Nintendo to release fan favorite Japanese video game Xenoblade Chronicles in America

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Xenoblade ChroniclesNintendo today announced that it is finally bringing critically-acclaimed Japanese role-playing game Xenoblade Chronicles to American gamers after fans campaigned online for its release.

Xenoblade Chronicles is an open world RPG from developer Monolith Soft. It features a wide array of character customization options, a sophisticated combat system, a unique relationship-building system called Affinity, and more. The game launched in Japan and Europe earlier this year to unanimously positive reviews. Its Metacritic score currently stands at 92 out of 100, with many critics praising it as a landmark title for the flagging Japanese RPG genre.

Despite Xenoblade Chronicles’ success overseas, Nintendo said it had no plans on releasing the game in America. An online campaign was started by fans called “Operation Rainfall” to convince the company to release the game, along with two other critically-acclaimed Japanese RPGs, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower. Members of Operation Rainfall started written and verbal petitions to Nintendo encouraging executives to see that there is a potential market for RPGs, niche titles and “core” games on the Wii console.

But the company ignored their pleas, saying in a statement, “Thank you for your enthusiasm. We promised an update, so here it is. We never say ‘never,’ but we can confirm that there are no plans to bring these three games to the Americas at this time. Thanks so much for your passion, and for being such great fans!”

Although Nintendo now plans to bring Xenoblade Chronicles to the U.S., it will only be available through retailer GameStop and Nintendo’s official website. It will cost $49.99 and is scheduled to be released in April 2012.