Sorry for the pun, but it had to happen. Late this morning, Satoru Iwata in the latest Nintendo Direct announced that Earthbound will be headed to the North American Wii U Virtual Console by the end of this year. This news came as a result of North American fans practically bombarding the Mother 2 Miiverse with pleas of a U.S. release when it launched in Japan in March.
Earthbound (known as Mother 2 in Japan) was a commercial flop when it launched back on the SNES, leading Nintendo to ignore markets outside Japan whenever games in this series popped up. This also lead to Earthbound 2 (aka Mother 3) never getting launched here either. However, the series has gained a passionate cult following, clamoring for some kind of release in this series. It also helped that Ness, the main character of Earthbound, was something of a mainstay in the Super Smash Bros. series and helped give exposure to the game he came from (like Marth and Roy for Fire Emblem). Some, including myself, want to get into this game to see what all the hubbub is about. Unfortunately, the asking price for the cartridge alone is well into the $100+ range online. Maybe those assholes can lower the price now.
No word yet if the music will be changed since many fans believed it was the many music samples that prevented a re-release in the U.S. But now, more of the U.S. can finally play an RPG that some call one of the best RPGs of all time.
[via Nintendo Direct 4.17.13 around the 23:13 mark]