Mario Party Legacy

Mario Maker And The Problems With Perceived Values

Last week Amazon put up a listing indicating that Mario Maker, a game some thought would be a digital only Wii U eShop game, would be getting a retail release. Surprisingly, there were a number of people on message boards and social media outlets complaining about the game potentially getting a physical release. Personally the news got me excited as someone who loves having a physical collection of games to show to others. It also got me confused over the negative backlash I saw online.

Many of the complaints I saw mentioned that Mario Maker did not have enough content to justify a retail release. I found this baffling for a number of reasons. The main reason is that all of the features in Mario Maker are not known. Even the development team doesn’t know exactly how much content the game will feature at this point in time. If done right the game can easily justify a fifty or sixty dollar price-point so complaining about a lack of content right now is bewildering to me.

I feel like it must be pointed out that the way a game is distributed does not affect the amount of content within. Sure, digital distribution made it more feasible for shorter gaming experiences to be crafted but there are other digital-only titles that are just as feature-rich as AAA blockbuster retail games. You don’t have to look further than games like Spelunky to see that you can easily spend hundreds of hours within a digital game.

So here are my questions to you, the reader, why does the gaming community pre-attach values to a game purely on how it is released? Why are there gaming enthusiasts that scoff at the price of download-only games when they are over $15? I find this puzzling since the way a game is released is quickly becoming meaningless.

We are at a point in the current gaming landscape where games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World get day-one digital releases. Which leads me to my next point: this doesn’t change a thing for you if you want it digitally. All it is doing is offering one more way the product is available to potential buyers. Gamers should be glad that the game will reach a larger market since the game will thrive or perish with its online community. Finally, it should be noted that Nintendo already has set a precedent with tiered pricing when releasing physical versions of its downloadable content. Not saying there will be a difference in pricing (I very much doubt the digital version will be cheaper) but it is still a possibility.

So those are my thoughts on Mario Maker potentially being a retail game. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.

Tyler Treese

Associate Editor of Mario Party Legacy. When Tyler isn't hosting the Moustached Gamers Podcast he is tweeting nonsense @TylerTreese

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  • Braystar

    I would buy it in pysical form

  • fiddlestickers

    I’d buy the physical form as well. It also gives a sense of security knowing if something goes wrong with your system, you didn’t lose the game

    • Tyler Treese

      One other upside that I didn’t mention is the ability of the game to be given as a gift. That is important, especially as a Mario game.

    • King of Red Gorillas

      Unless the game is in the wii when it breaks XD

  • VooDu

    I didn’t even know it was going to be a retail game. People just need to stop whining and be happy that a game like this exists now.

  • If I were to get this game, I’d buy it physically. I don’t purchase games digitally unless it’s download only, old retro games, or part of a free offer. Having the box-art to look at is nice, too.

  • Yoshiman222

    I thought it would be digital only too based on how Nintendo presented it. Though then again, that was an extremely early build of the game as we all should know, so if it’s said to come out as a retail game too, it must mean they’re planning to put so much into it that it’s worthy of being put onto it’s very own disk and sold in stores! Whoa, that’s a lot of stuff – can’t wait to see what comes out of it now!

    *Will get retail version

    • Tyler Treese

      “it must mean they’re planning to put so much into it that it’s worthy of being put onto it’s very own disk”

      This is what I don’t understand. Why do we equate a retail release as something that a title has to be worthy of being on. There are a ton of terrible retail releases, its just a distribution choice at the end of the day.

      • Yoshiman222

        That’s just the thing with digital downloads and disks though. If you’ve noticed – titles that usually get put onto disks use huge amounts of data that would completely fill up the system. Sometimes, but not all the time. Personally, I’d think of it being on retail depending on the amount of data used.

        • Tyler Treese

          “titles that usually get put onto disks use huge amounts of data that would completely fill up the system”

          a large file size does not equate to a lot of content.

          Look at Super Mario 3D World. That game is 1.6GB and has a ton of content. NBA 2K13 is 20GB. That game does not have 10x the amount of content.

          I really doubt that Mario Maker will be a huge game file-size wise. It’ll probably end up being under 2GB. That has nothing to do with the amount of content it will have though.

          • Yoshiman222

            That’s not what I mean, but whatever… it is kind of what you said.

  • Mr. Sushi

    It could be like New Super Luigi U, where it was only 29.99.

  • SS GRAPHICS

    We haven’t even seen half the game yet. people shouldn’t complain.

  • GameGuy5

    I’m buying it regardless. I would prefer a physical release, actually, because of my slow internet. :3

    • Tyler Treese

      Nintendo has done a great job of keeping their file sizes small especially when some PS4/Xbox One games are 40+ gigabytes.

  • Sea Slug and Wagashi

    I hate how people consider digital games to be inferior before they even try them. Everyone just raves on and on saying that since a lot of mobile/e-shop/browser-based games are crappy the whole digital industry is bullshit and I’m literally just there in the background playing fantastic games like “République” and the new Chibi-Robo.
    As for Mario Maker, I find the fan backlash ureasonable since we’ve only seen a slimmer of the game so far. Mario Paint was not only an art making device, as the title says, but also a music composer, a fly swatting game, an animation maker and many other things. Considering they’re trying to develop this game in a similar way to MP, I bet you MM has much more to offer.

    • Tyler Treese

      Great post. Thanks for reading.

    • King of Red Gorillas

      I think more than 75% of the digital game market compares to the pysical

  • Boo3DSmashBoo

    Well, we don’t see a lot of this game and the game isn’t that kind of game who usually get a retail release, so I understand that the people are expecting that for the Wii U eShop. However the game will be released on 2015, if the game was just this that we saw probably it will be released, I don’t know, maybe next week, but no the game is released in 2015, I’m pretty sure that Nintendo will announce awesome new features in the future for the game and what we saw at E3 was just the main feature/mode of the game: create your own Mario levels. A great example of Nintendo can make pretty good puzzel games with a lot of content (for retail release) is the Mario VS Donkey Kong series and I have no doubt that this game will be a pretty good one too, the thing is that we just saw one part of it.

  • Did they think everything was already shown? The game was just announced and they already thought that was all? Please!

    • Nintendo/Satoru Iwata clearly stated that the games they showed at E3 2014 were titles that were in very early development (Mario Party 10, Mario Maker, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Miyamoto’s new IPs, etc.) and titles that were near completion (Hyrule Warriors, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, etc.).

      People thought the games that were very early in development was what they all had. But that is completely untrue. They didn’t heed the statement that it was early in development. Over time in 2014 and 2015, the developers will put more ideas and content into the games, and by then, people will realize why it has become a full-fledged title as a retail game. What you see in early development is just a basic idea the developers are trying to provide, and they still have more ideas to put into the game that will have way more content than what you saw at E3 2014.

  • SuperZambezi

    With games like Mario Party 10, Yoshi’s Woolly World, and even the new Zelda, we don’t have to see more to know that there will be more. I feel that is not the same for Mario Maker. What we see can certainly be what we get. Obviously changes and other additions will be coming since the game does not release until 2015, but you can’t really gauge how much or what kind of content is to come like some of these other established series.

    That said, I can understand why some would think this is a download only title. For me personally, one of the things I distinguish in download only titles is the length of use. For physical games, I expect games that are simply longer. Digital games I expect to use for shorter amounts but maybe a little more often. I also pick digital over physical for games I know I will be playing for a very long time (Mario Kart and Animal Crossing say hello).

    At the end of the day, a digital and physical release is great, so no need to worry about one being exclusive to on or the other.

    • Tyler Treese

      I initially thought this would be a download-only title as well. Same with Captain Toad. Glad I was wrong on both accounts.

  • King of Red Gorillas

    …are you kidding me? People are getting mad at nintendo for putting out their game for more people and it also takes effort to put a game into a disc. Show some respect :/

    • Tyler Treese

      Thanks for reading!

  • Nintendecko

    If its release date is 2015 then it is still very early in its development stages so I bet there will be loads more content we don’t even know about