According to a recent Kotaku interview with XSEED, the publisher who’ll be bringing The Last Story over to the U.S., Operation Rainfall may not have had as much of a hand in the game’s localization as many have thought. Publishing Director Ken Berry says it was as simple as deciding they liked the game and asking Nintendo if they could localize it:
“It was actually much easier than you would expect. They were receptive to our inquiry from the very start. We approached them once it looked pretty certain that it wasn’t coming over. I was in Japan for Tokyo Game Show and I picked up a copy of The Last Story, cause a lot of us in the office would want to play it anyways. Once we started playing it, we just figured, ‘Wow, this would be nice if this came over—let’s talk to Nintendo!’ Once we started playing it, we just figured, ‘Wow, this would be nice if this came over—let’s talk to Nintendo!’ They were like ‘Well, no one’s asked us yet, but it may be possible. Let us take a look.’”
Berry claims the movement didn’t have a lot to do with their drive to get the publishing rights to the game, either. “Nintendo, they have their own set of rules that they go by. And as for us, it didn’t really affect us either—cause we have our own requirements that we look for on potential titles. And, you know, it just met all [our] prerequisites.”
What are those prerequisites? The game has to be good, it has to have an audience, and it has to be something the company cares about. Simple as that. Kotaku went on to explain, however, that we shouldn’t expect this kind of treatment for Pandora’s Tower or Mother 3 - they don’t quite pass the XSEED test.
As for Nintendo, Reggie insists that they didn’t purposely “hold the game back”; it just didn’t prove to have significant market potential. Even XSEED is being pretty conservative about it; they’ve said that it will see a limited-print run in the States.