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Nintendo: fan campaigns "don't affect what we do"

"100,000 signatures doesn't mean 100,000 sales."

Nintendo has some of the most passionate fans of any games company, but even it has admitted that customer petitions hold little sway in business decisions.

Operation Rainfall - the most notable fan campaign in recent years - received the support of thousands of Wii owners who wanted three Japanese Wii titles localised in North America - Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower.

All three games were eventually released, but Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime has suggested that the campaign's effect should not be overstated.

"I have to tell you - it doesn't affect what we do," Fils-Aime told Siliconera. "We certainly look at it, and we're certainly aware of it, but it doesn't necessarily affect what we do.

"I wanted to bring Xenoblade here. The deal was, how much of a localisation effort is it? How many units are we going to sell, are we going to make money? We were literally having this debate while Operation Rainfall was happening, and we were aware that there was interest for the game, but we had to make sure that it was a strong financial proposition."

The trio of titles were released some time after Rainfall was founded, yet the fact they arrived at all was seen as a sign of the campaign's success. A number of spin-off petitions followed - some successful, most not.

"I'm paid to make sure that we're driving the business forward - so we're aware of what's happening, but in the end we've got to do what's best for the company. The thing we know [about petitions] is that 100,000 signatures doesn't mean 100,000 sales," Fils-Aime concluded.

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