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Nintendo is planning to celebrate Super Mario Bros.’ 35th anniversary this year with several major releases, new and old.
Multiple sources have told VGC that the platform holder is planning to hold an event to coincide with this year’s anniversary, which marks 35 years since the start of the mainline Super Mario series in 1985.
As part of its anniversary celebrations, Nintendo will reveal plans to re-release most of Super Mario’s 35-year back catalogue this year, remastered for Nintendo Switch, VGC was told.
[UPDATE 31/03: More details have been revealed on the Super Mario Nintendo Switch remasters. Read the full update via the link.]
As VGC’s network partner Eurogamer reported in a follow-up to our story, these remasters will include 1996’s Super Mario 64, 2002’s Super Mario Sunshine and 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy.
Nintendo will also release several other Mario titles in 2020, including a new instalment in the Paper Mario series and a Deluxe version of 2013’s Super Mario 3D World. [UPDATE 14/05: Nintendo has now announced Paper Mario for Nintendo Switch]
Nintendo has already unveiled one flagship licensing deal planned to commemorate the anniversary: a special interactive Lego Mario set which sees players collecting coins and defeating enemies in real-life ‘levels’.
The Super Mario 35th Anniversary reveal was originally due to take place as a physical event at E3 in June, VGC was told, but Nintendo is now reviewing its plans in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. E3 2020 has been cancelled due to the virus outbreak and Nintendo could instead opt for a digital showcase.
Approached for comment on this story, Nintendo said it “does not comment on rumour and speculation.”
Nintendo last celebrated a milestone Mario anniversary with the series’ 30th anniversary in 2015.
The company commemorated the occasion with various events and merchandise, including two special edition 8-bit Mario Amiibos. Super Mario was licensed for products from Hot Wheels, Moschino, Trump cards and more.
That year’s celebrations culminated with the release of Super Mario Maker for Wii U in September 2015, exactly 30 years since Super Mario Bros.’ original release for Famicom in Japan.
While its core business remains making and selling games, Nintendo has increasingly moved to leverage its popular IP in various ways in recent years.
The company has also recently partnered with fashion brands such as Uniqlo and Levis for Nintendo-themed clothing lines.
Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa recently said the company’s efforts to broaden its audience by leveraging its IP outside of video games was bearing fruit, and Nintendo director Shigeru Miyamoto also touched on this topic in a Famitsu interview.
“We want to expand our video game characters to a variety of settings – not just in games, all while keeping their value,” Miyamoto said. “In other words, we’ll be collaborating with various other companies. If we’re able to accomplish that, we can create more opportunities for people to make contact with our characters on a much larger scale than usual.”