Games Everyone Was Surprised Weren’t Total Flops
In 2007, it was officially announced that Monolith Soft would break away from Namco and become a Nintendo subsidiary – a big move considering Monolith was primarily a big JRPG studio, atypical of what Nintendo was best known for.
The company worked on some smaller action-oriented titles like Soma Bringer and Disaster: Day of Crisis, before assisting on development for Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Then, in 2010, Monolith released one of the most incredibly ambitious JRPGs ever made with Xenoblade Chronicles. It was an unlikely gem by all regards, a massive open world RPG on the Nintendo Wii, a system very much not known for that kind of game.
There were serious doubts about whether the Wii could even handle the scope of a game like Xenoblade, and although the game did fairly well in Japan, it seemed doubtful that it’d ever come west. Luckily, it eventually did thanks, in part, to a fan campaign called Operation Rainfall.
After multiple delays, it seemed like Xenoblade Chronicles would simply spark out in the west, and yet it managed to be a critical and commercial success, despite the number of copies being horrendously limited due to the game only releasing through GameStop.
Fans flocked to Xenoblade and critics called it one of the greatest JRPGs ever made. Fast forward to 2019 and Xenoblade has become a successful franchise, with the original game getting a rerelease on the New Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShop, and the sequel, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide.
Somehow, Xenoblade went from being an under-appreciated gem to a prime Nintendo franchise, even getting its own character, Shulk, in Smash Bros. You know you’ve made it if you get into Smash.