Update: The game is now up and running in the shop once again, and you can use 250 coins to purchase Earthbound. All is right in the world.
Original story: One does not simply sell out of digital media. That’s the whole point of making the jump into this modern age of video gaming, having the assurance of publishers that games will always be there. You’ll never have to struggle through the tears of your game being “sold out.”
It’s not like amiibo!
Leave it to Nintendo to find a way to “sell out” of a digital game, though. Earthbound was one of the final rewards that Club Nintendo fans were able to drain the last of their coins on during the program’s closing months, but it seems that too many people have purchased the game. Nintendo has listed it as “not currently available,” no differently than it does with its physical rewards.
What’s the deal? We all know the rocky “look the other way” relationship between Nintendo and the Earthbound community, and we know that the two bit and clawed at each other forever to get the game on Virtual Console. Was there something in the publishing agreement that didn’t allow Nintendo to give it away for free beyond a certain point? Was the extra “Earthbound tax” on top of the normal SNES price too much to lose?
Or, does Nintendo have an actual shelf of digital Earthbound copies that just up and vanished into cyberspace? Knowing Nintendo, we probably won’t ever find out.