April 23, 2021

Dev Explains Why Nintendo Made Mario’s Anniversary Games Limited-Time


Super Mario 3d All StarsSuper Mario 3d All Stars

It’s the 1st of April and you know that means – a handful of Mario games have been removed. Why has this happened and what is Nintendo’s reasoning? Fans are still searching for answers to these questions.

While nobody seems to really be able to provide an answer, VICE reporter Patrick Klepek investigated the whole limited release thing last year and received an insightful response from a developer who has worked with Nintendo on multiple occasions in the past.

Apparently, it’s rather “straightforward” – the video game giant is resorting to artificial scarcity because it believes it drives sales by playing on people’s “FOMO”, otherwise known as a fear of missing out:

“They have data that shows that rereleases of games tend to wither on wishlists,” said a developer who’s been involved with publishing several games on Switch, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not permitted to publicly discuss their meetings with Nintendo. “The manufactured FOMO [fear of missing out] helps them get those sales, or so they think.”

Last year, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser had a crack at explaining why Mario’s games would be removed – stating how it was a “celebration” of Mario. At the time, he also noted how it would not be a strategy widely used going forward.

“Yeah, I think I use a simple word: celebration. It just — this is a celebration of Mario’s 35th anniversary. 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. 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, what do you think about the idea of Nintendo using limited-time releases to drive sales? How would you feel about similar offerings in the future? Share your thoughts down below.


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