Nintendo: Earthbound 64 was 60% complete when cancelled

An old Japanese interview with Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata, Shigesato Itoi, and Shigeru Miyamoto has surfaced online. The piece concerns how Earthbound 64 was cancelled and the events that lead to it. The game started development for the SNES and spanned six years and was eventually cancelled while being developed for the Nintendo 64DD.

Surprisingly the game was pretty far along in development when it was canned.

Shigeru Miyamoto says that Earthbound 64 was “sixty” percent complete when it was cancelled in 2000. With the game so far along in development you have to wonder why they didn’t simply move the project to “Project Dolphin”, aka the GameCube.

Iwata might think it’s around thirty percent, but I feel it was at least sixty. There are many elements to it–like the compression of the scenarios, and the questions along with it: Is the scenario written well? Are the characters ready? Then there’s the question of whether the programming fundamentals are even capable of compressing the scenarios yet. Last year I felt much more overwhelmed by how much underlying programming we had left to finish—it wasn’t about how many scenarios were ready.

With Earthbound getting re-released on the Virtual Console there is a chance of new developments in the series. Nintendo opened the Onett Times Miiverse forum to discuss events relating to the franchise. Hopefully that is hinting at a brand new installment rather than just re-releases of past games.