First Ness, now his game? EarthBound ‘sold out’ on Club Nintendo reward list


[Please Give Us Strength art by Zarla]

Pre-orders for the GameStop exclusive Ness amiibo went up last week, and it was pretty much a disaster. ended up being taken offline as a result, and in-store orders took upwards of two hours in some locations due to the store’s servers being completely overwhelmed. Even fans waiting second or third in line for the toy might have been shut out, as GameStop’s pre-orders weren’t organized by a store-specific allocation, and instead were divvied from a chain-wide pool. If some jerk in Tuscaloosa decided to pre-order ten Ness figures in his store, then that was ten fewer Nesses for everyone else in the country. 

Sadly, long time fans of EarthBound are used to the feeling having a door closed in their faces. From Nintendo’s decision to keep Mother 3 locked to Japan, to continued reluctance to release one of the many ports of the games to the United States, fans of EarthBound who live anywhere other than Japan have had to grow accustomed to not getting what they want.

The most recent case of EarthBound neglect comes from Club Nintendo. The game was initially one of the many titles made available to as part of the service’s mega “going out of business” sale, alongside other SNES classics like Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Now the rewards page for the game reads “This item is unavailable. Sorry!” That kind of “sold out!” message is usually reserved for physical Club Nintendo rewards, which would often disappear in a few days, but this is a download we’re talking about. It’s hard to understand why Nintendo blocks us from access to a endlessly replenishable digital product. 

Maybe this is just another Club Nintendo glitch? Given how unstable the site is, I wouldn’t be surprised. Sadly, I think it’s possible that this move was intentional. Maybe Nintendo of America is planning on releasing the EarthBound Zero/EarthBound/Mother 3 compilation on the Wii U and/or 3DS and it doesn’t want too many people to download the game for “free” before it releases the games for sale in a new form? That’s probably the only way fans might excuse this latest bout of anti-EarthBound antics from Nintendo at large. We’ll ask Nintendo for comment on the situation when workers get back to the office on Monday.

Jonathan Holmes
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1 "I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes