My guess has always been that EarthBound wasn't re-released before because Nintendo figured everyone who might value the game already has it in one form or another, and that everyone else in the world just wouldn't get it. I imagine that they'd feel the same way about Mother 3, EarthBound's highly ambitious, emotionally chargedsequel. After the fan patch rocketed to stardom a few years back, I'd guessed Nintendo felt that ship had sailed.
It seems that Wii U Miiverse integration has Nintendo feeling confident that community involvement will make EarthBound more marketable to both past and future fans alike. I hope they feel the same way about Mother 3, which has a free translation up for grabs should Nintendo choose to use it. It wouldn't be the first time a fan translation was later used in a retail product, so don't go poo-pooing the whole notion, you poo poo lovers.
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