The effort that goes into localization of a game is often underappreciated. It can go well beyond merely translating the in-game text, involving the removal of references to licensed products, the alteration of signs and logos, and the repurposing of cultural humor. Still, when it comes to an RPG as long and dense as Mother 3, even just a text translation takes a tremendous amount of effort.
That is why, in hopes of having Mother 3 brought out for a Western release, “Mato,” a translator by trade, has offered his team’s 2008 fan translation of the game to Nintendo, free of charge. Not only that, but he is willing to extend additional services, including editing and retranslation, without a fee.
This wouldn’t be the first time a fan translation was used by a professional publisher--Ys: The Oath in Felghana comes to mind--but it would be the first time Nintendo had availed themselves of such a thing. Still, with the fervor over the Earthbound Virtual Console announcement, it seems like Mother fever is in full swing.
Source: Mother 3 Fan Translation Blog