It's hard not to look at "successful" fan campaigns like Operation Rainfall or petitions like the one for Dark Souls' PC port and feel some sense of pride at gamers' ability to come together for a common cause. Speaking candidly in an interview with Siliconera, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said this sort of thing "doesn't affect what we do."
Continuing, he explained "We certainly look at it, and we're certainly aware of it, but it doesn't necessarily affect what we do. I'll give you an example. I mentioned earlier that our head of product development had a bet on X versus Y -- we also had a bet around localizing Xenoblade. I wanted to bring Xenoblade here. The deal was, how much of a localization 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. 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."
That final line is a harsh truth, one that extends to game boycotts just as well.