Why is Nintendo killing Mario: the reason people are posting #RIP memes about the iconic plumber

is Mario dead

Is Mario dead? Well, no, not really – just like Mark Twain, rumours of his death have been greatly exaggerated. However, Mario’s games are.

Well, a couple in particular. Nintendo spent 2020 celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Mario series, with the original Super Mario Bros game on the NES releasing in 1985.

A big part of the celebration were the releases of some limited edition games, namely Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario Bros 35. The former is a collection of three of Mario’s best known 3D platform games: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy; the latter is a sort of battle royale version of the original NES game with 35 players at once available for free.

The catch, though, was that these games were only made available for a limited time. Super Mario 3D All-Stars was released in September and Super Mario Bros 35 in October, but Nintendo announced both games would be discontinued from 1 April 2021 – not only would physical copies of All-Stars no longer be made, but both games would be completely removed from the eShop.

Naturally, this rubbed fans up the wrong way. While it certainly caused a rush to download the games immediately – and a second rush this past week to download the games in time – it’s a cynical move on Nintendo’s part to drive sales in a limited period. Will the games be made available in another form after this date? What about game preservation? We still don’t know.

And so, Mario died. In theory.

What’s particularly interesting is that these Mario games aren’t the only ones to receive a limited timed release. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade Of Light was the first English release for the original 1990 NES game in the now hugely popular Fire Emblem series. But this too has been removed from the eShop from 1 April – despite the series’ 30th anniversary not being widely celebrated.

These limited timed releases may be a strategy for Nintendo going forward, but if the Mario is dead meme is anything to go by, fans won’t be happy. 

They’re still able to have fun though, with plenty of jokes flying around the internet. Many stem from the reveal of Sephiroth in Super Smash Bros Ultimate when the villain appeared to pierce Mario with his oversized sword.

is Mario dead

Super Smash Bros Ultimate. (YouTube)

But maybe now we can simply play as Luigi, the better brother, instead.