- Nintendo will commemorate the 30th anniversary of Earthbound, which falls on August 27, 2024.
- Its confirmed plans include new Earthbound merch and at least one unique event. There’s still no indication the official celebrations will happen outside of Japan.
- Earthbound, also known as Mother 2 in Japan, had an unimpressive release in the West, but has gained a cult following over the last three decades for its unique premise and RPG-trope-subverting mechanics.
Nintendo has plans to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Earthbound, having confirmed as much in a recent social media update. While the announcement sparked some speculation among the fandom that this cult-classic Nintendo game could be getting a remake, Nintendo’s plans appear to be more modest than that.
Despite debuting to fairly unimpressive sales in the West, Earthbound is nowadays widely considered as one of the most iconic ’90s RPGs. Known as Mother 2 in Japan, the SNES game offered an entertaining parody of the U.S. culture and subverted a wide variety of genre tropes, ultimately delivering a decisively unique JRPG experience that eventually helped it amass a cult following. A GBA port of the game was released as a Japan exclusive in 2003.
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Originally released as Mother in 1989, Earthbound Beginnings is a groundbreaking and, in some ways, timeless game.
The upcoming 30th anniversary of Earthbound will not go uncommemorated, with the series’ official Twitter account confirming as much in a January 1 post, as first spotted by My Nintendo News. Although the tweet itself doesn’t say much about Nintendo’s concrete plans for the August 27 anniversary, it links to a jubilee page that does offer some additional details about the upcoming commemoration. Specifically, the company mentioned new Earthbound merchandise and a special type of event that “has never been done before,” according to a machine translation of the website.
While the page says that more plans—including a mysterious brand collaboration—are in the works, there is still nothing to imply that the game itself might receive some sort of a rerelease as part of the celebrations. After all, both Earthbound and its prequel surprise-launched on the Switch less than two years ago, and are still available on the console via Nintendo Switch Online, which starts at $19.99 per year. Although the Switch version of Earthbound cannot be purchased outright, Nintendo has lately only been offering its classics as part of its subscription service, making a standalone rerelease even more unlikely.
Nintendo’s Confirmed Plans For Earthbound’s 30th Anniversary
- New merchandise.
- A unique event that “has never been done before.”
- An unspecified “collaboration with another event.”
None of that prevented some fans from taking to social media to speculate that the iconic JRPG could be treated to a remake or remaster this year, similar to the Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening or Skyward Sword HD. But given the series’ overall lack of brand awareness in the West, that still seems like an improbable scenario. After all, the niche international appeal of the franchise is also one of the main reasons why Earthbound sequel Mother 3 has never been localized, which would be a much less risky endeavor for Nintendo than financing a full-fledged remake of any other entry in the series.
Given the sheer volume of games that Earthbound has inspired over the last three decades, its legacy is certainly worth celebrating internationally. However, Nintendo has yet to confirm that its plans for the RPG’s 30th anniversary will amount to anything outside of Japan.
Nintendo’s old-school, 2D RPG Earthbound was initially released in the 1990s by HAL Laboratory and Ape Inc and puts players in charge of Ness and his friends, who must adventure and battle through the world to defeat the threat of Giygas that threatens Eagleland. The Earthbound franchise originally started out in Japan, under the name Mother, and has since been rereleased on Nintendo Switch Online.
- June 5, 1995
- T For Teen due to Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Crude Humor
- How Long To Beat
- 28 Hours