For the 35th anniversary of the global mega-hit franchise, Nintendo is set to release a compilation of almost every 3D Super Mario game ever released. There’s a catch, however, the collection will be available only until March of next year.
Among the titles revealed during the Mario Direct, last September 3, was Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a collection consisting of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy.
The drawback however is that digital copies of the game will only be available from September 18, 2020 up until March 31, 2020. In addition, Nintendo is only releasing a limited number of physical copies of Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
On top of this, other new titles, including Super Mario 35, a unique Battle Royale-style take on the Super Mario Bros. formula, will also be seeing the same limited-time release. As hinted at by the game’s title, Super Mario 35 features 35 players who will try to outrace each other with the losers getting sent to other player’s courses.
This move alone has raised a lot of eyebrows within the gaming community considering that this isn’t the first time Nintendo has thrown curveballs in selling their games but is also reminiscent of the video game selling fad back in the early 2000s.
To an extent, a limited number of physical copies would make sense as it gives the release a more exclusive feel and that there are a lot of miscellaneous costs in producing physical copies, but to extend this exclusivity for the digital market is questionable, to say the least.
Creating artificial demands by limiting supply barely makes any sense considering how massive the Super Mario franchise is as well as the fact that the pandemic has more people dependent on their gaming devices for entertainment while they’re stuck at home.
In addition, the issue of limited supply has been a persistent problem for Nintendo for more than a decade from the WiiU debacle many years ago to more recently, when Nintendo was unable to cope with the massive demand of the Nintendo Switch which caused frustration among fans trying to cope up with pandemic.
Given that the remastered games are classics and can only be played on emulators, or on classic consoles (if they haven’t broken down) that are incredibly difficult to come by nowadays, wouldn’t this create a natural incentive for players to purchase the game, regardless of their supply?
In their defense, Nintendo might be testing out the waters for both remastered versions of their classics and their new battle royale game to be re-released individually in the near future or this is all part of another curveball that Nintendo might throw to both of its loyal and distraught followers soon. (Read: Shin Megami Tensei 5 headlines Nintendo’s Direct Mini)
Time will tell if this decision will end differently in comparison to previous incidents, but as history has already shown, Nintendo still faces the challenge in fulfilling the unending thirst of their consumer towards the brand and their games.