I should warn fans of the Japanese Game Boy Advance game "Mother 3" that this post may make you sad, but, still, the Nintendo of America president had something to say about the much-heralded role-playing game.
The following is an excerpt from my interview with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. The first part of our interview ran earlier today, covering the Nintendo DSi, the new "Zelda" and some other stuff.
And then, this came up:
MTV Multiplayer: We used to talk about "Mother 3" [the highly-regarded 2006 Japanese role-playing game that has never been released in America, despite a fervent Internet fan movement]. And then I stopped asking you about it after a while.
Fils-Aime: I'm a big "Mother" fan. I have to set the record straight on this topic, because I have seen all of the hate comments. I'm a big "Mother" fan. Huge "Mother" fan. I would love to see "Mother" localized in our market. In fact, I've talked to [Nintendo president] Mr. Iwata about it because this is a game he has some history with. [pauses] But it is not on our announcement schedule. [laughs]
MTV Multiplayer: How can that be? [laughs]
Fils-Aime: I am a fan of a lot of different products that aren't on our announcement schedule.
MTV Multiplayer: How could there be something you like, but it's not on the announcement schedule? Take me into the psychology of that.
Fils-Aime: Maybe I'm going to burst some people's bubbles, but just because I'm the president of NOA doesn’t mean that every game that I love gets published in our territory. We run a business. And so, in order for a title to be published, the development, localization, launch, volume, all needs to make economic sense.
MTV Multiplayer: Does DSiWare [the downloadable gaming service for the DSi] open you guys up to being able to release, for example, a much-anticipated, much-desired Game Boy Advance game -- that's pretty small -- digitally, where you wouldn't have to market the same way?
Fils-Aime: Let me answer the question a different way. We have seen effective sales taking content that only launched in Japan and launching it on WiiWare.
MTV Multiplayer: "Sin and Punishment."
Fils-Aime: Exactly. So it's certainly something we look at and, for the right titles, we'll bring to bear.
MTV Multiplayer: What did Mr. Iwata say when you started badgering him about "Mother 3"?
Fils-Aime: [laughs] It was a fun conversation.
"Mother 3" fans, do you see any hope there? Maybe? I'll have more from Fils-Aime tomorrow about the Wii and some other Nintendo matters.
(NOTE: For fans of "Mother 3," you might be interested in this video clip I dug up. It's a tour of the Akihabara gaming district that I shot with a team and our guest-host Tim Rogers in Tokyo in April of 2006, on the day that "Mother 3" was released in Japan)