Doug Bowser gives frustrating answer to why Mario games are disappearing after March 31, 2021

Nintendo president Doug Bowser March 31, 2021 Super Mario 3D All-Stars Super Mario Bros. 35 Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. removed finished stop shipping sales Nintendo Switch eShop

It’s become a running joke in the Nintendo community lately that March 31, 2021 is the day of apocalypse, but only Nintendo knows what calamitous event will occur that day. This joke has cropped up because the company has introduced several awesome games and merchandise to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., yet most of it is going away after March 31. After that day, Super Mario 3D All-Stars will stop being shipped to stores and removed from the Nintendo Switch eShop, Super Mario Bros. 35 will be removed from Nintendo Switch Online, and Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. will stop being shipped to stores. What’s the deal? Polygon asked Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser about this.

Firstly, Bowser reiterated that each of these game releases is a matter of “celebration” for the 35th anniversary, and he essentially implied that celebrations don’t last forever. The peculiar thing is that Bowser actively acknowledged that Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury are also part of the celebration and are not going away on March 31, 2021, which is confusing. He added the following:

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.

When pushed to explain how this move could be viewed as beneficial to consumers, 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 end of March.”

It’s a strange, vague stance, especially where Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario Bros. 35 are concerned. It makes sense to sell a novelty product like Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. for a limited time, but why weaken the Nintendo Switch Online library by removing a well-received new online game, for instance?

Are you satisfied by Doug Bowser’s explanation about the day of doom that is March 31, 2021?


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!