Video game icon turned scalpers paradise: The limited released of Super Mario 3D All-Stars and its curse

By Scott Boyce ’22, Staff Writer

By Scott Boyce ’22, Staff Writer

If you were looking to play any of the 3D Mario titles like 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy, you missed your chance to even buy the game at a reasonable price.

People have been wanting these games in collection for years upon years after many of the 2D Mario games have been released in multiple collections.

Nintendo announced the release of  3D All-Stars in the spring of last year, it was reported that this was a limited release along with Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light in due time.

When was the date to get these releases at a reasonable price? March 31 was the final date. Now, for both of these games you’re going to get these titles either at a hiked up price or barely the same price if you’re lucky.

In the case of playing one o the only NES Fire Emblem games, you can’t anymore unless you’re looking to start emulating and messing with patches.

Both of these titles were made in order to coincide with the 35th anniversary and 30th anniversary of Mario and Fire Emblem respectively.

Why are limited releases a problem? Well for one thing, they’re making scalper jobs easier by making something more rare and hard to obtain, more people are likely to hold onto these items until the “expiration date” and then boom — instant cash.

There are some on Twitter who were against the idea of the limited release strategy and questioned why it was necessary and see it as anti-consumer.

(Taken from an anonymous twitter user)

On the other hand, some see this as something incredibly clever on Nintendo’s part as they’re able to rake in the profits far easier and much quicker than others.

(Taken from an anonymous twitter user)

Both sides have points, as on one hand, people do want these games and want them all in one comfortable collection. However they don’t want a time limit on these collections because doing so is seen as anti-consumer. In addition, they feel it was made in order to line their pockets incredibly quickly without the love or reverence an anniversary title should have.

Whereas people who are seeing this as incredibly smart, say Nintendo is making this release seem more special and making it feel like you need it more. Adding an expiration date to something as special as this makes it more of a priority when purchasing something new.

Regardless, the limited release model definitely paid off as in a variety of regions, Mario 3D All-Stars was a top seller. 

According to Wikipedia:

  • In its first week of release, the game was the best-selling game in the UK, and was the third-largest game launch of 2020 and the fifth-fastest selling Switch game in the country.
  • In the U.S., the game was the second-best selling game of September behind Marvel’s Avengers, and had become the 10th best-selling game of 2020.
  • In Japan, it sold over 210,000 physical copies within the first three days of its release.

Where do you stand on the side of limited releases? Are you for or against the idea of limited releases or are you just wanting to play something that’s good in general?

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