The original Super Mario Maker will soon lose online support and disappear from the Wii U’s eShop, ending five years of creative endeavours.
Nintendo announced it will turn off the do-it-yourself platformer on March 31, five and a half years after it launched. Game owners will still be able to play it, naturally, but without its online functionality — which is undoubtedly one of its biggest appeals. This also means the Super Mario Maker Bookmark website, which allowed players to browse courses from the comfort of their computer and save them for later, will terminate its services as well.
Super Mario Maker launched to great critical and consumer success, scoring a 88 on Metacritic and winning CGM’s Family Game of the Year award for 2015. It soon spawned a phenomenon of incredibly creative user-generated content, largely in the form of nigh-impossible “Kaizo” levels or intricate experiences reminiscent of Rube Goldberg Machines. It went on to receive a port for the Nintendo 3DS and a sequel last year on the Switch. Though some in the community preferred the original and the Wii U gamepad, Super Mario Maker 2 added depth to the creation engine and quickly overshadowed its predecessor.
Diehard fans have a few months to revisit their favourite online creations and potentially archive them before the plug is pulled. The game itself will be pulled from the Wii U’s eShop on January 12, so if you wanted a digital copy of the game, act fast. (Those who have purchased the Wii U version on their account will still be able to redownload it after its removal.)
The ill-fated Wii U had a short lifespan and underperformed, with most of its best exclusives now ported to its successor (including Super Mario 3D World, which will be released on Switch in February). Super Mario Maker was one of the last games with a thriving player base, even after the Miiverse network was terminated in November 2017.