A Load of MOTHER Stuff
The price of EarthBound cartridges and other MOTHER games have been rising over the years, and it’s only natural that fans aren’t happy about it. I stumbled upon this video where a fan tries to express his anger and his reasons for said anger:
I don’t want to add too much more to it, but I do think it’s important to point out a few things:
- Although EarthBound sold about 140,000 copies in all, that was over the total lifetime. In the first year – which is most important – it sold somewhere around 70,000. After that it was mostly just a bargain bin game, if you’ll recall.
- Nintendo spent a lot of money on EarthBound, thinking it would be a huge hit. They even used the guide as a loss leader, as well as a $10-off coupon. Meaning they actually wasted money in the hope of making money in the long run.
- Games cost a lot of money to translate, reprogram, test, produce, market and distribute. Nintendo spent two million dollars on EarthBound’s marketing alone. Again, factor in the cost to produce and print the guide (that they gave away for free) and it all adds up to a LOT of money spent. That 70,000 or so copies sold probably wasn’t enough to recoup these costs or if so, just barely made any profit. Personally, my bet is that the game lost money for Nintendo.
So that’s my take on why EarthBound was deemed a failure by Nintendo and why “140,000” wasn’t that great. For more details on SNES RPGs and sales numbers, there’s a great interview with Ted Woolsey on the subject here.
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35 Comments to MOTHER Series Pricing Rant
- Leeaux: I’m going to eat this all the time now. You could have posted this recipe and I probably wouldn’t have touched it. But you...
- Moonside: I know this is very unrelated to the topic but, what ever happened the Chewy’s Novel Translation? The webpage now asks for a...
- Anonymous: “…while EarthBound is just a game, it’s one of those rare games that brings out the best in people.” <–...
- game4brains: As someone who’s half-Korean, this is pretty interesting to me, particularly because this was published during a period where...
- KingMike: I think the other SFC game in the review scores are Live A Live and some baseball game (Super Power League 2)?