PLAY LIFE, LIVE GAMES: March 31: the day Mario died
If you were on social media this week, you might have seen the death of Mario on Wednesday.
That was definitely an exaggeration, but there was reason for fans to be upset.
Nintendo has spent much of the past year celebrating the 35th anniversary of the original "Super Mario Bros." game. Part of that celebration included the release of "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" in September of last year and the online battle royale game "Super Mario 35" in October.
Nintendo decided to make both titles limited-time events, with "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" being removed from shelves and the servers to "Super Mario 35" shutting off on March 31.
I thought it was a bad decision when Nintendo announced last year that these titles would be available only for a limited time.
From a business perspective, I can kind of see why they would do this. GamesIndustry.biz reported on Monday that physical sales of "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" increased 276 percent in Europe its final full week of release, which doesn't take into account the digital sales.
"Super Mario 3D All-Stars" collects Mario's first three 3D adventures into one game, and having them available on a modern system was great and consumer friendly.
Game preservation is a big topic in the gaming space right now. Sony announced this week that it was shutting down its digital PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable on July 2, with the store for the PlayStation Vita handheld to follow on Aug. 27. You still will be able to redownload games you've previously purchased on those systems after that date, you just won't be able to buy any new digital titles.
I'm sure this is a good business move for Sony. If those stores were making money for them they wouldn't be shutting them down. But this is going to make hundreds, even possibly thousands of digital-only games unplayable legally, as they will be locked behind a store that no longer exists.
Game publishers should be making it easier for gamers to be able to enjoy their back catalog of titles, not more difficult. Hopefully, this is something they can improve upon in the years ahead.
Dusty Ricketts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is currently playing "Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury" and "Marvel's Spider-Man." You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID: DustRAG316.