Nintendo explained Mario 35th Anniversary Collection’s controversial release strategy in a brand new interview. Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser sat down with Polygon to discuss a number of topics including Joy-Con drift. But, many gamers had to wonder, what was the deal with all these March, 31st expiration dates. Most of the 35th Anniversary content for Mario is leaving the Switch store on that date, and when that fact was revealed, a lot of fans were left scratching their heads. According to the executive, the answer isn’t as nefarious as some corners of the Internet believe. It’s more about celebrating the Mario milestone rather than trying to double-dip. (Those comments are not going to stop anyone who is skeptical about this practice of releasing games for a limited time, and I’m not going to stop them from questioning.) Check out what he had to say on the matter down below:
“Yeah, I think I use a simple word: celebration. It just – this is a celebration of Mario’s 35th anniversary,” Bowser explained. “And we wanted to celebrate in unique and different ways, and we’ve done that through games like Super Mario 3D All-Stars, or we will be doing that through future releases, such as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury.”
“And then we’ve also done it through releases such as Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros., or through Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. There are various ways that we’re celebrating Mario’s 35th,” he added. “And with some of these titles, we felt it was an opportunity to release them for a limited period of time. They’ve done very, very well. Super Mario 3D All-Stars has sold over 2.6 million units in the U.S. alone. And so clearly, consumers have been able to jump in and enjoy that. And it’s not strategy that we’re going to be using widely, but it’s one we thought was very unique for the actual anniversary.”
So, that seems to be what Nintendo is going with. it won’t quiet a lot of the fears in different corners of social media about a Disney Vault style of releases going forward. This conversation obviously links to ongoing discussions about video game preservation and archival as well. For now, fans who really wanted access to these titles would have to move quickly. But, if those titles end up on the Nintendo shop all separately priced for more than the original bundle, there are going to be more questions coming Mr. Bowser’s way.
Do you think Nintendo is going to stick to their words here? Or is that just a little too convenient? Let us know down in the comments!