Nintendo Of America President Calls Artificial Purchase-By Deadlines A ‘Celebration’

Nintendo Of America President Calls Artificial Purchase-By Deadlines A ‘Celebration’
Screenshot: Nintendo
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Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser was asked during a recent interview why some popular Nintendo games are only being sold for a limited time. His answer? “[T]his is a celebration.”

Earlier this year, Nintendo released Super Mario 3D All-Stars to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES. The collection ported Super Marios 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy to the Switch for $70, but it also came with a major caveat: fans would only be able to purchase it until March 31, 2021. It was a confusing move that seemed modelled on something like Disney’s past vault system which would limit the sale of older movies to create scarcity and drive up their value. It sucks, especially for anyone who might pick up a Switch after March 31.

“Yeah, I think I use a simple word: celebration,” Bowser told Polygon when asked about the decision. “It just — this is a celebration of Mario’s 35th anniversary. And we wanted to celebrate in unique and different ways, and we’ve done that through games like Super Mario 3D All-Stars, or we will be doing that through future releases, such as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury.”

He went on:

There are various ways that we’re celebrating Mario’s 35th. And with some of these titles, we felt it was an opportunity to release them for a limited period of time. They’ve done very, very well. Super Mario 3D All-Stars has sold over 2.6 million units in the U.S. alone. And so clearly, consumers have been able to jump in and enjoy that. And it’s not strategy that we’re going to be using widely, but it’s one we thought was very unique for the actual anniversary.

Based on the 2.6 million copies sold, the strategy seems to have worked out alright for Nintendo. The company is taking a similar approach with Super Mario Bros. 35, the free Switch Online battle royale platformer, and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, the $8 port of the original game that had previously only been released in Japan. Nintendo leaned on the “celebration” 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 30th anniversary through March 2021,” a spokesperson for Nintendo told Kotaku back in October. “We are excited to offer the game localised in English for the first time to commemorate the occasion.” Coincidently, March is also when Nintendo’s fiscal year ends. Fire Emblem’s actual anniversary ends in April.

Polygon’s Russ Frushtick followed-up during his interview to try to get a real answer, but the Nintendo of America boss didn’t bite.

“Yeah, at this point, the decision was really made around that celebration feature and aspect,” Bowser said. “I can’t speak to plans beyond the the end of March.”


  • This morning i was playing Mario Golf: Toadstood Tour (Gamecube) at 4x resolution with my kid on an Xbox Series X.

    As someone who still owns a Gamecube and his original copy of that game i wish i felt like i was ripping Nintendo off worse.

    They go out of their way to stop backwards compatibility on their consoles and then ludicrously overcharge their fans every generation for the same poorly emulated titles. The only reason they want to time limit these games is so they can repackage them at full retail every three years for another 25 years.

    I can’t blame people who’ve bought these games five or more times already for buying a Series S and helping themselves to most of Nintendos back catalogue.

  • It is not a celebration. It’s a money grab. It’s bullshit and unfortunately it’s working. I ended up getting it because I don’t have super mario galaxy on wii.

  • nintendo is possibly the worst company out there. inclusive of ea. i was interested in playing the new pokemon game. but then i realised id have to pay $400 (on discount at the time) for a switch. a console barely worth $200. and then $70 i think for the game… a hand held console game that should be $35 at most. i always knew nintendo were bad, but this just made me realise why i had been rocking that 3ds emulator to play the previous pokemon games.

    • I’ll agree to that, and we’ve bought a ton of Nintendo stuff in the past. We were idiotic enough to buy up the stupid Amiibo’s years back during the whole Amiibo releases where people were pawning them off online etc. Much like the ps5’s are having done now. This issue was *not* helped by Nintendo’s artificial limiting of certain Amiibo figures and over populating stores with others. I agree with everything you’ve said and entirely endorse the idea that Nintendo *do* get a free pass too much, they are a bad company these days, they ride the good will garnered from the SNES, N64 and Gamecube days, somewhat the Wii days too. But now? That goodwill is gone, totally gone imho.

  • Lawlorz is a joke with his idea on how much games and consoles should cost.
    But considering all the comments are as deluded as he is openly celebrating committing piracy, im not surprised in the slightest some of the endless complaints on here while patting themselves on the back comparing nintendo to Fucking EA.

  • No no Doug Bowser artificial purchase-by deadlines is not a celebration you fucking dickhead it’s a fucking disgrace.
    Get a fucking life Doug Bowser and move on you little fuckwit.

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