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Earthbound sequel Mother 3 may finally get a western release

Nintendo will publish a western localization of Mother 3, sequel to the game released in North America as Earthbound, on the Wii U virtual console later this year. According to Eurogamer, the digital re-release will celebrate with the 10-year anniversary of game’s Japanese launch. Mother 3 hit store shelves in Japan on April 20, 2006.

The report comes following news of the impending port finding its to social media through Nintendo tipster Emily Rogers.”Don’t be surprised if Nintendo celebrates a game’s 10th anniversary this year,” Rogers tweeted, followed by a tweet with a picture of Mother 3 character Kumatora. (Her Twitter account has since been deleted.) Other sources followed suit, confirming they had heard the same information.

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The game North American RPG fans know as Earthbound was originally released in Japan as Mother 2, the second chapter in the Earthbound series. Though the series accrued a loyal following among western RPG fans, Nintendo has only recently turned its attention back to localizing the rest of the Earthbound franchise. The critical and public reception to the 2013 re-release of Earthbound on the Wii U virtual console, prompted Nintendo to localize Mother, the first game in the series, as Earthbound Beginnings, 26 years after its initial release on the Japanese Famicom. International awareness of the Mother games, if not interest, has also grown thanks to series heroes Ness and Lucas appearances in Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series.

Nintendo may also be motivated by the public response to a new Mother 3 release, based on the positive reception to the Wii U re-release of Earthbound in 2013. As Nintendo transitions away from developing games for the Wii U towards mobile gaming and the NX console, rumored to be launching this year, Mother 3 may lend a brief, but welcome show of support for the flagging publisher.