In the latest Iwata Asks, (a series of conversations with Nintendo Japan President Satoru Iwata), Software Planning and Development Division Head Kenta Tanaka explains why certain titles become available and why some are only available in certain regions.

Basically, the Nintendo eShop region managers mull it over among themselves, saying “I want that one game for North America,” or “I want this title for Europe,” or “This software is necessary in Japan.” It gets a bit messy sometimes because a game that is still popular in America may never have been sold in Japan! (laughs) Once the roster begins to take shape among the shop managers, we estimate the practicability and production costs of those titles and consider the scheduling involved.

Roughly speaking, action games and puzzlers are easy to make, while you have to check a lot of spots in RPGs, which takes a lot of time.

So for all the folks who wonder why Mother 1 and Mother 3 (Aka Earthbound 1 and 3) have not been brought to America. This is probably why. Our Regional Manager didn’t ask for it.

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