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)