Nintendo Explains Why Earthbound Isn’t On Super Famicom Mini

Japanese gamers who purchased a Super Famicom Mini will be aware that Mother 2 (Earthbound) isn’t on the system. Kazuyoshi Nishi from Nintendo’s general affairs department recently explained to Famitsu why the game is absent on the system. It wasn’t an easy choice said Nishi, but there were lots of other RPGS that they wanted to include besides the beloved Mother 2.

“It’s not simply because it’s Japan that we didn’t include Mother 2,” Nishi told Famitsu, “but with the balance of genres, IPs and characters, there were lots of other RPGs we wanted to compile besides Mother 2. The concept this time around was that this was something to be played with kids and friends.”

“Naturally,” replied Nishi, agreeing. “If it were possible, I’d want to include all of them.” If Nintendo put lots of RPGs, action RPGs and sim games, then folks would end up playing alone. That’s why sports games like Super Soccer were also included in Japanese release instead of Mother 2.




    1. Nintendo is looking at each game as having a certain value. “How much would this game sell on its own? What amount of potential profits are we losing from other sources when we include this game on this product?” So if each game has a certain value, and we have a target price for the whole system that we believe is most appropriate to give us maximum profit, then we can only include a set number of games. Putting 50 games on the system while keeping the game at the same price isn’t a great business decision. Even as a measure of good will towards their fans, fans are like toddlers. You never do something (say let the kid in your bed just this once) if you’re not prepared to let it become a habit or for there to be a tantrum if you don’t do it again.

      And as far as balance of games on these mini consoles, they’re absolutely right. The product makes most sense as something with high replay, quick to pick up and play, multiplayer games that everyone remembers. It’s not an RPG machine.

      1. But Nintendo isn’t really selling these games at the moment, except in the form of the SNES mini. Earthbound’s still available on Wii U, but they must be selling less than 1000 of those a week now; and most of the 13.5 million Wii U owners out there have probably already purchased Earthbound if they wanted it. So Nintendo can hardly be said to be canabalizing the sales of their classic games with the SNES mini. They could have easily included more than 20 games.

      2. Not to mention, this’ll only be available for a limited time and in limited quantity. So it’ll not have any great impact on Switch’s virtual console sales once it becomes available.

      3. Well for one, we know they’re gearing up to sell these games on the Switch in some form. But either way, I’m not arguing how many games should be on this thing. I’m saying that Nintendo has determined a value, whether it’s appropriate or not, and that’s what they mean when they say it’s not “possible to include them all.” They have a sale price they want to hit, and they can only fit so many games before they deem the worth of their sum to be more than the final sale price. Nintendo is protective over all of their retro titles and are careful to preserve the value of all their games. And in a world where mobile and Steam sales have severely devalued video games as a whole, Nintendo stands out as probably the most resistant to that change (but at least that means their games hold onto their value on the used market).

  1. If if were the USA SNES, i’d have assumed it was concerns about the many IP infringements in Earthbound that seem to cross the “parody” fair use line into legally challenging issues that could be a problem if anyone decided to litigate

  2. SNES wasn’t exactly a party game machine like the Switch. There were more single player games like with the PS4 and Xbox One. So wouldn’t be bad to have more single player offerings from the Mini.

    1. 300ish multiplayer games on the SNES out of the not quite 800 games total. Not exactly a small number. More than a third.

      1. Multiplayer isn’t exactly party, most of those titles are single player games with multiplayer attached. Like it’s online to actual single player games.

      2. I dunno, the SNES has a ton of great fighters, beat em ups, run and guns, shoot em ups, racers, and sports games that were part of a lot of childhoods. That was the generation of 90s arcade, which moved away from single player hi score focus to 2 players on every cabinet. You had things like Sunset Riders, TMNT, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat. But beyond those arcade ports, off the top of my head: Mario Kart, Bomberman, Battletoads, Secret of Mana (a bit meh sifting through menus in coop though), Kirby, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Donkey Kong Country, and Smash TV. But even Mario was great to sit with a friend and switch in the two player mode as a kid.

        I don’t really know what you mean by party. Party games by definition are an assortment of mini games.

  3. Putting a soccer game and not Earthbound is a shame, insult, and a crime. I’m SO glad that the North American SNES Classic (and the others) got Earthbound.

    It’s ironic when you think about it. In the past, Japan got all the love when it comes to the Mother series. North America was fortunate enough for Mother 2 to be released as Earthbound. But for many years, Mother 1 and 3 were overlooked. Despite fans demands, requests and begging. Yet with the Super Famicom Classic Mini, Japan got the short end of the stick.

    But I’m still hoping that Mother 3 gets translated and released in North America. Especially if it’s as good as people say it is. I always refer to Earthbound as my favorite RPG. And it’s hard to believe there’s a sequel that I never got to play. Though I wish it wasn’t a Game Boy Advance game. I want to play it on my TV, just like I did with Earthbound. Maybe Nintendo will release a Game Boy Advance Classic and include an English translated Mother 3. A guy can hope.

  4. He’s missing the point. The Famicom Mini is only bought by people who used to have the original system and want to revisit their favorite games or want to play the classic games for the first time. Noone buys the system to play with friends and family. NOONE!

  5. Can’t have kids in Japan growing up playing videogames all by their lonesome ! Next thing you know they’ll be marrying their body pillow, or falling head over Heals in love with an AI.

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