by Clare Duffy, CNN Business
New York (CNN Business)Grab the tissues.
The internet is freaking out over a rumor about the possible impending death of Mario, the famous, red-wearing, Italian plumber who changed the world of video games with the release of “Super Mario Bros” 35 years ago.
Let’s back up: In September, the “Super Mario Bros” franchise celebrated its 35th anniversary with the launch of two remastered, classic games — “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” and “Super Mario Bros 35” — for the Switch console that would be available for a limited run until March 31. Nintendo (NTDOF), which owns the franchise, also released other 35th anniversary Super Mario products that would be on sale through March 31.
Fans have been grappling to understand why sales of the new products will cease on Wednesday, a date many felt was arbitrary. Many have speculated that it may mean Mario’s life will be ending, too.
“Mario dies tomorrow, I’m gonna miss him,” one Twitter user said Tuesday, adding a sad face emoji at the end.
“Mario dies tomorrow. I can already feel the pain,” another speculated.
Nintendo fueled the rumors when it put out a reminder to fans last month that the anniversary products would not be around much longer. It said “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” would continue to be available only to those who download it before March 31, and “Super Mario Bros 35” would not be playable at all after that date.
To be sure, fan theories on the internet aren’t always reliable. And there is reason to hope Mario will live on: At the end of its reminder last month, Nintendo said that “titles such as ‘Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury,’ ‘Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit,’ and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System -— Nintendo Switch Online version of ‘Super Mario All-Stars’ will continue to be available on Nintendo eShop and at local retailers beyond March 31st, 2021.
“It’s probably also worth noting, too, that March 31 comes just before April Fools’ Day.”
As previously announced, the physical version of the Super Mario 3D All-Stars game will not be shipped to retailers beyond the Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary period, ending March 31, 2021,” Nintendo of America said in a statement Wednesday. “Units shipped during the anniversary period will remain available for purchase at various retailers, while supplies last. In-store availability should be confirmed with each retailer.”