Nintendo Rejected a Namco Pitch for a Bizarre GameCube EarthBound Game

It looks like Nintendo was interested in a new EarthBound game for GameCube but ultimately rejected this bizarre concept.

Nintendo Earthbound GameCube

Yasuyuki Honne (an artist and designer whose credits include Xenogears, Chrono Trigger, and Baten Kaitos) revealed on Twitter that he was once part of a negotiation between Nintendo and Namco that would have seen the later studio develop an EarthBound game for GameCube.

Honne’s tweets seemingly came in response to the release of a new book about former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata which was published by a company founded by EarthBound creator, Shigesato Itoi. That occurrence prompted Honne to recall a time when Namco and Nintendo were discussing the possibility of Namco developing a new EarthBound game for the Nintendo GameCube.

The highlight of Honne’s concept for this project was a bizarre “felt-like” art style for the game The style is being compared to what we’ve seen in games like Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but the screenshots that Honne shared suggests that his take on that concept was going to be a little less refined and was seemingly designed to emulate a child’s art project. It also seems that this game would have aimed to recreate America in the ’80s. 

Sadly, it seems that some of the people involved with the negotiations just didn’t quite believe in Honne’s approach to the concept. 

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“I met both Iwata-san and Itoi-san at the same time – back in 2003 when there were talks between Namco and Nintendo about a GameCube version of Mother,” reads Honne’s tweets as translated by Nintendo Everything. “Itoi-san didn’t seem very interested; he felt it was a little strange, and yet we continued talks.”

As you probably know, we never got that GameCube version of the game, which means we now have yet another lost part of EarthBound history to toss alongside the unreleased N64 entry into the franchise and the Western port of Mother 3 that Nintendo seems to have some deep concerns about

Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014