The latest issue of Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream includes a 13-page feature to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Mother series. Among its content is an interview with Naho Sugimoto, a designer at Shigesato Itoi’s Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun (Hobonichi) company, and BlackKite and Japanese Nintendo have translated some of the highlights. The main takeaway of the discussion reconfirms what we already knew — Mother 4 isn’t happening, at least not with Itoi (Mother series creator) at the helm.
In truth, the translation given is a little confusing to make heads or tails of, but what Sugimoto says about Mother 4 is very clear: “[Itoi’s company’s] stance is that it’s already impossible for Itoi to create it, and we’d be glad if someone else creates it. This has never changed either.”
Yep, that is indeed what Shigesato Itoi has gone on record as saying in the past. He has said more than once that it’s “impossible” to create the game, and to explain his reasoning, he compared himself with a musician: “Among big-time popstars, if they, you know, put out ten albums, around the fourth album, they can’t make very good songs. The albums sell, but everyone at the concerts wants to hear songs from those first three albums. Everyone.”
So basically, he thinks a Mother 4 or 5 has the potential to really suck, so why bother? In an age of endless sequels and remakes, that’s a really refreshing attitude, actually. But as Naho Sugimoto said, Itoi is open to the idea of a new person taking a spin at Mother. Fans are indeed attempting to make their own version of the game, but it’s undergoing a rebrand to avoid potential infringement issues.
It also recently came to light that, once upon a time, Satoru Iwata had tried to coax Itoi into making a Mother game for GameCube, but the idea never went past some mock-ups.