Fred Duck said:
There's more to business than money. There's fan bases, the environment, the local community, worker morale, brand-building, gummy bears, etc.
Let me expand on this.
This was something I've mentioned before about how Nintendo of America stopped caring about the Wii in 2010, two entire years before Wii U came out.
It looked really bad when Nintendo stopped supporting their own system. I mean, it was pretty ugly when every other Nintendo branch in the world published Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower. this parties had to step in in two of those cases and GameStop had to pony up money for the third! They let fully-translated games like Project Zero 2: Wii Edition, Inazuma Eleven Strikers, Another Code: R - A Journey into Lost Memories, and Disaster: Day of Crisis languish in Europe. Sure, four games aren't going to prop up a system (see: Wii U) but the point is, it looked like NoA wasn't even trying. The justification given was "they're not system sellers." Big deal. VERY few games have such broad mass-market appeal that they make huge numbers of people rush out and buy entire systems just to play that one game. However, for people who love footie, for example, an Inazuma Eleven game might be enough. Some long time Nintendo fans began to feel nervous or abandoned, or just left once NoA gave them the cold shoulder. When you launch a new product, it's FAR easier to get previous customers to buy than entirely new customers. (This is how I got suckered into buying one.)
That's the fan base. It's something to be cultivated. Here, SE has admitted that they're listening to the fan base. So, you can see this turn of events as one of two things:
1) SE really didn't feel like localizing the game but 30,000,000 people petitioned and they expect 10% of them to actually buy the game, making it profitable. (Note: companies these days never feel that "breaking even" is good enough, even though that can have very useful, tangible benefits like showing support for your system or increasing your fan base and customer pool.)
2) This is a PR smokescreen where SE was playing coy in order to make fans feel more invested in the game, akin to the lie about Fire Emblem Awakening being potentially the last in its series.
Not only that but the release schedule is super-light and there's a pretty hefty install base.
Local community, worker morale...eh...
Brand-building. Dragon Quest XI: Sugi Sarishi Toki o Motomete is on the horizon, and I imagine that's got a shot at being localized. What better way to drum up interest than to release Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past? Perhaps they'll follow that up with Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King.
Anyone who says "we have to make a huge profit on every single game" deserves to lose their job.
Gummy bears: I like the soft, chewy ones best.
Did you ever read War and Peace? You should try it someday.