Shortly before and after the time of the Wii U’s release throughout the world, Shigesato Itoi gradually showed a reawakening interest in MOTHER content through his Internet presence. Iwata brought up during an interview
that he had spoken to Itoi about the worldwide interest in the MOTHER series:
[in English]: "Just yesterday, before I left from Japan, I met with Mr. Itoi, who is the creator of the Earthbound series.” [laughs]
"Oh, I know. Are we ever going to get it?"
"And, yeah, accidentally we were discussing that there are huge fans from Western countries for the Mother series.” [laughs]
Later, Itoi made a personal thank-you to MOTHER fans and Starmen.net on Twitter. This led up to a tweet by Shigesato Itoi
on December 20th, 2012, mentioning that a “MOTHER republication” was in the works. For about a month, fans were left in the dark to speculate about what exactly Itoi was referring to. Rumors started flying around that the MOTHER series would be released on the Virtual Console, republished as a retail 3DS game, or even a brand new game altogether.
A promotion for the 30th Anniversary of Famicom.
Eventually, on January 23rd, 2013, Satoru Iwata announced that the Virtual Console would be returning for Wii U. While the service was set to launch later that spring, Nintendo had immediately begun a trial campaign to honor the 30th Anniversary of their first home console: the Famicom, or the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan. During this time, Wii U owners were offered select titles available to download for a special price of only 30 cents. The trial campaign offered one new game to download per month, and after the 30-day time frame was over, a game returned to its standard price on the Virtual Console.
This was the lineup of Virtual Console releases slated for the Japanese market. It seemed that Itoi’s talks of a MOTHER republication had finally come to fruition, as MOTHER 2 was set to arrive in the month of March 2013. It seems the previously mentioned copyright issues had either been overcome or simply turned out to not be a problem at all.
Iwata, left, and Itoi, right, gathered for an interview on MOTHER 2.
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|Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo
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Shortly before MOTHER 2’s re-release in Japan, Satoru Iwata and Shigesato Itoi discussed the game and the series as a whole. Within this interview, Iwata talks about his role within the development of the game, the impact the game made on its players, and Itoi’s role as the creator of the series. The interview was published on Itoi’s website on March 18th, 2013, two days before MOTHER 2 was re-released on the Virtual Console in Japan. Links to the original posting of the interview and English translations have been provided via EarthBound Central.
To further promote the game, Shigesato Itoi himself took to MOTHER 2’s official Miiverse and posted several messages
there over the course of the following weeks, in which he talked about the game, commented about the food he was eating while making posts, and cracked jokes.