Why Wasn't Super Mario 2 Pursued in it’s Marketing?

July, 23 2019
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Mario Maker 2 has been out for a few days now and, if you don’t know, is a game for the Nintendo Switch (the newest console by Nintendo) that allows you to create and play Mario levels, both your own and others.

With this premise you may see how large the game can get and how long it would take to just play every level, the Youtuber “MatPat” from The Game Theorists has worked out the exact number of unique levels possible while eliminating any levels not considered “fun” using a set of criteria, which you can see here:

In the video, MatPat unofficially coined the term “Marioplex” as the number of levels in the game, which was a whopping 10^12431 (bigger than the number of atoms in the known universe).

And, of course, this was just the number of levels in the smaller predecessor to the current Super Mario Maker 2. The new game contains parts in the creator that wasn’t in the original but we will not work out the new value as we will be robbing MatPat of a new video idea (it’s not because we can’t do it).


But this also begs the question “Why wasn’t this shown in the adverts”, well you may have not even known about it prior to reading this (though it’s more likely to know about it now due to the fact that it's out and more content is available) as there were very few adverts about it, there was:

  • An initial announcement trailer
  • A shorter follow-up trailer (mostly used for adverts)
  • A dedicated Nintendo Direct

A Nintendo Direct is a usually quarterly, pre-recorded event which is then live streamed at the time of release but then posted as a video later. They are usually between 20 and 30 minutes long and show a highlight reel of upcoming games with commentary over them, except the occasional dedicated one which are around 15 minutes each and focuses on one game only.

Considering that both Nintendo and Mario have a very avid fanbase it does make sense to focus on new information about the product on a few key occasions, the fans don’t have to pick up crumbs of information a little at a time, but it doesn’t excuse them for at least trying to reach a wider audience. Do they not want to introduce new audiences to the game?





Nintendo may have chosen this route because of the original’s success on the Wii U console, which was considered a failure. It sold 4 million copies by March 2018 on a console that had been sold 13.5 million times, this leads to an attachment rate of just under 25%. The logic behind this would be that if the original was successful then the sequel would be successful by default.

Though this is simply not the case as another Nintendo series’ sales have gradually dwindled after every entry. That series is the New Super Mario Bros. series as the first two entries were tied around 30 million each while the latest game (on the Wii U instead of the re-release on Switch) has a pitiful 5.75 million sales.

This, however, doesn’t take into account that the earliest games were on the DS and Wii, consoles that sold over 100 million systems each (154 and 101 million respectively). While the Wii U, as you know, was a failure, this also doesn’t take into account how the third game was on the 3DS, a handheld console that sold 75 million units at the time of writing, but the game itself only moved just below 13 million copies.

What’s important is that Nintendo (probably) knew about how this game is a sequel of a well known and sought after the game that was released on a console that was poorly received by the community.

So people were going to buy it because they didn’t own the old system or were going to buy it again because of the various improvements so they could continue playing the new courses being made as to the community surrounding the old game and platform wouldn’t see any new levels being made.

Knowing this, Nintendo didn’t pour to much money into marketing as it was big news inside of the community and if you weren’t in the community, you wouldn’t need to know as you'd have to buy the Nintendo Switch console which is £279.99 and they know the game isn't a big enough hook for that.

Do you think that Nintendo made a good investment, knowing that it has already sold double the amount of lifelong physical copies for the original in its first week available?

Will Greening

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