When questioned whether the recent glut of Mario games (Super Mario 3D Land last December, New Super Mario Bros. 2 in August, New Super Mario Bros. U this November) risked endangering the IP, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime had a simple reply: no.
"I would say categorically, no. And that's because our developers, starting with Mr. Miyamoto and going through the entire EAD development organisation, they understand the power of our franchises," Fils-Aime elaborated to GamesIndustry International.
"They understand that the only reason these franchises have the power that they do is that they have to make sure that each subsequent edition is unique, different and offers something new."
Fils-Aime argued that the company understood the need to keep its star franchise "golden".
"They know that if they don't do that, we'll kill the golden goose that lays the golden egg. So it's something they are highly cognisant of, and even the executives on the business side, we hold that IP very dearly to make sure that every edition in the series is foundationally sound."
Eurogamer's Oli Welsh rated Mario's latest 3DS adventure New Super Mario Bros. 2 with an overall 8/10 in August, but had some choice words regarding the series' growing similarities.
"Looking back is all this Mario does. He hops and bops through retreads and remixes of his 2D heyday to a recognisable, jaunty tune, occasionally flashing a gimmick to earn the disingenuous prefix of the game's title. Like its predecessors on DS and Wii, and surely like the Wii U version that will appear in a few months' time, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is an old dog doing old tricks."
Nintendo company president Satoru Iwata also recently commented on the issue of Mario sequelitis. Like Fils-Aime, he defended the series' recent conveyor-belt release schedule.
"We only create a New Super Mario Bros. title one per platform," Iwata said last month. "I think we'll probably go ahead and continue at that pace.
"That being said, that's probably Miyamoto's choice, so I can't give you a 100 per cent guarantee that that's the pace we'll continue at."