Was Odyssey’s Cover Changed Due To Racism Allegations?

Following yesterday's news that Nintendo changed Super Mario Odyssey's box art - replacing the Mexican-esque Mario with a scuba diving one - the question on everyone's mind is whether or not it was done to avoid more fan claims of cultural appropriation.

Was Odyssey's Cover Changed Due To Racism Allegations?
Two months ago we reported that internet fans of Mario's latest outing, Super Mario Odyssey, were disappointed in Nintendo's decision to include a Mexican-esque alter ego of the plumber in the game, citing that it was in poor taste and in the vein of cultural appropriation.

Fast forward to just yesterday and internet users have found out that the publisher has changed the game's box art, removing the Mexican Mario in favor of one in scuba diving gear. Some fans were quick to assume that this change was in direct response to the outcry, though that may not necessarily be the case.

When featured close to one another, its important to note the difference in how well the updated cover looks as opposed to the older one. The newest cover's light blue photo replacement is simply more attractive to the eye, especially when viewed from afar. The older cover fails to do this, instead meshing into the rest of the cover's red and not offering a significant contrast. You can test this out for yourself below:

Super Mario Odyssey's Alleged Racist Cover
Super Mario Odyssey's New Cover
But what if this new cover is the result of fan resignation? Publishers – especially larger ones like Nintendo – oftentimes are wary when crossing lines that may alienate their huge player base. Could the change reflect an appeal to forgive and forget (though this late in the cycle, an elimination of a Mexican Mario is out of the question)?

Unlikely. Aside from the fact that the criticism Nintendo got didn't blow up in huge proportion, the inclusion of Mexican Mario isn't racist but, well, inclusive. The fact that Mexican culture is being represented in such a positive way as Mario is a huge win for the country anyway, as gamers will be introduced to it on an international level.

All in all, its time we put down our pitchforks and view games as what they are at their core: awesome sources of entertainment. Let's not get so politically correct so as to criticize Nintendo games for being inclusive and fun, ok? Not everything has to suit each of our sensibilities, and that's perfectly fine. We each are our own people, after all. Let's put the world's problems away for just a second and have a good time together. I assure it's much more worthwhile than complaining on the internet.

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