Of course, nowadays a lot of gamers have heard of EarthBound, but how many have actually played it during its initial release? EarthBound is an RPG released for the SNES developed by Ape and Hal Laboratory. EarthBound centers on a group of kids joining together in an effort to save the world from the evil Giygas.
EarthBound is definitely different from its RPG brethren through its use of quirky writing, humor, and utilization of traditional RPG elements set in a more real world environment. For example, instead of gold, hero Ness must access his bank account to retrieve cash sent to him by his distant dad.
So what happened?
EarthBound, also known as Mother 2 in Japan, was primed for success with Nintendo providing a $2 million dollar marketing campaign for the game. The campaign reflected the game's quirky sense of humor by boldly proclaiming "this game stinks" and including smelly scratch and sniff cards with each game copy.
However, despite Nintendo's efforts, EarthBound failed upon initial release selling around 140,000 copies. The bizarre marketing campaign as well as poor reviews from critics, remarking on the game's cartoonish graphics and humor, could have possibly been the cause for EarthBound's initial failure.
Although, the game does now have a strong cult following among gamers. In addition, EarthBound was also recently added to Nintendo's eShop store.
Image source: Game Church