Mario, longstanding icon and saviour of Princess Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom, is dead at 35. The cause of death is still unknown at the time of writing. He is survived by his pet dinosaur, Yoshi, his longtime girlfriend, Princess Peach, and his brother, Luigi.
Of course, Mario is not actually dead. He is a fictional video game character. However, March 31st, 2021 will be an important day in Mario history. It is the day that, for whatever reason, Nintendo decided to stop selling copies of Super Mario 3D All-Stars and shut down the servers for Super Mario Bros. 35.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a remastered collection of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. Retailers will completely stop selling the game digitally, while physical copies will not be restocked once they are sold out. It’s worth noting that digital copies that are redeemed after March 31st will still be playable.
Super Mario Bros. 35, the Mario-style battle-royale in which 35 players compete with each other in various Mario levels in order to be the last Mario standing, is a different story; after March 31st, the game will be completely unplayable.
The reason for the end date for these Mario games is still unclear. Both were announced and released in order to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros franchise; the first Super Mario Bros. game came out on September 13th, 1985 in Japan.
However, it is still perplexing as to why both games have this expiration date. It would make sense for Nintendo to keep selling Super Mario Bros. 3D All-Stars, as it sold well when it came out in September. Even before it came out, it was the second best selling game of 2020 on Amazon. Anyone would agree that a company should keep selling a product if it was selling well.
Additionally, fans seem to enjoy Super Mario Bros. 35. There were plenty of matches happening before March 31st and it would stand to reason that people will still want to play it after March 31st.
This also is not the end of Mario, not by a long shot. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury just came out in February and that is not going away anytime soon. Also, it is basically a guarantee that Nintendo will keep making Mario games until the Sun explodes.
All of this makes their decision to cancel these games on the 31st even more confusing. Hopefully, Nintendo will change its mind in the future and bring Mario back to life. Then again, while the president of Nintendo of America is Doug Bowser, no one should be holding their breath.
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