Ask any hardcore JRPG fan what they think of Mother 3, and you’ll likely be knee-deep in localization rants in no time since it never officially came out in the west. Though former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé claims particular business hurdles got in the way more than anything else.
For those unfamiliar with this whole kerfuffle, Mother is a quirky RPG series that didn’t see much success outside of Japan. Most people abroad are more accustomed to the franchise’s western title of EarthBound, especially the cult-classic SNES release (which was Mother 2) in 1995. In 2006, Mother 3 came out in Japan, but Nintendo never localized it in the west.
The company has yet to explicitly state why, leading many to speculate that certain controversial elements (like drug use) could be why Mother 3 never made it here. Even producer Shinichi Kameoka didn’t have an answer, though he theorized that the game’s unique writing style could be the biggest hurdle.
During a recent interview with Bloomberg, Fils-Aimé addressed the elephant in the room that is Mother 3‘s (lack of) an official western localization. He insists that the potentially contentious elements had nothing to do with it.
“That is not at all the issue why Mother 3 in particular never made it to the west,” Fils-Aimé states. “It was all based on the business needs and the business situation at the time.”
When Mother 3 came out in Japan on the Game Boy Advance in 2006, Nintendo had already moved on to the Nintendo DS. So putting so many resources into a last-generation title “just didn’t make business sense,” according to Fils-Aimé.
Written by Kyle Campbell on behalf of GLHF.