Nintendo really knows how to stick it in and break it off. During their 16-minute Super Mario Bros. Anniversary Direct this morning Nintendo announced one surprising new Mario game and a hotly anticipated 3D collection, both of which will be delisted in six months. That’s right, they announced the release dates and the delisting dates at the same time!
First up is Super Mario Bros. 35, a spin on the Tetris 99 formula in which 35 players run through Super Mario Bros. stages and send defeated enemies onto their opponents courses. It’ll require a Nintendo Switch Online membership in order to play when it launches on October 1st and it’ll be shut down on March 31st, 2021.
The major news for many fans is the confirmation of the long-rumored Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Coming to Nintendo Switch on September 18th, the compilation includes uprezzed versions of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario 3D All-Stars will be available physically as well as digitally from the eShop but the downloadable version will only be available “until approximately March 31, 2021”.
So why announce a deadline alongside the release date? I understand the limited availability for the physical version; supply chains are stressed and manufacturing costs on Nintendo’s proprietary carts are probably up. Taking pre-orders and pressing only the number of copies they expect to sell through keeps expenses in line.
But why the eShop shortage? Sadly, that can only be designed to drive sales. Nintendo is no stranger to the tactic, having offered The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition off and on between 2012 and 2014, as well as the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador collection of Game Boy Advance titles in 2011.
It’s very likely that Nintendo will re-release Super Mario 3D All-Stars in the future and they could easily extend Super Mario Bros. 35’s lifespan if it remains popular. But as of right now, I can’t believe I have to tell you that I’m adding the dates to the Watch List calendar for a pair of Mario titles that aren’t even out yet.
Nintendo truly plays by their own rules.