Super Mario Maker.jpg

When it comes to engaging an enthusiastic community and holding the attention of online streamers and speedrunners, Super Mario Maker has all of the key ingredients. As a creation tool it allows fans to create and tackle extraordinary levels and to share them with followers on various platforms - it's exactly the sort of continual online engagement Nintendo needs to foster.

Unfortunately, the rules around Super Mario Maker levels - and the way they're enforced - have been frustrating some of the game's biggest fans. For months some have fallen foul of level moderation and had stages removed from the game without warning; the frustrating aspect has come when users are sure they haven't broken the rules.

Another high profile case has emerged, now, with Twitch streamer and speedrunner Grand_POOBear - real name David Hunt - having all of his levels and stars removed. This first emerged, as these cases often do, on Mario Maker's subreddit, with Hunt - who makes a living from his stream - confirming that his entire catalogue of level creations had been removed from the game. He then told Kotaku the following to highlight the potential damage this could cause.

Streaming Mario Maker is 90% of my stream, which is 90% of my overall income so far in 2016

The saga with his stages goes back to mid-January, when a level called "Pile of Poo-POOgatory" was flagged by someone for bad language. He disputed this on the grounds he had other levels with "poo" in the title that were still live, and highlighted how it's even in his username in the game. A sympathetic rep offered to pass the issue along to the game's administrators - though that would risk a chance of the moderating team assessing all his levels, he took the plunge and asked for it to be looked at.

In February it looked like there was progress, with a call saying the level would be returned; that, however, then fell through as the representative had got it wrong. Now, weeks later, the entire catalogue of levels has been removed (due to their complex nature they took about 20 hours a piece to upload) and an understandably exasperated Hunt recorded his call to Nintendo.

As it stands Hunt needs to start again and hope that he can get the issue resolved; the level removal may even affect his plans for a charity event later this week.

This issue has been rumbling for some time, but when popular streamers and speedrunners - Hunt's Twitch channel has 11,500 followers - are affected it doesn't help the game or Nintendo's reputation with its enthusiast fanbase.

We'll see how this particular case progresses.

[source, via]