Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America president, was asked in a recent interview why some popular Nintendo games are only sold for a limited time. His answer? “[T]he is a party. “
Earlier this year, Nintendo came out released Super Mario 3D All-Stars on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES. The collection has been transferred Super Mario’s 64, Sunshine, and universe to the Switch for $ 60, but there was also one important caveat: fans wouldn’t be able to buy it until March 31, 2021. It was a confusing move that seemed to be modeled on something like Disney’s old vault system that sells older movies to create scarcity and drive up their value. It sucks, especially for anyone picking up a Switch after March 31st.
“Yeah, I think I’m using a simple word: party,” Bowser told Polygon when asked about the decision. “It’s just… this is a celebration of Mario’s 35th birthday. And we wanted to celebrate in unique and different ways, and we did that through games like Super Mario 3D All-Stars, or we will do that through future releases, such as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. “
There are several ways we celebrate Mario’s 35th. And with some of these titles, we thought it was an opportunity to release them for a limited time. They have done very, very well. Super Mario 3D All-Stars has sold more than 2.6 million copies in the US alone. And it is clear that consumers have been able to jump in and enjoy it. And it is not a strategy that we are going to use on a large scale, but it is a strategy that we thought was very unique to the actual anniversary.
Based on the 2.6 million copies sold, the strategy seems to have worked out well for Nintendo. The company follows a similar approach Super Mario Bros. 35, the free Switch Online battle royale platformer, and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, the $ 6 port of the original game previously only released in Japan. Nintendo leaned on the “party” line when asked about that purchase deadline as well.
“Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light is the first Fire emblem game in the beloved franchise, which is celebrating its 30thth anniversary through March 2021, ”said a Nintendo spokesperson Kotaku back in October. “We are delighted to offer the game localized for the first time in English to commemorate the occasion.” Coincidentally, March is also the time when Nintendo’s fiscal year ends. Fire emblemThe actual anniversary ends in April.
Polygon’s Russ Frushtick followed during his interview to get a real answer, but the Nintendo of America boss didn’t bite.
“Yes, at this point the decision was really made around that festive feature and aspect,” said Bowser. “I can’t talk about plans after the end of March.”