Nintendo Defends Limited-Time Availability For Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Other Games

Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser said the decision was made to celebrate Mario's anniversary.

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Nintendo took a relatively novel approach to game releases with Super Mario 3D All-Stars earlier this year, launching the game but promising that it would only be on sale for six months--even for the digital version. This seemed like an odd move that could artificially inflate the cost of these games on the resale market, but for Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser, it was about celebrating the franchise's anniversary.

Speaking to Polygon, Bowser said that while it wasn't a feature Nintendo would be using more widely, it thought the six-month window for certain games like Super Mario 3D All-Stars was appropriate. It's also being used for a handful of other games, including Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light. The free Super Mario Bros. 35 is also only available for a limited time as part of the anniversary. This game, unlike some of the others, is an online multiplayer game. This means it will basically disappear completely after its planned release has expired.

"Super Mario 3D All-Stars has sold over 2.6 million in the US alone," Bowser added. "And so clearly, consumers have been able to jump in and enjoy that. And it's not a strategy that we're going to be using widely, but it's one we thought was very unique for the actual anniversary."

Bowser added that he couldn't discuss any plans Nintendo may have beyond March, so it's possible something could change there. However, if you want to get the game, we don't suggest waiting. Nintendo has, thankfully, not artificially limited supply for the physical version, and it's readily available at most retailers. The large sales could be because of fear of missing out on the game, though it will still be sold for several more months.

It's entirely possible that Nintendo starts selling individual versions of the three games included in Super Mario 3D All-Stars in the future. The collection is also missing Super Mario Galaxy 2, and we wouldn't be surprised if that got re-released at some point. For now, however, nothing has been announced.

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