Fans of Super Mario Maker may remember this past January when Nintendo began deleting the custom levels of several users, without providing any explanation for their removal. While at the time an investigation by Kotaku revealed that the mass wipe-outs were a pre-emptive strike due to a powerful exploit that had the potential to destroy the game’s leaderboards, this latest incident appears to have no yet-known cause.
According to a post by Reddit user BakeToRise, his daughter was inexplicably one of the latest victims, after carefully making a custom level that was deleted after only an hour on the servers. The level had at least one Star of approval from another user, and no bannable or offensive content was used in its creation. Digging a bit deeper Kotaku found that this isn’t an isolated incident either; many other users have recently come back to their files to see that they’ve been deleted from the public servers for what appears to be no reason.
Nintendo has remained quiet on the subject, declining to offer further insight outside of their official rules on course deletion, which state that unpopular levels may be removed after a certain period of time. If that’s what happened in this particular case, the duration of one hour seems a bit harsh, especially given that the level was given one Star of approval during that time.
As Nintendo also bans words and phrases that may be used to encourage other players to post artificial stars and approval of other creator’s courses, it has been speculated that the company’s algorithms may be filtering out misspellings of the word Mario or any other trademark violations. However, some of Nintendo’s unspoken rules are so secretive that even representatives seem to not be aware of them. One player got a hold of customer service only to be told that there was nothing visibly wrong with their profile or level and to rebuild it from scratch and post it again.
It’s possible that this isn’t a rash of new incidents, but rather, an ongoing covert level deletion that has been going on the entire duration of Super Mario Maker‘s release. Whatever the case one thing is for certain–a game built on custom player made levels won’t last long without a community to share them with. Nintendo needs to communicate the level posting guidelines in greater detail before fans get frustrated.