An Open Letter Regarding Super Mario Maker

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

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Super Mario Maker Levels Card

This should not be a necessity to get past the current uploading barriers.

Dear Nintendo,

I am writing this letter to you not as an amateur writer, but as a loyal customer and fan of the company since the Nintendo 64 days. Over the past month, I have been enjoying Super Mario Maker. The game has been addictive and hard to put down. I am constantly checking levels made by others or creating my own Mario designs. Even my fellow contributors and friends have been logging in time on a daily basis.

For all the good there is, there is a major problem: The star system in Super Mario Maker needs to be fixed. I would like to be able to upload more than 10 courses, but can’t because I am not getting enough stars from the Mario Maker community to do so. They have been stingy to anyone who is not a famous gaming celebrity or YouTube personality. Super Mario Maker has turned into a popularity contest, and it’s not a good idea to put up a popularity wall if you want people to play Super Mario Maker for the long term.

Don’t think I am trying to undermine the famous people in the gaming community — I am not. There have been some great, fun levels from YouTubers such as Somecallmejohnny, Jirard the Completionist, Clementj64 and GameXplain. But let’s be honest here: they could have created the worst levels in history and still would’ve received all the stars in the world because they have name recognition — a luxurious advantage the average, everyday Joe does not have in their own pockets. Perhaps this was an unintended consequence no one foresaw back when the game was under development, but it does not excuse the issue.

Super Mario Maker Open Letter | Star Rankings

These guys have no restrictions, the little guys deserve the same.

A workaround via a patch or a fix would make this a non-issue. You were able to patch the game on Day 1 and allow us to unlock all the assets at a faster rate than the original nine-day waiting period. Don’t even attempt to say the game cannot be patched to fix the problem.

I understand Nintendo has server limitations, but punishing people who have invested time into the game because they are not popular enough is not the solution. Perhaps people can earn the right to upload more levels online by playing and clearing a certain number of levels made by other users, or investing enough hours into the game. Splatfests in Splatoon work because they do not prevent people from enjoying the game or restrict them from features. It is a fun contest to see which side is able to win. Super Mario Maker’s star system in its current state is denying people the ability to upload more than 10 courses online.

For the sake of fairness, get this issue fixed and I guarantee people like me will still be playing Super Mario Maker several months from now. If not, people are going to move on and never come back.



  • Mr Fwibbles

    Considering I was able to get 50 stars (first upload limit increase) without advertising my levels, and I’m not a famous Youtuber or even a streamer, this comes across as very whiny to me.

    Still, though, the star system would be very easy to fix: only let players award a star if they’re in the 100 Mario Challenge mode. Then people could spam their level codes, and people could play the levels, but the creators won’t get more stars that way. Of course, the upload limit thresholds would have to be revised.

  • Odin Bergeron

    Good letter! Although, I am a little confused on something. Could you please explain to me the meaning behind the first picture? I must be unaware of something going on here.

    • JDobbs

      Thank you for reading the article Odin. The first picture is a business card someone created to advertise their levels so people could play them. We shouldn’t have to beg the community to give us stars just so we can upload more than 10 courses.

    • Odin Bergeron

      Ahhh, I see. Thanks!

  • Justin Kersey

    “If not, people are going to move on and never come back.”

    Weeeeell, I don’t know about that, but it would be a bit of a nuisance. Glad to be aware of this before I get the game. Nice letter! So was this actually *sent* to Nintendo?

    • It’s an open letter. That means that, rather than being sent by email or something, it was posted in an open forum, for Nintendo to hopefully read at their leisure.