It's a visual metaphor, see?
If your title is in direct competition with a Nintendo one, you may be screwed
If you like to moan about the apparent lack of quality titles coming to the Virtual Console then you may wish to direct your anger at Nintendo itself rather than third party publishers, if this recent piece of news is anything to go by.
A poster on NTSC-UK
forum has replied to a thread about the upcoming release of Super Mario Kart
on Nintendo's retro download service, and what he has to say is rather enlightening:
I was working for a company last year who submitted a SNES game to the VC which got turned down.
Nintendo said it was because it was direct competition to one of their upcoming games which they were struggling to emulate for the VC. My prediction was SMK and it looks like I was spot on.
The poster was later asked if the game in question was Street Racer
- a likeable Mario Kart-clone released by Ubisoft in 1994 - to which he replied in the affirmative.
Obviously forum chatter has to be taken with a pinch of salt but we can't see any reason why this wouldn't be true. Nintendo has apparently struggled to emulate Super Mario Kart on the Virtual Console and if Street Racer had been released beforehand, it would make Nintendo look somewhat inept.
However, the news that the company is blocking potential Virtual Console releases is likely to stir up animosity towards Nintendo, rather than understanding.