Wednesday, September 2, 2015
How I (kind of) Saved Ace Attorney in America
When people talk about Ace Attorney history, it is funny that in 2005, I was part of a group that basically saved the game franchise in the United States and Canada. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney was announced in e3 2005, I loved the trailer so much I preordered the game several weeks later. When it was originally released in North America in October 2005, the game was released in the same time period as Trauma Center and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. Due to heavy competition and being a very different game it sold a paltry 13,000 copies. The game sold so terribly that Capcom basically said the franchise was dead. For those of us who know that there were 2 other games in the series, this was a blow.
Capcom said that they would consider releasing a localized version of Ace Attorney 2 and 3, but as as an episodic thing on cell phone. Since many of us had DS's at the time, this was not an option we liked, we wanted the games on the DS. The people who bought the first 13,000 copies loved the game so much we wanted more people to play the game, so we let our friends borrow it, we bought multiple copies for our friends and family. We tried selling the games on message boards by recommending it as a sleeper hit, telling people it is one of the best DS games released in 2005. We basically turned into a grassroots army to sell the game to more people.
Several months later, the first print run sells out. Then the game starts selling for sky high prices on Ebay, people complain to Capcom, so Capcom does an second emergency print run. The game sells out fast and prices start skyrocketing again on Ebay. Then they did a third print run, and a fourth print run until the game sold over 140,000 copies. After that, they announced that they were localizing the other two games. We the fans, we did it!!
It was the hardcore fans who bought the first 13,000 copies who tried desperately to save this weird lawyer game they bought in October 2005. There was a period after the game was released that it was a sales bomb and it had no future. It was only because the fans were so determined to save Ace Attorney that they eventually released the rest of the franchise. In my own way, I kind of saved Ace Attorney back in 2005, because if I didn't organize with the other fans of the game, we wouldn't have most of the Ace Attorney games here, playable, and in English.