Mario Is Nintendo's Little Whore

by Stephen Heller Featured 23 Comments 35 Votes 2430 Views 08/06/2012 Back to Articles

It's no secret that Mario is Nintendo's flagship character. The Italian plumber has saved the Mushroom Kingdom countless times, served up a few aces on the tennis court, and even managed to squeeze in some karting time with his buds on the racetrack. He's sold more games and received more critical acclaim than any other character in the gaming industry.

So why are Nintendo whoring him out so much these days?

"Wait a minute, isn't Mario in every Nintendo game?" I hear you ask. It's no secret that Nintendo have capitalised on the loveable character's success, but over the past few years we have been inundated with an unmanageable amount of Mario titles.

During the dismal Nintendo E3 conference, Reggie and co. announced another three Mario titles coming in the next six months, New Super Mario Bros. 2, New Super Mario Bros. U and Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

Ask any non-gamer who Samus is or mention Metroid and chances are they'll ask if you need a guest pass to enter that hot new venue.

That brings the grand total up to 9 Mario games since January 2011. That's a stark comparison to the two Zelda games we've enjoyed, and that Star Fox 64 remake that arrive last year on the 3DS.

Why are Nintendo paying so much attention to Mario while they seem to neglect their other franchises? It all comes down to dollars, cents and marketshare.

When you look at Sony and Microsoft, there is something that is severely lacking from their lineup. A family friendly, instantly recognisable character that identifies with great gameplay experiences. That is something Mario has represented for over twenty years, meaning mums, dads, brothers and sisters know that his face usually represents a quality product that everyone can get behind.

Ask any non-gamer who Samus is or mention Metroid and chances are they'll ask if you need a guest pass to enter that hot new venue.

Share prices may have been falling post E3 and 3DS launches for Nintendo, but as long as they keep pumping Mario games out every other month, the masses will keep on buying, driving system sales and profits at rapid rates.

That's what the gaming industry is all about, right guys?

By Stephen Heller - Bio

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Tags: 2 bros Mario Nintendos paper super u whore
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Mario Is Nintendo's Little Whore Comments

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For those wondering, since Jan 2011 we've seen:

Super Mario 3D Land
Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games London 2012
Mario Kart 7
Fortune Street
Mario Party 9
Mario Tennis Open

Incoming:

New Super Mario Bros. 2
New Super Mario Bros. U
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
I love him.. But mostly the 2D versions.. Such a dirty slunt [Derp]
3D Mario, New Super Mario Bros, Paper Mario, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf and whatever else are all seperate franchises as far as I'm concerned.

Blob said: 3D Mario, New Super Mario Bros, Paper Mario, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf and whatever else are all seperate franchises as far as I'm concerned.


Yeah, this. It's because there are so many ways to play as Mario. If they had released 9 New Super Mario Bros. games, they wouldn't have had nearly as much cash in the bank.
Nice article. I'm getting sick of these cheaper-to-make side scrolling adventures. Stop playing it safe, Nintendo! [Rage]

Samus, DK, Star Fox, and F Zero need more love! Or give us a new IP!
i don't think mario is a whore GEARS OF WAR HALO CALL OF DUTY now that a whore

xxLCr0wxx said: i don't think mario is a whore GEARS OF WAR HALO CALL OF DUTY now that a whore



Yeah... because 3D Mario, New Super Mario Bros, Paper Mario, Mario Tennis, and Mario Golf isn't milking the character and rehashing previous Mario entries and generations.

Don't forget Mario 64, Super Mario Bros 1, 2, 3, Mario World, Mario 25th Anniversary Edition, Mario Strikers, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart GBA, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart 3DS (7), and Mario Party 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, etc, etc.

COD and a lot of other franchises milk it out, some worse than others, but it's funny when people don't acknowledge Mario on the same guilty level. We're all tired of certain franchises more than others, but even if a lot of people aren't tired of Mario yet, it's still fact that he and games related to him and his character universe are over saturating the market, at least a lot more recently (2011-2013) than the past, as Heller has pointed out.
Title made me lol... ^_^

Nice article
This seems familiar, but I've argued in the past that Mario is just a character. The right kind of character that can be molded for many different genres.

The "whoring out", as you call it, is just an illusion. Is there any real reason Mario couldn't have been apart of Mario Tennis, or Mario Kart? Not really. The standard wouldn't have slipped. The game would have been essentially the same. However, there is a strong case to argue that it wouldn't have sold as well.

You make an good point that Mario platformers releases have (some may argue unnecessarily) increased in recent times, but to lump them in with other franchises with Mario's name to it isn't exactly fair. It would be like MS releasing Master Chief Racing. Would you associate it with the Halo series? I would hope not.

jeebs99 said: Nice article. I'm getting sick of these cheaper-to-make side scrolling adventures. Stop playing it safe, Nintendo!
Samus, DK, Star Fox, and F Zero need more love! Or give us a new IP!


Yes. This. It seems in the rush to get more Mario out, the quality is slipping. 3d land was pretty short and sweet. Mario tennis dropped the RPG elements and is a pretty shallow experience because of it. Mario Party should have been put out to pasture many, many sequels ago. And I don't think having two New Super Mario Bros. coming out so close together is wise. But much like you can't blame Activision for whoring CoD, you can't blame Nintendo for whoring Mario. It's games sales driving this. If these games didn't sell so well we just wouldn't see so many of them.

Pilkingbod said: This seems familiar, but I've argued in the past that Mario is just a character. The right kind of character that can be molded for many different genres.
The "whoring out", as you call it, is just an illusion. Is there any real reason Mario couldn't have been apart of Mario Tennis, or Mario Kart? Not really. The standard wouldn't have slipped. The game would have been essentially the same. However, there is a strong case to argue that it wouldn't have sold as well.
You make an good point that Mario platformers releases have (some may argue unnecessarily) increased in recent times, but to lump them in with other franchises with Mario's name to it isn't exactly fair. It would be like MS releasing Master Chief Racing. Would you associate it with the Halo series? I would hope not.

Pilky summarized up my thoughts pretty nicely.

xxLCr0wxx said: i don't think mario is a whore GEARS OF WAR HALO CALL OF DUTY now that a whore


You're obviously new here.

Pilkingbod said: This seems familiar, but I've argued in the past that Mario is just a character. The right kind of character that can be molded for many different genres.
The "whoring out", as you call it, is just an illusion. Is there any real reason Mario couldn't have been apart of Mario Tennis, or Mario Kart? Not really. The standard wouldn't have slipped. The game would have been essentially the same. However, there is a strong case to argue that it wouldn't have sold as well.
You make an good point that Mario platformers releases have (some may argue unnecessarily) increased in recent times, but to lump them in with other franchises with Mario's name to it isn't exactly fair. It would be like MS releasing Master Chief Racing. Would you associate it with the Halo series? I would hope not.



Summed up perfectly.
Not liking the thread title, clicked MMGN.com and saw the title and thought wtf... very unprofessional coming from a paid writer. Poor article imo

Pilkingbod said: This seems familiar, but I've argued in the past that Mario is just a character. The right kind of character that can be molded for many different genres.


That. Right there. Mario can sometimes be just way of pulling people in, but many, many of his games are different each and every time. There is always a new experience. While I admit, there have been a few New Super Mario Bros. titles lately, but there aren't that many. New Super Mario Bros. was a revival to one of the greatest series ever. And New Super Mario Bros. Wii re-invented it by adding simultaneous multi-player to the main game. New Super Mario Bros. Wii U and New Super Mario Bros. 2 are going to be different all over again, with their own unique aspects. Besides, it's not like they've actually been released yet. The 3DS Mario Bros. is coming out soon (was it August?), and the Wii U iteration is still quite far off.

Mario is being featured in a lot of games lately, yes. But, it doesn't change much. The big Mario Titles are good, and that's all that matters to me. A decent game. The character is irrelevant, and if Nintendo want to use Mario, then so be it.

Mario is an iconic figure for Nintendo. He is their mascot and flagship. What else do you expect?

(However I do agree that Mario & Sonic: Olympic Games, Mario Party 9 and Fortune street feature Mario for the sake of pulling sales. Those are all pretty terrible games. :E )
I am so friggen over the 2d side-scrolling mario games, they are all the same and are so repetitive. I don't see them as blockbuster titles but rather something easy and quick nintendo can pump out to make some money.
Ill never grow old of 2D sidescrollers, they are awesome simple fun, and no they can't just be pumped out as you say believe me. It takes talent to get the level design right and make the game fun. There were many 2D sidescrollers on the SNES that out right sucked. I'm actually so friggen over FPS to be honest.
Super Mario Bros. U co-op is awful. Totally ignore all Wii U features, forget your friend, and play it like the Wii game. Or just play the 3DS thing, which is the same game.

The gold thing is rubbish.

Ben said: Super Mario Bros. U co-op is awful. Totally ignore all Wii U features, forget your friend, and play it like the Wii game. Or just play the 3DS thing, which is the same game.
The gold thing is rubbish.



Ill enjoy them either way.
I think each category Mario fits in classifies it as a different game but I think these new 2D Mario games are really pushing it.

Tyrus said:

xxLCr0wxx said: i don't think mario is a whore GEARS OF WAR HALO CALL OF DUTY now that a whore


Yeah... because 3D Mario, New Super Mario Bros, Paper Mario, Mario Tennis, and Mario Golf isn't milking the character and rehashing previous Mario entries and generations.
Don't forget Mario 64, Super Mario Bros 1, 2, 3, Mario World, Mario 25th Anniversary Edition, Mario Strikers, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart GBA, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart 3DS (7), and Mario Party 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, etc, etc.
COD and a lot of other franchises milk it out, some worse than others, but it's funny when people don't acknowledge Mario on the same guilty level. We're all tired of certain franchises more than others, but even if a lot of people aren't tired of Mario yet, it's still fact that he and games related to him and his character universe are over saturating the market, at least a lot more recently (2011-2013) than the past, as Heller has pointed out.



The difference is though that Mario is just a character in all those game. Hardly anything changes between COD games, but Mario games, even ones in the same series like Paper Mario, change fairly considerably from one game to the next, changing a lot of the gameplay mechanics. This is why Mario isn't usually seen to be getting whored out.

Heller said: Ask any non-gamer who Samus is or mention Metroid and chances are they'll ask if you need a guest pass to enter that hot new venue.


LOL

OllyEbbz said: Ill never grow old of 2D sidescrollers, they are awesome simple fun, and no they can't just be pumped out as you say believe me. It takes talent to get the level design right and make the game fun. There were many 2D sidescrollers on the SNES that out right sucked. I'm actually so friggen over FPS to be honest.



no they really are easy to pump out compared to other first party games they could develop if they wanted to. Level design is basically all there is to it, and even if it is well done I really still do not like playing the exact same game mechanics with different levels especially when its something so linear. They have a massive studio of designers, so just great new level design isn't enough for me to give them praise.

They had the chance to show off some new first party games at E3 yet we saw the exact same thing we've seen on previous platforms looking basically the exact same. I would rather see a bigger space between first party titles and have a great AAA release then a bunch of ordinary games with no blockbuster game.
probably making up for the piss poor showing of mario during the wii launch all those years ago.

the great thing about mario is how versatile he is these days and for that reason he's a great character to show Nintendo's innovative game play especially on a new system. It's a safe bet too due to how likeable he is in the gaming world and due in part to that is why Mario games sell so well.

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