Nintendo Is Deleting People’s Mario Maker Stages Without Telling Them Why

Nintendo Is Deleting People’s Mario Maker Stages Without Telling Them Why

When Mario Maker launched, Nintendo warned players it could remove stages from the game for a variety of reasons, including ones that were merely unpopular. Nintendo has made good on that threat, but folks in the Mario Maker community are upset because it’s not really clear what “unpopular” means.

Here’s what Nintendo originally outlined:

Notice regarding course uploads

Please be aware that after a fixed period of time, courses with low popularity will be automatically deleted from the server.

Nintendo reserves the right to use uploaded courses and related data, either as-is or with alterations, for either commercial or noncommercial purposes without compensation to the uploader.

“Low popularity” was never defined, but it’s reasonable to assume Nintendo is referring to number of plays, completion rate and stars. Combined, those three paint a picture of how Nintendo might determine if a level isn’t popular enough.

(Of course, why it even matters if there are too many unpopular stages doesn’t make much sense to begin with, but that’s the world we’re in.)

This all came to my attention, thanks to a Kotaku reader who wrote me an email:

Apparently, Nintendo is in the habit of deleting levels from the network permanently with the level marked in the player’s save file with a ban from the network so that that it can never be uploaded again, even after it’s edited to reduce difficulty or alter it completely. Now, I know this got some attention with players uploading levels exploiting glitches, but many of these deleted levels don’t exploit glitches but rather haven’t accrued any stars and have zero per cent completion rates (either due to difficulty, little traffic on the level or both).

It makes sense that Nintendo wants to encourage people to create levels that people actually want to play, so while purging unpopular levels might be an extreme tactic, perhaps it sends a message to creators to tweak their creation.

Per a reddit thread in which people are trying to decipher Nintendo’s logic:

The problem? Sometimes, creators are told their levels are banned. If a level has been removed by the server, it can’t be re-submitted to the Mario Maker pool.

“This course cannot be uploaded again, as it has previously been deleted on the server side.”

When I asked on Twitter, people shared similar experiences.

Nintendo didn’t respond to my request for comment on how they determine what levels are taken down or why creators can’t re-upload them with changes.

One creator, whose “Honey, I Shroomed the Mario” stage was removed because a user reported the title to Nintendo, went to extreme lengths to rebuild:

There are a few legitimate, understandable reasons why some stages are removed. If you were taking advantage of a glitch in Mario Makerlike a certain stage I wrote about months ago — Nintendo wouldn’t allow that. Additionally, Nintendo wanted to stamp out people begging for others to star their creations.

Per a previous set of patch notes:

Users will no longer be able to use the words “Like”, “Yeah!”, and the “★” symbol in their course names.

Makes sense.

Someone asked Nintendo about this on their official support forums, but were simply referred to a customer support number.

Ultimately, the lack of communication is what’s frustrating. If Nintendo wants to have strict policies, that’s fine, but let creators know what they’re dealing with, so they can work around it. Not everyone has a million Twitter followers they can easily share a level with, so it’s unfortunate that some well-made stages may be permanently gone simply because they got lost in the noise.


  • Meanwhile, the Steam article today is about a platform being too lenient.

    From one end of the spectrum to the other.

    • Steam is only lenient if you don’t run into a full blown sjw steam mod. Unfortunately they have a few.
      But yeah i see what you’re saying.

      • Buddy, I’m a White Ribbon Ambassador.

        I’m the SJW the SJWs are afraid to cross.

        Valve have too few, perhaps.

        It takes a certain series of synapses in one’s brain to fire in such a way to think that Valve or Nintendo in this case are somehow censoring out one’s right to free speech.

        You simply ran into the wrong bouncer on the wrong night at the wrong night club.

        Enjoy that tasty pavement!

        • I never said anything about censorship, but what ever.
          Can’t really take you seriuosly with you cheesy analogys. Sorry i upset you. Seeyya.

  • they still trying to work out what the internet is at Nintendo, they still dont know how to handle it.

  • I don’t see the problem as one with censorship.
    It’s that a company creates a platform for user created content and social sharing but then refuses to communicate effectively with their customers.
    Not matter what the motivation it’s bad business practice and typically arrogant and insular behaviour of Japanese game developers.

  • I’ve had this happen to me with a few of my levels. They weren’t unpopular, they were just difficult. Lots of people played them, not many beat them. Now I can’t upload them again even if I edit it and save it under another title.

  • I suppose it would be impossible to automatically tell whether an edit is just one block moved or has been substantial enough to warrant a re-upload, and Nintendo sure as hell don’t have the manpower to be comparing the two side-by-side, so marking them as permanently unable to be uploaded is the best comprimise to minimise the garbage being reupped every time.

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