Recently, Capcom has announced Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies (Gyakuten Saiban 5 in Japan) to be available in digital form only outside of Japan. This is depressing news, as you might all know already, Nintendo will not let you easily redownload your purchases in case you lose your 3DS or it breaks for some reason — missing the whole point of digital games, which should be tied to an account rather than a physical console, and yet they must wonder why they’re losing to Apple with digital games.
It disgusts me how manipulative Capcom has been for this release saying “If fans really love the series and want to play the game in English, we’re expecting them to be there. If they’re not, well, that tells us something too. I’m betting on you guys.” I’m not sure if they notice how this statement sounds more like a threat. More information on that via Nintendo Life.
Basically, the statement above really tells us this:
I am aware that he probably doesn’t have any powers to change his superiors’ decision to save money and not release the game in retail (physical copy), but they’re clearly discounting the fact that a lot of people are willing to buy the retail copy if it were released and that a lot of us will NOT buy the digital version until Nintendo changes its digital account policy. An average 3DS user is more likely to go get a retail copy instead of having to input their credit cards (not all countries have Nintendo cards) into a console for the e-version. So, that percentage of people would most likely ignore this release, and it is a potential that Capcom has just lost in this case.
It really does look bleak for western releases of import games from Japan. If Ace Attorney 5 doesn’t do well in the western e-Shop, the next game in the series, and subsequently, a lot of other import games might not even be considered for a western release. They would think nobody in the west likes it anyway but never realize that their refusal to not release a physical copy and low localization priorities might also be a factor of the weak sales.
Bandwidth is certainly also expensive but not as much as a retail release, so why is this priced like a retail product, like all other 3DS titles in the e-Shop? There is no need to ship a physical item, no travel time, no customs check, it’s all bits that can be copied and recopied. Despite that, I think a large majority would still end up buying it, given that there is no other choice unless you understand Japanese and import them.
That really does it for us. We’re retaking Japanese as our fourth language and will be importing games and consoles soon. As much as I want the local publishers to be successful, if this is how bad they treat customers, then goodbye to them, who are so incompetent and have their demographics all wrong.