When Nintendo of America announced that cult-favorite RPG Earthbound was coming to the Wii U Virtual Console, fans had renewed hope that Nintendo was listening to their pleas. Maybe now the company will take notice of the vocal audience and have Shigesato Itoi make another game!
Well, no. Probably not.
In Japan, Earthbound is known as Mother 2. North America never received the original Mother or Mother 3, which was released on Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2006. A Japanese fan asked Itoi about whether he might make Mother 4. His response (via Kotaku) was one word: "muri," which translates to "impossible." That doesn't sound optimistic.
Fans have offered a free translated script of the cult RPG to Nintendo of America, but it appears the company is uninterested in pursuing the project. For now, it appears that outside of appearances in Smash Bros. games, the Earthbound franchise is effectively dead.