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COVID-19 Ruined Mario’s 35th Anniversary Celebration

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After months of speculation and rumors, Nintendo finally unveiled the Super Mario 3D All-Stars Collection. The collection, which bundles Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, had been rumored to exist for months.

Many fans wondered how leaks of the product had been swirling for so long before the announcement, but some internet sleuths may have an answer.

A hidden webpage found after the Mario 35th Anniversary Direct indicated something troubling. The page showed that the Mario Maker 2 Ninji Speedrun course that was announced in the Direct was meant to release in April of this year.

This has led to the realization by many Nintendo fans that Mario’s 35th Anniversary celebration was supposed to begin much sooner, and likely be a much bigger deal.

COVID Ruins Everything

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has ruined a lot of things. Millions of people have been sickened and thousands have died due to the novel coronavirus. It has shuttered local businesses and postponed countless films and TV shows. People have been confined to their homes, unable to see friends or family, causing a huge toll on people’s mental state.

Beyond this, the virus scuttled numerous major events, like E3 and the Tokyo Olympics.

For Nintendo, this was likely a huge blow to morale. By all accounts, it looks like Nintendo was planning a massive 2020 event for the 35th anniversary of gaming’s favorite plumber.

The Tokyo Olympics were going to bring all eyes to Japan, and the opening of the Super Mario themed park in Universal Studios Tokyo was to coincide with the event. Moreover, E3 would be taking place that summer, giving Nintendo a chance to show off all the new games coming to Switch.

What Might Have Been

This could explain why details of the Mario Anniversary celebration were leaked so far ahead of their official announcement. It seems Nintendo was gearing up to release info on the celebration as early as April.

This means the company likely had a huge blowout event for E3 and the Tokyo Olympics planned. With the virus scuttling those plans and sending employees home to work remotely, however, it wasn’t meant to be.

This has, doubtless, had an effect on morale at the company. Watching a carefully orchestrated series of announcements and events be canceled due to factors outside of the company’s control surely weighed on them, as did the legions of fans begging for any news on games throughout the summer.

Looking ahead, the company is likely to have more announcements for games that were delayed or otherwise impacted by the pandemic.