Nintendo appears to be removing user-generated Super Mario Maker levels without warning or reason, and is refusing to comment on the reasons why.
Kotaku has reported on various posts online from users who have had their beloved creations taken down despite the absence of any objectionable content. The site has also tried to get in touch with Nintendo for clarification, but hasn't had any response so far.
The latest victim is BakeToRise, or rather his daughter. She spent three hours lovingly constructing her level - called Maria Cake Yoshi - and duly received a notification that a fellow player had beaten the stage and given it a recommendation by awarding it a star. However, upon returning to the level less than an hour later, BakeToRise and his offspring found it had been removed.
Understandably, BakeToRise had to then deal with an especially upset daughter, and posted his frustrations online:
I know this has been post about before, but I am so angry.
The level my daughter spent the better part of three hours making, named "Maria Cake Yoshi" got deleted after being uploaded for less than 1 hour.
We were playing 100 Mario Challenge and afterwords got a notification that somebody played and starred her level. We went to go checkout the stats and the level was deleted. No reason as to why it was deleted.
As far as I know from reading the reddit posts on the subject, nothing in the level would flag it for getting deleted.
I wish Nintendo would give a description of what causes levels to get deleted and tell you why if your level is deleted.
Here's the course in question:
And here's the proof that the level was played and "starred" by another player:
This isn't an isolated case, either - as Kotau reports, several other players have had their stages deleted without any justification from Nintendo. Those levels are still on your Wii U so can still be played locally, but you can't reshare them - a deleted stage can't be re-uploaded, and has to be remade from scratch. When you consider that Super Mario Maker is very much about sharing your creations, it's easy to see why some level designers might think twice about pouring their heart and soul into a stage when there's a very real risk it could be removed by Nintendo.
Here's Nintendo's official policy on removing Super Mario Maker stages:
Notice regarding course uploads
Please be aware that after a fixed period of time, courses with low popularity will be automatically deleted from the server.
Nintendo reserves the right to use uploaded courses and related data, either as-is or with alterations, for either commercial or noncommercial purposes without compensation to the uploader.
Nintendo has also patched the game to remove stages which "beg" for approval - a recent update meant that players could no longer use the words "Like", "Yeah!" or the "star" symbol in their course names.
One player - MarioMan847 - went as far as to call Nintendo on the phone, and the representative apparently went through his account and could find no levels which would normally be flagged for removal:
He looked it over and said that my account doesn't have any activities in violation and is clean. I told him the course ID and the name of the level (Cannonball Blitz 2) and he said that the name and the level screenshot are completely fine, and even encouraged me to remake the level and upload it again if I wished. So yeah, I got nothing. Probably the only ones that really know are the ones that came up with the algorithms at Nintendo of Japan.
Have you had any of your levels deleted without reason? Why do you think Nintendo is taking this action? Let us know by posting a comment below.