There has long been speculation about the reason(s) why Nintendo chose not to re-release EarthBound outside of Japan. Given the passionate nature of series fans, the theories are, in short, fascinating to read about. One theory relates to the game's liberal use of samples from popular music; it certainly makes for an interesting story, at any rate.
This week, we got the wonderful news that EarthBound will in fact arrive on the Wii U Virtual Console in North America and Europe. At a Nintendo event, Kotaku wondered if the aforementioned theory was a real concern. "Not that I'm aware of," director of product marketing Bill Trinen told the outlet. "I mean, they're taking the original game and putting it on Wii U."
Trinen shared that "It just seems like there's a lot of Earthbound supporters inside of Nintendo and inside of Nintendo of America and there's been a real big desire to try to bring this back for people that have been longing for it for a very long time." The Wii U release means there will be an Earthbound Miiverse community, which he thinks is going to be "spectacular." I concur.