Former Nintendo of America big boss Reggie Fils-Aimé has heard all the hopes and dreams of Mother fans, and he still doesn’t have good news for them. Speaking with Kinda Funny Games to promote his new book, the creator of Pizza Hut’s Bigfoot Pizza stated that Nintendo doesn’t have any active plans to bring Mother 3 to the United States despite its dedicated fanbase holding onto hope years after its Japan-only debut on the Game Boy Advance all the way back in 2006.
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Mother, which is known in North America as Earthbound, has always been one of Nintendo’s smaller franchises. The second game in the trilogy made a splash on the Super Nintendo when it was localized, and main character Ness shows up in all entries of the Super Smash Bros. series. This is about as far as it goes for major representation in the West. Even though hopes were raised when the first game in the series hit Switch Online as Earthbound Beginnings, Reggie doesn’t think that will lead to any further developments for the missing sequel.
“Don’t hold your breath” is the message from Fils-Aimé, who credits former Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata with pushing through a translation for Earthbound Beginnings. Now that Iwata is sadly no longer with us, the passion to see the game hit America may just not be there.
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There’s also the problem that Mother 3‘s fanbase is what Reggie calls a “relatively small group,” and the quirky RPG series is one that’s hard to make appealing to a more mainstream crowd.
“That’s what the company I’m sure has been thinking about and they just haven’t figured out yet the solution to that, or at least they haven’t been prepared to talk about it.”, he said.
There are plenty of franchises that haven’t seen any love from Nintendo in several generations, including futuristic racer F-Zero and fellow RPG series Golden Sun. Whether Nintendo will ever get around to reviving these names from the past is anyone’s guess, but the pull of nostalgia can only get you so far.
Reggie’s comments seem to corroborate Video Game Story Time‘s stating that a port for Mother 3 port died with Iwata. The outlet said Iwata was a “consistent advocate” for the title and no one is advocating for the title in his absence. Eurogamer reported in 2016 that Nintendo was translating it. However, more reporting from FanByte’s Imran Khan said the project was no longer being worked on. Its death seemed to be related to the game’s outdated and insensitive portrayal of transgender people, as it was a sticky subject for Nintendo to cover.