A Brief History of Reggie Not Announcing Mother 3 | Mini Mortem [SSFF]


Our channel has a long history
of celebrating EarthBound, one of our favorite RPGs and one of my personal
most important games of all time. Since putting up videos on EarthBound as the HVGN,
we’ve kept tabs on the EarthBound community, especially their struggle to get Nintendo to give this
revolutionary series the support it deserves in the west. And since the last time we’ve talked about
it, things have taken an incredible turn! I tell ya folks, it ain’t always so bad bein’ wrong! However, there remains one
piece of unfinished business. One game left in the Mother-
EarthBound trilogy: Mother 3. And there’s been one man unfortunately
tasked as its gatekeeper. Welcome to the first ever Mini Mortem, and to
celebrate the release of the Nintendo Switch, we decided to gather up a Greatest Hits of Nintendo
of America’s president, resident ass kicker, REGGIE: “I’m about kicking ass, I’m about taking names” and overall renaissance man, Reggie Fils-Aime, and all the times he crushed out hopes
of releasing Mother 3 in the west. Let’s look at our players: Before Nintendo, Reggie
had a pretty respectable history in marketing. He’s responsible for things like
the Bigfoot Pizza at Pizza Hut, and the Concert for New York City while at VH1. He was something of a serial company man who focused on
marketing to young people before he landed at Nintendo. 1995’s Earthbound, a.k.a. Mother 2,
though quite successful in Japan, famously sold very poorly in the
west for numerous reasons. like a misguided marketing campaign,
being overly expensive, and coming out too soon before RPG
Mania hit the US full force in ’97. In spite of this, a sequel, EarthBound 64,
was announced for the Nintendo 64 and advertised numerous times
throughout the system’s lifespan. It was even shown as a playable demo in 1999. However, the transition to 3D graphics was fraught with
many problems, and the project was cancelled in 2000. Yet by 2002, EGM was reporting rumours that
Mother 3 was in production as a GBA title. In 2003, Reggie Fils-Aime joined Nintendo as the
Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, the same year that advertisements for
the GBA compilation of Mother 1 and 2 featured the official announcement that
Mother 3 was indeed in production in Japan. Fast forward to 2006, and lo and behold, Mother
3 is released in Japan and sells like hotcakes! Just six days after the release, we
have what may be the first instance of Reggie responding to a question
on Mother 3 in North America. *audible disappointment* Hmm. “Not yet.” Okay, so there’s still hope, alright. Next month he was promoted to the President
and COO of Nintendo of America, the first American to hold the position. Since then he’s often said that he plays all of Nintendo’s
games, though dude famously sucks at Smash. REGGIE: “I gotta be honest, right? I SUCK at Smash!” At any rate, in 2007 Reggie admitted
to Stephen Totilo, then with MTV, that he’s never played a Mother game, though
it’s something he’s “trying to get smart on”. Nice save. A few months later, Reggie had this to say: REGGIE: “Y’know, for example, I’m still
being bombarded by Mother fans…” “who are asking for that title to be translated
to English and launched here in the US” Now, it’s worth mentioning that he brought
up Mother all by himself, and at this point EarthBound fans would’ve been happy just to see
ANY Mother game reappear outside of Japan. Reggie wouldn’t publicly speak
on the matter for another year, but 2008 would still be a big year for Mother 3. Both Ness and Lucas appeared in Super
Smash Bros. Brawl, released in March. The two entries before it have often been
credited with introducing westerners, who missed the Super Nintendo original, to Ness and Earthbound. And for the record, us yanks at least got EarthBound,
but the PAL region ain’t never got nuthin’, and Lucas’ appearance in Brawl
had a similar effect for Mother 3. Also later that fall, after years of hard work, dedicated fans completed and released
a fan translation for Mother 3, garnering over 100,000 downloads in it’s first week. Though far from legal, it allowed many
more people to experience the game. If Reggie wasn’t sick of people asking
about it yet, he was about to be. Fast forward to April 2009. Reggie’s had two years to “get
smart” on the Mother games. He tells MTV – that’s Stephen Totilo again that he’s a “big” and “huge” Mother fan and
would love to see it localized in our market. He even claims he had a fun conversation
asking Iwata himself about Mother 3, but that it is “not on our announcement schedule”. A few days later, he told Wired that he is personally disappointed Mother 3 has not been localized by Nintendo, and: “I have seen all the hate mail and all the stories that say Reggie is deliberately holding back Mother 3.” “Nothing could be further from the truth, I would
love to see Mother 3 here in the US market.” But he still cannot announce it. For many years after that, not much happened
on the Mother 3/Reggie front, in fact you could say it was a
dark time for Earthbound fans, as it looked like Nintendo had completely
closed the casket on the series. That is until Earthbound’s surprise North American release
onto WiiU Virtual Console in July 2013 brought back hope. It sold like gangbusters: Though actual figures aren’t
known, it burned up charts around the world. As of producing this video, it is the #4
all-time best-seller on the WiiU eShop, and the #2 best-seller if you’re just
talking Virtual Console games. It was time for Reggie to do some
good old-fashioned Mother 3 PR. IGN caught up with Reggie in August 2013, to ask what these sales of EarthBound
meant for Mother 3 localization. He said he had nothing to announce
about Mother 3 at that time, but that “We knew the response to Earthbound was
going to be strong. Believe me, I’ve met those fans.” “The first question out of their mouth is ‘Reggie! When is EarthBound coming?! Mother 3!'” “I’ve met, I think, all of them.” … no Reggie, I don’t think you have. But okay, fine, we get it: You’re a businessman
who wants to give the people what they want, but can’t, for… business reasons. But hey, at least he’s being fair about it,
not outright taunting Mother 3 fans… He would never do that. FANBOY: “C’mon Reggie, give us Mother 3!” REGGIE: “How ’bout this instead?” *chomp* *Mario power-up noise* *literally roasted* Bah. Well, he did warn us about his ass-kicking abilities. EarthBound news hound extraordinaire
Stephen Totilo, now at Kotaku, started to ask Reggie about
Mother 3 a couple days later, but the Regginator unceremoniously shot him down. Later in 2014, Ness returned in both Smash Bros. for
the 3DS and Wii U, with Lucas showing up a little later. Since then Nintendo has been slowly rolling out more
Mother content, like the surprise release of Mother 1, now officially known as EarthBound Beginnings,
for the Wii U Virtual Console on June 15th 2015! A few days later, Totilo again caught up
with Reggie to ask about Mother 3. While Nintendo was excited about the
reception of EarthBound Beginnings, saying that it’s “doing quite well”
and to “never say never”, but there’s nothing to announce right now. In December 2015, Nintendo released Mother
3 for the Japanese WiiU Virtual Console, and just a month later, released
a Lucas amiibo in the US. It’s pretty bold of them to put out an amiibo
whose game was never released here. At least it’s pretty clear that they intend
to somewhat maintain the franchise since they also went ahead and re-released EarthBound for the New 3DS Virtual Console in March 2016. Of course around this time rumors started swirling about
the upcoming Nintendo Switch, then called the NX. It certainly kept Nintendo busy, officially
announcing the system in October of 2016. The launch line-up and library was
kept under wraps for a few months, but hey, if Nintendo really wanted
to move some product, launching the Switch with Mother
3 would definitely do it! Of course, Nintendo’s big Switch presentation on
January 13th 2017 did not mention Mother 3, but we did get two mentions of
Mother 3 from Reggie in one day, saying to Gamespot: “I have nothing to announce
here, but we are aware there are some key IP” “that consumers just can’t wait for the next
true installment in that franchise’s legacy”. “Suffice it to say, we’re aware of it,” finishing with: “Talk to me in a year and let’s
look back and see what’s happened.” His answer to Wired was a little more tired. “We hear all the comments, Chris.
We hear all the comments.” And that’s it, for now. For what it’s worth, the prospect of an official Nintendo
release of Mother 3 has been more bleak. It really does feel like an inevitability, though it has been fun watching Reggie
maneuver this mine field over the years. Some of our favorite quotes are when
he has explicitly NOT mentioned it, like in this interview with ProJared: REGGIE: “What is the unannounced game –
non-Nintendo – that you would love to see?” This is a developing story and we’ll keep our ear to the
ground to see if there’s any more info on Mother 3. Until then Reggie, we’re ready. REGGIE: “My body is ready.” For Grace Kramer and Derek Alexander,
this is Mini Mortem, signing off. Thanks for watching! If you like what you saw
and want more video game documentaries, check out our previous videos, like the
history of the Marvel vs. Capcom games, and Keiji Inafune and Mighty No. 9. Special thanks to Alex Cater for helping
with the edit on this video. Stop Skeletons From Fighting is a
Patreon-supported show, as always, special thanks to all these wonderful people right here! If you’d like to support the show,
click the link and pledge now! Thanks again for watching, and
we’ll see you again real soon.

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