Nintendo’s ‘Super Mario’ Death Hoax Spurs Social Media Buzz

NEWS ANALYSIS — When Nintendo on March 31 pulled the 35th anniversary special-edition video game releases Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. from its various platforms, some fans of the franchise took to social media proclaiming the Japanese publisher’s vaunted animated plumber character had been killed off or passed away.

The special-edition release has reportedly sold more than 2.6 million copies in the U.S., according to industry data.

While Nintendo announced it would stop supplying product to all of its platforms, including physical, at the end of March when it released the special-edition game last September, social media follows its own rules.

Online memes began surfacing that Nintendo had killed off one of its best-selling characters, which made about as much sense as Coca-Cola ending original Coke (oh wait …) or The Walt Disney Co. terminating Mickey Mouse. But then Disney has in the past used the marketing ploy of discontinuing legacy packaged-media titles and returning them to the company’s IP vault for future re-release.

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But in a digital ecosystem, there is no shortage of content — ever — and Nintendo’s refusal to comment on the situation only amped speculation — especially the day before April Fools.

 

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