One of the most popular Super Nintendo role-playing games of all time, EarthBound, is now available on the Wii U Virtual Console. A trip down memory lane will set you back $9.99 which includes access to a digital version of the original Player's Guide that shipped with copies of the game back in 1995.
Many expected the title's re-release would happen sooner as the game received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) for the Wii in 2008. That never came to fruition although we did get confirmation earlier this year that EarthBound would be headed to the Wii U.
Why exactly it took so long for Nintendo to get around to re-releasing the game is still up for debate. Some believe Nintendo wanted to do so earlier but ran into copyright issues regarding the game's soundtrack. Interestingly enough, the soundtrack remains unchanged in the Wii U version so either they worked it out or that wasn't the problem. It's also entirely possible that Nintendo simply didn't consider EarthBound to be a top priority.
So just exactly how popular was / is EarthBound? Normally that would be difficult to determine without having access to sales figures. A quick check on eBay, however, turned up some interesting results. When filtering results to only show completed listings, I was shocked to find used copies (without a retail box) selling for anywhere between $150 to $200. I guess I should have listened to my parents when they told me not to trade in my old SNES games towards new PlayStation titles when I was a kid!