Now that the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey has its official ESRB rating, Nintendo has released updated box art for the game. But some fans have noticed that the new box art doesn’t just replace the Rating Pending box with an E10+, but it also changes out a sombrero-wearing Mario for one swimming in a water level.
The rest of the box art looks unchanged, so some may be wondering why Nintendo decided to remove sombrero Mario from the Super Mario Odyssey box art. The Big N hasn’t offered an explanation just yet, but there are two likely explanations that could explain why the box art change was made.
One possibility is that Nintendo is responding to the backlash surrounding sombrero Mario. While most people seem to have accepted sombrero Mario as simply being one of the many outfits Mario can unlock in Super Mario Odyssey, others have accused it of being cultural appropriation. Considering this, Nintendo may have removed sombrero Mario to avoid offending any potential customers.
Another possibility is that the image used just wasn’t as exciting as the other images on Super Mario Odyssey‘s box art. The other images are either feature action or show off impressive settings in the game world, like the dinosaur world and New Donk City. The image of Mario wearing a sombrero is just him standing still, and the shot is too small to give fans a good look at the desert game world where the outfit can be unlocked.
By comparison, the image of the underwater level shows that Mario can swim in Super Mario Odyssey and confirms that the cheep cheep enemies are returning for his new adventure. Simply put, the new image shows more of what fans can expect from the game than the one of Mario wearing a sombrero, and that may be the real reason why Nintendo decided to swap the images.
Until Nintendo itself decides to offer an explanation, all fans can do is speculate as to why Super Mario Odyssey‘s box art was changed. However, it seems unlikely that Nintendo will ever take the time to address this box art change publicly, so fans will just have to keep on speculating.
Super Mario Odyssey releases October 27, 2017 for the Nintendo Switch.