Today marks the 3rd anniversary of the ultra popular Nintendo game, "Super Mario Maker." The game is so popular people had bought a Wii U just to play, plus many streamers' careers were revitalized or started from Mario Maker.
Despite the soaring success of the Nintendo Switch followed by a series of ports from Wii U titles and indie titles, the sequel to Mario Maker is no where at sight. The company is comfortably quiet about this issue and fans had been expecting any glimmer of hope last E3 and the recently delayed Nintendo Direct.
People are upset. We get that. Instead of selling or tossing your Wii U to the bin, you are forced to keep it just so to continue with Mario Maker. Instead of the freedom to use the Switch's mobile mode, play or build levels anywhere, anytime, you're stuck on a single space with a small proximity. And no, the 3DS version of Mario Maker is crap. There's no freedom in that game, save to distract younger players from kicking the back of the driver's seat.
The thing is: I think Nintendo won't be making any new announcements of Mario Maker 2. Maybe they might begin teasing us soon, but a definite launch date won't be happening maybe until 2019. Nintendo is known to focus on pushing one or two big titles a year. And for 2018, that's going to be "Smash Bros Ultimate."
With the lack of any concrete details, or even a tease, 2019 might not even cut it, as we might see "Metroid Prime 4" instead.
The big question is, what's with the hold up? Nintendo can do a great number of things for the Switch version of Mario Maker. First, they can release the entire Mario Maker package, everything that came out with the Wii U, plus some new goodies, and then, release a combination of free and paid DLCs. It sounds like a pain in the ass for us players and a big money grab for the company, but let's face it, games' a business, and how we play is changing at a rapid state.
The only reasons that makes sense, at least to me, why Nintendo is keeping quiet about Mario Maker 2 is simply they do not want main "Super Mario" entries to fade away in obscurity. I have met and chatted with some streamers and some of them believed Mario Maker killed the traditional 2D platforming. I don't think that would be the case, Nintendo, is very traditional, and they will first release a "New Super Mario Bros: Switch" and then eventually Mario Maker 2, with new backgrounds, power ups, enemies, and so forth. The newest content would probably come from the "New Super Mario U" game.
The other thing that Nintendo is taking such a hold up is most likely how they're perfecting the level building system in the Switch. For the Wii U, you use the gamepad's touchscreen with the built-in stylus to make levels. It's easy to make levels that way. The Switch has a screen but it doesn't have a stylus. Will Nintendo make a brand new stylus exclusive for Mario Maker 2? Maybe. But where are you going to stow it? Unlike the Wii U which had a dedicated slot for it. Nintendo knows its audience. Kids will lose the stylus without a proper stow, especially with all the mobility the Switch has to offer. Plus, the Switch's main highlight are the Joy-Cons.
This means, Nintendo is most likely ensuring 150% that you can build levels in Mario Maker 2 via Joy-Cons along with the built-in gyroscope.
It might also mean another thing. Beyond the 2D elements of Mario, there are 3D titles that include "Super Mario 64," "Super Mario Sunshine," "Super Mario Galaxy" and "Galaxy 2," and "Super Mario 3D World." What am I getting at? Yes, perhaps Nintendo is building a 3D platform maker for the sequel. Chances are low but not entirely possible.