Friday marks the annual celebration of one of the most iconic video franchises and characters of all time.
What Happened: Mario Day is celebrated annually on March 10. The holiday celebrates one of the bestselling video game franchises of all time with a unique take on the calendar day.
The date March 10 written in abbreviated form spells out Mario, with the “1” and zero replaced by the letters “I” and “O.”
Nintendo Co NTDOYwhich owns the franchise, began celebrating the holiday in 2016.
Mario made his debut in the 1981 video game “Donkey Kong.” Nintendo would give Mario his own game with the 1983 release “Mario Bros.” starring Mario and Luigi. Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamotothe Japanese video game designer who also created Donkey Kong, Starfox and The Legend of Zelda.
The introduction of Mario would help Nintendo boost its presence as a video game company, which traces its history back to 1889 as a playing card company.
Each year on the holiday, Nintendo and many retailers offer discounted Mario and Nintendo games and items to celebrate the legend of the video game character. This includes deals on Nintendo Switch consoles and gaming bundles, Lego sets and more Mario-related items.
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What’s Next For Mario? Along with being an icon in video games, Nintendo is working hard to further monetize the legend of Mario.
Mario and other Nintendo characters are part of a push to expand the Universal Studios theme parks by Comcast Corporation CMCSA.
Comcast and its Illumination unit also partnered with Nintendo to bring Mario and his friends back to the big screen.
“The Super Mario Bros” movie will be released in theaters on April 5. The movie stars Chris Pratt, Seth Rogen, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black and Keegan-Michael Key.
The movie was scheduled for a December 2022 release before being pushed back. The film marks the first theatrical Mario movie since the 1993 live action movie “Super Mario Bros.”
“The Super Mario Bros” is the first live action movie based on a Nintendo video game since 2019’s “Detective Pikachu.”
Nintendo announced the acquisition of animation studio Dynamo Pictures in 2022. The company said it would rename the company Nintendo Pictures, which could suggest Nintendo plans to bring more iconic characters to the big screen.
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