Nintendo: Earthbound delay wasn't related to music licensing
Earthbound first landed in North America all the way back in 1995. The game was then swept under the rug, and no one really knew why exactly Nintendo didn't acknowledge the Mother series all that much. For some time, it seemed as though the many references and parodies in Earthbound were the reason for the lack of a Virtual Console release. The music, for example, was clearly influenced by existing work by The Beatles and Chuck Berry, to name a few artists. Now that the game is headed to the Wii U Virtual Console, however, Nintendo has addressed the situation.
According to Nintendo Director of Product Marketing Bill Trinen, the music of Earthbound wasn't the reason we've had to wait so long to finally see the game on the Virtual Console. In fact, the upcoming Wii U release will feature the game in its original state, with no alterations to the music.
It should be noted that Nintendo never outright stated that copyright issues were holding Earthbound back from appearing on the Virtual Console. This was all just suggested by fans and pundits who figured the similarities between the game's soundtrack and real-life tunes (in addition to other parodies) would be a cause for concern among Nintendo and other companies.
Trinen expressed that people within Nintendo have been very enthusiastic about Earthbound, and that bringing the game to the Virtual Console is something that the company is really looking forward to. This is due to fans clamoring for the game for years, a clear sign that there was a great amount of interest in this cult hit.
"It just seems like there's a lot of Earthbound supporters inside of Nintendo and inside of Nintendo of America, and there's been a real big desire to try to bring this back for people that have been longing for it for a very long time," explained Trinen. "And so, we're just really happy that we've been able to do it. And we're gonna do it on Wii U, where it'll ... because it's gonna be a Virtual Console game, it'll have its own Earthbound Miiverse community. Which is gonna be, I think, spectacular."
Just for fun, let's take a look at the hippie battle music from Earthbound:
And now "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry:
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