Big Mario push planned for 2011

Nintendo reckons two new titles out next month can help keep consumers excited about Mario following the mascot’s 25th anniversary.

Mario Sports Mix for Wii and Mario vs Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem are out for Wii and DS respectively on February 4th.

Nintendo saw the full range of Mario games sell well off the back of last year’s 25th Anniversary promotion. Even five-year-old titles like Mario 64 DS, which were not directly part of that celebration range, did well at retail last year.

A lot of people who we have brought in have never played a Mario game before – to them Mario 64 DS is a brand new piece of software,” said Nintendo marketing manager Dawn Paine.

It’s another way we have turned conventional thinking on its head – it has proved there is no such thing as ‘old’ software because things are constantly expanding.”

But for Nintendo that approach has been very much by stealth, she added.

With the release of two new Mario games next month, the company will ram home the message that Mario is effective at retail.

What happened last year is just the start – in the UK we haven’t done as much on Mario as other territories have, so he’s a real focus for us right across 2011,” said Paine.

We’ve got two cracking Mario titles kicking off the year for us and there’s going to be a huge marketing push on those.

But even if there weren’t new Mario titles we will be promoting back catalogue. He’s the most iconic character in games history – and the UK public have fallen in love with him again in the last year.”

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