Sorry folks, but Nintendo appears to be sticking with its plan to stop selling a number of games tied to Mario’s 35th anniversary. That includes both physical and digital copies of games like Super Mario 3D All-Stars for Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo reminded fans on its Japanese Twitter account today that they have until March 31 to buy 3D All-Stars — the bundle containing Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, or Super Mario Galaxy.
People who bought the games will continue to have access to them, of course, but Nintendo plans to stop producing the game and will pull it from the Switch eShop. It’s possible some physical copies might linger in stores after March, but the bundle will be formally discontinued at the end of the month.
Similarly, Mario battle royale game Super Mario 35 will be discontinued, and Nintendo will cease production of its tiny retro handheld, Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.
The announcement tempers expectations since some fans were hoping that Nintendo might make a similar decision as it did with the NES Classic, and revive production of the product at later date. However, that’s looking less likely now.
In an interview with Polygon, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser explained why the company decided to discontinue the games. According to Bowser, Nintendo added these games as part of a celebration. As such, they were intended to be part of a special moment for the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.
When asked about players who buy a Nintendo Switch after March, Bowser said, “Yeah, at this point, the decision was really made around that celebration feature and aspect. I can’t speak to plans beyond the the end of March.”
While fans in particular find the decision frustrating — especially since the company could keep a digital version of the game up on the Nintendo eShop — Bowser stressed that limited releases will not be a commonly used strategy by the company saying, it’s just “one [Nintendo] thought was very unique for the actual anniversary.”