New EarthBound Game Incoming?

earthbound

Take this one with a pinch of salt, but a number of developments around EarthBound might indicate that something big is on the way.

Why take it with a pinch of salt? Because there’s nothing definitive here. There’s nothing that out and out says “expect Mother 3 to be localized very soon,” but at the same time, there certainly does seem to be something happening on the EarthBound side of things.

To begin with, Nintendo have added an EarthBound community to the Miiverse. That’s not unusual by any means; every game worth discussing has an area on which it can be discussed. However, the community is locked to regular posters. Instead, only developers are able to post. Why bother going to such an effort for a franchise that hasn’t seen a new release in the west for years and years?

Secondly, a new post by Itoi has appeared on the EarthBound section of the official Nintendo website. This seems to be in promotion of the re-release, but why write a 600+ word article, on a site for hardcore Earthbound fans, who no doubt already know that the re-release happened.

That the re-release happened at all is quite interesting. Why, after all these years of saying it’s impossible and that the rights are going to be too hard to track down, have Nintendo put the time, effort and money into releasing EarthBound to the virtual console? And why are they putting so much effort into promoting it when, again, most the people who are likely to buy it already knew it was getting a re-release.

Nintendo have said that they’ve got some cards up their collective sleeves over the coming months, and I’m sure an announcement of a Wii U exclusive EarthBound – either a new game or a localisation of Mother 3 – would inspire a few naysayers to jump ship. Could it ever happen though?

Only time – and those developer posts at the EarthBound community on the Miiverse – will tell.

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Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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