The Cancellation Of Earthbound 64 Was Partially Down To Iwata


An interview has been translated and unearthed of a three-way discussion between Shigesato Itoi, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Satoru Iwata, concerning the cancelation of Earthbound 64 for the Nintendo 64 console. During the in-depth interview Satoru Iwata says that he was partially to blame for the game’s cancellation. There’s a lot of fascinating information contained in the interview, so I would advise you to take a read, here.

Iwata: That one was clearly my fault. A long time ago I once said, “Never say a programmer CAN’T do something.” Those words sort of take on a life of their own—dropping the word “can’t” can close the doors of possibility. Generally speaking, everything will work out eventually if you put in the effort and push onwards, but everything still operates within certain limitations. So if something is honestly impossible to do, you need to accept that. Oftentimes the case is that something is possible, but sacrifices will need to be made. Or that something is possible, but it cannot exist alongside some other thing. So that’s what I meant when I said “Don’t say you CAN’T be a programmer,” but “don’t say you CAN’T” is the only part that took off.

There was a time when the early designs for MOTHER 3 were really reckless. We were working with specifications that surpassed the system capabilities and memory capacity. We starting working on the game with the premise that we’d create something that’s never been done before.

Miyamoto: It’s really too bad, but the honest truth is that we couldn’t go on. It would have had far too much an impact on other projects like Project Dolphin. The reason we’re quitting is not because it’s not going well, or because the end’s not in sight.

It might be easier for people to accept this if Nintendo were a small company that got stuck because project money had dried up. You could try and put it optimistically by saying, “It’s out of our hands for the moment, but if we ever find ourselves able to come back to it, we will.” But it’d be irresponsible of us to say that.


      1. iwata is the thing holding nintendo back, fire him and get nintendo back on it’s feet, and stop creating shovelware

    1. Uhh hello! Iwata ruins everything because wii dont love him!! nintendo needs new reps and new peepal in charge because it is gettin bad. reggie needs two go too rock star games and suck some gosh darn dick to get GTA V on wii u because wii want it and wii love it because wii love it!!

          1. man ben sanders are u high and gay at the same time take ur twinkie tits and get the fuck outta here

        1. Uhh hello! that wasnt iwata that was mother because she loves gba wii and ds and 3ds becauase she loves them. she bought like 4 gbas 5 dss 2 wiis and 3 3ds so mother is responsible four at leest a 1/4 of sales of nintendo is GA because wii love iit!!

    1. I dunno… He’s actually being quite humble in this interview. I feel bad for him, he had so much on his plate he ended up becoming hospitalized.

    1. It seems like no one even read their reasons why Earthbound 64 was cancelled. They just couldn’t do it at the time.

  1. So Iwata blames himself because they bit off more than they could chew, I think Nintendo needs to grow their developers in number.

  2. I bet half the people bitching about no Mother 4 are the same people who have no clue that Mother 3 is Earthbound 64. Cunts who wish for the impossible.

  3. They did the right decision. It was time to move on from N64 to GC, the game was in development god knows for how long. They had even pokemon devs helping them and they couldnt do it. Nintendo doesnt do duke nukems or versus kinda forever in development games, because they dont meet the expectations usually. Iwata is wise leader he isnt roleplayin like someone on this site talkin nonsense, Iwata has earned his place.

  4. Being the huge Mother fan I am, it’s gunna shock people by me saying this…

    I’m glad they cancelled it.

    They said over and over that it was a trainwreck. We could have seen much worse than all of us are thinking of. Im glad they moved development to the GBA instead. Mother was just not prepared for the N64, as well as this game being fueled by Earthbound’s success in Japan. They were high on profits and just wanted to make a new Mother game simply because they wanted another one made. They didn’t even have a plan for the story at the beginning!

    Like I said, Earthbound 64 was a trainwreck that became an amazing masterpiece on the GBA.

  5. Iwata existed back then? I thought he worked somewhere else before? I never even heard of him back in those days. I wish they’d make another Earthbound for the Wii U. I mean something brand new, not on Virtual Console. I also wish they’d release a retail game (not eShop) with all 3 Earthbound/Mother titles on one disc. Now THAT would be a dream come true.

  6. Guys, you should be thanking Iwata, earthbound 64 was going to be super shitty, the team had no experience with 3d models and were not confident in themselves.

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