Mario started trending on social media seemingly out of the blue. Fans were a little perplexed at exactly why the Nintendo icon took over Twitter with little to no warning, but once it was revealed exactly why he was garnering so much attention and causing so much conversation, it turned out to be something of a legitimate bummer to fans of the long-running video game series.
The reason Mario was trending on social media had to do with the game collection Super Mario 3D All-Stars as well as some other games that feature the Italian plumber hero. It turns out that Nintendo has decided to cease sales of these games for an indefinite amount of time. This includes both physical and digital copies of the games. This led to a number of people on social media declaring March 31 as the day that Mario died.
Fans got RIP Mario trending on Twitter as something of a gag but it also helped to highlight the odd reasons why Nintendo has decided to take these games off the market. Just what was the reasoning behind taking these games away from consumers? And especially when it comes attached to a 35th-anniversary celebration of the character and his many important contributions to the success of Nintendo. According to Patrick Klepek, it is 100% an attempt at creating artificial scarcity and driving up sales on the releases.
So it looks like Mario trending on social media has actually played exactly into the strategy that Nintendo hopes for when making this kind of strategic move. They want consumers to believe that Mario is going away for some reason and that they won’t have the opportunity to own certain games that he is featured in. Granted, the fact that RIP Mario began trending did also lead to some humorous memes since that seems to be the only way a lot of the internet is able to digest any piece of news whether it’s Mario games being pulled or a ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal.
It’ll be interesting to see if Mario trending will provoke an official response from Nintendo. The subject has been dominating Twitter, and although the joke seems to have been run into the ground at this point, it does highlight a truly bizarre and arbitrary decision from Nintendo to mostly erase the accessibility of these particular games. It is worth drumming up a conversation about how these corporations attempt to control the availability of art and what consumers can do about it. It is one thing to remove digital access to these games, but also removing the ability to get physical copies is more than a bit nefarious on Nintendo’s part.
With all this said, it looks like Mario trending on social media has at least reminded everyone how much they love the property and value these excellent games. The series has been host to tons of great games and we are also looking forward to that feature film we have been promised. So Mario isn’t dead but a few of his games look to be.