make more scratch selling Princess Peach Fitness than they can with Pandora's Tower, why shouldn't they?
As always, Nintendo is choosing the road of silence, making it hard to gauge the status of OR's efforts. The official line seems to be that Nintendo has no current plans to localize the games, but won't relinquish their publishing rights either. (You can bet that Squeenix or Atlus would jump all over these bad boys if they go on the market.) This, of course, is the most frustrating stance of all as far as OR is concerned - it's the corporate equivalent of a passive-aggressive spouse.
"Honey, what's wrong?"
"Nothing. Everything is fine."
"Is this... is this because I didn't buy Little King's Story or Rune Factory when they came out?"
"No. It's nothing. I'm just tired."
"PLEASE! I JUST NEED SOME KIND OF RESPONSE! IF YOU THINK I'M SOME QUIVERING PILE OF HUMAN WASTE, JUST TELL ME! I NEED CLOSURE!!!!!"
My two cents? I think Nintendo should bring any of the English-ready games to America. There's a chance they could become cult hits with all of the buzz they're generating, and if nothing else, it would be a sign of good faith to the fans that stuck with Nintendo during the lean times before fitness and brain-training games made them rich again. Worst-case scenario? The games tank, Nintendo loses the localization expenses, and Nintendo has a full pitcher of Shut-Up Juice to pour out whenever their fans go on the warpath again.
Really, Nintendo - there's nothing on the shelf, and while we all love Zelda, that's putting way too many eggs in a single basket. You guys cater to a new market now, but you've got a unique asset in the console "wars" - a brand identity with an entire generation of young gamers-turned-professionals. Throwing them a bone now and then wouldn't kill ya. Everyone says the Wii doesn't have any games... there's no reason to prove them right.