My first thoughts about hearing about this survey is: “Is this an attempt by NOE or NOA to show NCL that people buy 2d Mario because they actually LIKE 2d Mario?”
Nintendo has been acting as if we all really want to play 3d Mario but… gosh darn it! 3d Mario is so COMPLEX and CHALLENGING. This would be in line with Nintendo thinking 3d Mario is the greatest video game ever made. It is so horrible that we, lousy peasants, cannot fully understand it. So Nintendo, trying to be helpful, tries to make 3d Mario more accessible with Super Mario Galaxy (it turns into 2d Mario every now and then). Still, the masses aren’t biting. Being helpful, Nintendo tries again. How about another simpler 3d Mario but with tutorial DVDs for Europe and Japan (those regions full of people who can’t handle 3d Mario)? That doesn’t work either.
When Iwata revealed Mario in 3d Land, he said that Miyamoto said something like “Finally, with 3d output we can truly make a 3d Mario game for the masses.” And 3d Land tried to borrow all of the usual Mario gameplay.
Could gamers actually be buying 2d Mario because they enjoy the 2d platforming?
This may be the first time Nintendo has asked itself this. All this time, Nintendo has acted that we keep buying 2d Mario because 3d Mario isn’t accessible. It really shows how we, the gamers, and the Nintendo developers live in totally different worlds.
2d Mario was supposed to be obsolete! Just like 16-bit graphics made 8-bit graphics obsolete (no one complained when All-Stars put all the Mario games in 16-bit graphics), 3d was to make 2d obsolete.
I am surprised that Nintendo is surprised. One of their biggest selling franchises is Smash Brothers which is a 2d fighting game. If Smash Brothers went 3d, it would radically change the experience and likely not for the better. Tetris, for example, works better in 2d than in 3d.
2d Mario is just more fun to many people. It’s more arcade-like. The only 3d games I remember in the arcades were racing games and games like Battlezone… which was the original first person shooter.