Reggie Fils-Aimé opens up about Mother 3’s localization

The former Nintendo of America executive says Mother 3's lack of localization was due to the "business situation."

Perhaps the most enduring legacy of Reggie Fils-Aimé following his departure from Nintendo is his relationship with Mother 3. The game has still yet to receive an officially English release 16 years after it launched. All through the Regginator’s career, he’s persistently dodged answering the question on whether or not it’ll ever get one (while teasing us about it every so often).

It’s long been assumed that the game’s more mature content is the reason it never received an official localization. The game contains realistic portrayals of death and suicide, references to drug use, a scene that may depict sexual assault, and a race of beings that look like crossdressers (and whose name contains a offensive slur).

Considering Nintendo’s legendary localization hammer, it’s a theory that makes sense, and changing this content in localization might have been too much of a hassle. Yet in a new interview with Bloomberg, Fils-Aimé denies that this content was the reason behind the game’s lack of localization. He says it was purely business:

That is not at all the issue why Mother 3 in particular never made it to the West. It was all based on the business needs and the business situation at the time.

Reggie Fils-Aimé, Former President for Nintendo of America
Mother 3 Gameplay

Reggie Fils-Aimé and Mother 3: the truth revealed

For all the theories as to the objectionable content in Mother 3, Reggie’s answer is clear. It just didn’t make business sense for Nintendo to localize the game into English. By 2006, Nintendo was all in on the Nintendo DS; bringing over an RPG for the Game Boy Advance (and one in a series that isn’t Nintendo’s top priority) just wouldn’t have been a sound idea.

There’s no confirmation that Mother 3 will never come to the West. But as the fanbase has gotten used to doing for over a decade, we shouldn’t hold our breath.

Fils-Aimé is currently promoting his new book Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo. He delivered some incredible insights into his time at Nintendo, including his executive hatred for Donkey Konga. Of course, questions about Mother 3 will probably dog him until he dies. Maybe one day, the game will finally see the light of day.

Via Video Games Chronicle.

Daniel Hein

Daniel Hein is either A) a lifelong video game fanatic, writer, and storyteller just sharing his thoughts on things, or B) some kind of werewolf creature. We're not quite sure which yet. He also makes mediocre video game retrospectives (and other content!) on YouTube where you can watch him babble on for hours about nothing.
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