Why March 31st Might Be The Day Mario Dies!

by Drishti Ranjan

Why March 31st Might Be The Day Mario Dies!

March 23, 2021

As the scheduled date to leave the digital realm approaches, fans all over prepare eulogies in the memory of their favourite plumber mascot: Mario.

As the removal of several pending Super Mario titles is set to take place at the conclusion of its 35th anniversary, the gaming community is caught in a tussle on whether to hold on to their favourite game or decode the marketing strategy behind this gimmick.

The time limited Mario collection released last year to commemorate its 35th anniversary combined three of the most popular 3D platform games- Super Mario 64™, Super Mario Sunshine™, and Super Mario Galaxy™.

Various Mario titles that were presented during its 35 anniversary.

In case someone has purchased the game, they will be able to access it even post 31st March, even if you delete it, it can be re downloaded. Which is not the case for those who’d opt out of buying it. Even though the 35th anniversary celebration was a huge success, individuals across generations showered the character with adoration and reminiscent admiration, which lead to a huge hit in sales of both: merchandise as well as game hampers. Yet, the date of 31st March was criticised.

The deal with choosing 31st March as the date for choosing to remove it from platforms was attributed to having something to do with the end of the financial year. However, even though the change of the financial year may reset things for business and individuals financially, choosing the last date of the financial year could be a tactic to boost sales by creating a fear of shortage and have people shell out extra bucks faster, than they would have in a normal scenario.

The character was named after Mario Segale, whose first warehouse Nintendo used.

The Legend That Was

There’s a very very tiny fraction of population that doesn’t know who Mario is. Or , actually, scratch that thought. Everybody knows who Mario is. Turning 35 this year, and also after having served as the mascot of Nintendo for the LONGEST time (and also after having earned A LOT of revenue while he was at it) Mario has gained worldwide popularity.

As an arcade superhero, when Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, he joined the gaming world in 1981, in the game Donkey Kong, as Jumpman, and became an instant favourite. What started as a winning spree then, with every sequel (like the immediate one Donkey Kong Jr), his character became more prominent and was renamed as Mario by the president of Nintendo, Minori Arakawa, after Nintendo ‘a first warehouse – Mario Segale. Eventually, in 1983 the first game with Mario as the main character came out, and even featured a new character ‘Luigi’ as his brother, in Mario Bros.

Mario’s journey here on seemed to have grown leaps and bounds. Following Mario Bros, he even appeared in a cartoon series, which became his first TV appearance as a circus trainer, but after this, he got his first role starring in a TV show which combined live-action segments in 1989 and finally in 1989, he made his big screen debut by appearing in the movie ‘The Wizard’.

While Mario was making debut in the TV media, his role in the arcade scenario was also getting a level up. To keep his character riding the wave of fame, Nintendo’s first US home videogame console released in 1985 with Mario starring in Super Mario Bros. This title was an instant hit with among more than 50 million units sold worldwide (!) and also being followed by Super Mario Land, which proceeded to capture the Game Boy market and sold almost 14 million units globally!

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The journey which has been going on for 35 long years has seen more ups than downs, and has found its space next to the most prominent game characters of all time. 31 March 2021 hence, forms a black day for fans all over. It is not just that the arcade games or the apparel and merchandise relating to the 35th Anniversary will be stopped and that people won’t be able to find it online post April 1st, but even the Super Mario Bros 3 cartoon series will be removed from Netflix on the same day.

The reasons behind the removal are so bizarre that even after attempting to rationalise it, fans couldn’t justify what would make the company go to such extents of removing traces of Mario. For real though, what harm did the cartoon series though! However, the internet may have labelled 31st March to be a Black day to mark the death of Mario, there are more volumes to come. So, stay tuned!


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