When it became evident that Nintendo had no interest in translating the sequel to Earthbound, Mother 3, for the North American market, a group of rabid fans took it upon themselves to create an English translation of the game's script. The project is making good progress as this teaser video clip shows, but what I really find interesting is that Nintendo of America president Reginald Fils-Aime knows about the project and yet hasn't smashed it to bits with Nintendo's mighty legal might.
From the most hyped games to the somewhat more obscure, Fils-Aime will discuss any possible title for Nintendo systems. So what of "Mother 3," a 2006 Game Boy Advance game released to cult acclaim in Japan but never so much as whispered for a U.S. release? The game has such a strong online following that a group of committed fans have vowed to produce their own translated version of the game if Nintendo won't. Fils-Aime has never played the game, but he knows about the translation project. He said the "Mother" series (known as "Earthbound" when "Mother 2" was released in the U.S.) is important to Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president, who worked on the series years ago as a developer. "It certainly is a franchise near and dear to his heart, and it's something I'm trying to get smart on to understand whether or not there is an opportunity here. But certainly I've seen the success in Japan. That hasn't gone unnoticed. And it's certainly something we're looking at.
Could Nintendo really be willing to allow a fan-based translation to exist without penalty? The company has always been extremely protective of its trademarks and properties, so I really never believed that Nintendo would allow the project to carry on once top management learned of it. Of all of the new Nintendo news that has come out recently it's this blurb that I find the most interesting. I'd love to know why Nintendo hasn't slammed the lawsuit hammer down on the translation team.