The Mother/EarthBound series is the definition of cult classic. Only the middle game of the trilogy initially released outside of Japan, and it sold poorly, but a passionate fanbase kept interest in the games alive for years. Those fans were rewarded in 2013 as Nintendo finally re-released EarthBound (the second game) on the Wii U Virtual Console. Two years later, they also released the first game as EarthBound Beginnings. Fans are still waiting for Mother 3 to see the light of day outside of Japan, and if rumors are to be believed, they'll get their wish.
Just under a year ago, Liam Robertson (known for uncovering the truth behind cancelled games) and Emily Rogers (a leaker who shares rumors on Twitter) both claimed that Mother 3 was headed to Wii U's Virtual Console sometime in 2016. Soon after, Eurogamer writer Tom Phillips wrote a report claiming he had heard the same from a source connected to Nintendo.
As the year dragged on, it continually became more evident that the long-awaited Mother 3 release wouldn't be coming in 2016. Here at Gamnesia, we speculated that it had been pushed back to 2017 to coincide with the launch of Nintendo Switch, and now another rumor suggests exactly that.
Journalist and Switch leaker Laura Kate Dale is now claiming via Twitter that Mother 3 will launch on Nintendo Switch's Virtual Console some time in the second quarter of 2017. It's unclear at this time if that means Q2 of the calendar year (April 1st - June 30th) or Q2 of Nintendo's fiscal year (July 1st - September 30th), but we've reached out to Dale for clarification. According to her sources, the game will feature an official new translation, and it will be unveiled at the Nintendo Switch presentation on January 12th.
As usual, we advise you to take all rumors with a grain of salt and a healthy dose of skepticism. That said, Dale has accurately leaked other Switch details in the past, including when the Switch reveal would take place, the content of the reveal, Switch's use of cartridges, the look of the portable device, and more. Hopefully we'll have our answer on January 12th!