As anyone who’s visited this site a fair bit now knows, Nintendo has not been too good to fan game developers. They’ve shut down AM2R and Pokemon Uranium, causing massive amounts of controversy online. ROM hacks and ROM hack videos have been occasionally targeted and taken down, like Pokemon Prism. Basically, if something uses Nintendo’s IPs, the chances of it being taken down are significantly higher than they were in the past.
Fortunately though, Mother 4 was not an example here. Nintendo has never targeted it with a DMCA notice. They’ve never asked the team to stop development. And heck, despite tons of media coverage and hype across the internet, no one at Nintendo seems to be bothered in the slightest by the game.
But the developers are still wary about the possibility of a takedown. So guess what?
They’ve decided to rebrand the game entirely. Now, Mother 4 is no longer an Earthbound fan game following on from Mother 3, but a brand new title entirely. Basically, it’s now the Yooka-Laylee to Mother 3’s Banjo-Kazooie. A very similar game with similar ideas but enough originality to not be an outright clone.
So, this project started a long time ago and leadership has changed hands a number of times. has been worked on by different groups. Over time it has grown/changed from a Mother 3 imitation to something more original. It changed multiple times, and today we’re announcing one more big change.
Yes, we are rebranding…
No! We haven’t [been hit by a DMCA notice]. This change is one part preventative measure, following several large fan project takedowns, and two parts acknowledging what we’ve actually been making – and what we’ve been making is a celebration of the games that meant a lot to us growing up, something familiar but also different. The game has grown up with us. We want to share that…
Most things will stay the same! This is still the story of Travis and his friends fighting the mysterious Modern Men. Leo still lights his smokes with paranormal fire. However, if something is associated with the official Mother games, it won’t be in this one. Mr. Saturn? Bon voyage, amigo. The title will also be changing.
As you can tell, it’s not actually as much of a change as you’d think. Yeah you’re gonna lose a few familiar faces. Like the Mr. Saturn characters from the series (or other elements taken wholesale from past games). But for the most part, the rebranded Mother 4 is basically the same as the original one. Just with a safer name and enough originality that Nintendo won’t demand the project gets taken off the internet.
It’s a smart move, and one that allows the project to have a happy future without fear of take downs. Can’t really hate that.
But still, what do you think of the matter? Are you happy that Mother 4 is now an original game instead of a Mother fan game? Or do you wish they’d stuck to making a simple sequel to the series you know and love?
Post your thoughts here or on social media today!