On June 24th, 2011, a grass roots campaign began under the name Operation Rainfall with the goal of convincing Nintendo of America to release Xenoblade Chronicles in North America. Despite the game's previous presence at E3 2009, NOA made no indication that they intended to release the game in North America, even after it had been announced that the game was receiving a localization for European release. The name of the movement, Operation Rainfall, refers to the idea of ending a drought of games on the Wii.
Operation Rainfall's organizers encouraged those interested in helping to provide support through a letter-writing campaign as well as by contacting Nintendo's social media outlets on Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, people were also encouraged to support the cause by preordering the game through the game's page on Amazon.com, established back in 2009 while the game was still known as Monado: Beginning of the World. The response was great enough that on June 25th and 26th, "Monado" became the top-selling video game on Amazon.com across all platforms, and on the 27th dropped only to number two. This is significant, as these preorders represented the willingness of consumers to buy the game despite it not having an official release date. Operation Rainfall expanded its efforts by also campaigning for North American releases for the Mistwalker RPG The Last Story and Ganbarion's Pandora's Tower, which were subsequently also given European release dates.
Nintendo directly responded to Operation Rainfall's efforts through their corporate Twitter and Facebook accounts on June 29th, 2011. In their responses, they reiterated that they had no plans to release any of the three games in North America "at this time", but also that they "never say never." Despite this response, Operation Rainfall continued its planned letter-writing campaign and expanded its efforts over the course of the following months. The campaign also saw support from some of the people behind the games, including The Last Story's creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Soraya Saga, wife of Xenoblade Chronicles creator Tetsuya Takahashi.
Operation Rainfall's efforts were finally met with success on December 2, 2011, when Nintendo announced plans to release Xenoblade Chronicles in North America with content essentially identical to the European release. The game was finally released on April 6, 2012 exclusively through Nintendo's online store and Gamestop. One February 22, 2012, Nintendo announced through a Nintendo Direct online video presentation that XSEED Games would publish The Last Story in North America. Like Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story uses a localization based on the European release. It was released in a special bundle with an art book and Premium Soundtrack CD on August 14, 2012.
The campaign for Pandora's Tower subsequently wound down, with the Operation Rainfall website posted its final campaign update on October 11, 2012. In a surprise move, on January 16th, 2013, XSEED announced their intent to publish Pandora's Tower in North America. It was released three months later, on April 16th, 2013.
How much of an impact Operation Rainfall truly played in Nintendo of America's decision to release the three games in North America may not ever be known outside the company. The decision to release Xenoblade Chronicles in North America was announced months after the game's European launch, and the game's sales in Europe almost certainly played into that decision. However, The Last Story's North American release was announced days before the game's European debut, and was due to XSEED taking the initiative and asking Nintendo for permission to publish the game themselves. Pandora's Tower's release may have been influenced by the sales of The Last Story, which as of late 2012 became the most successful XSEED release to date.
Operation Rainfall's organizers had indicated that if the campaign proved successful, they may be willing to put the cause behind other games that have similarly been refused North American releases by Nintendo, such as Fatal Frame IV. They have since established a hub on their website to help promote similarly themed campaigns. Operation Rainfall has also inspired similar online movements such as Operation Moonfall; a campaign to see Nintendo produce a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask in the same vein as Ocarina of Time 3D.