The Mario game that helped launch the careers of several successful streamers and that totally validated the Wii U's proto-Switch tablet controller is being sunsetted. Early next year, Nintendo will begin winding down support for Super Mario Maker, starting with its removal from the eShop in January and finishing with an end to course uploading in March.
Details on Super Mario Maker's decommissioning can be found in a customer support page on Nintendo's website. On Jan. 12, 2021, Mario Maker will be removed from the eShop. Then, by March 31 (though Nintendo warns that "these services may be discontinued earlier"), the Super Mario Maker Bookmark website will be taken offline and all course uploads will end. No mention is made of what will happen to Super Mario Maker for the 3DS.
Nintendo notes that it'll still be possible to play courses that were uploaded before the cut-off date and that owners will be able to redownload Mario Maker from the eShop. Course rankings based on likes will stop updating once the uploads and bookmarks go away.
This is definitely a bit of a bummer. Even though we now have Super Mario Maker 2 for the Switch, that game has already received what Nintendo swears is its final content update. By launching on a more successful platform and, in most but not all cases, building upon the foundation of the original game, Mario Maker 2 has made plenty of course creators, streamers, and Kaizo fiends quite happy—all the same, even with Nintendo sneaking in some quality-of-life improvements to the sequel at the last minute, there are still features from the original (like the bookmarking site) that Maker fans have been missing. Seeing the original game itself put to bed feels like another nail in the coffin.
Mario Maker has had a good run of things since 2015, though. Its pending removal from the eShop in March is not quite as eyebrow-raising as Nintendo's decisions to end sales of the Super Mario 3D All Stars collection and to stop service for Super Mario Bros. 35 that same month. The release of Super Mario Maker in 2015 was a great way to celebrate the franchise's 30th anniversary—now, its end will be another odd way that Nintendo's choosing to ration out Mario availability for the 35th.