Nintendo of America has revealed that Charles Martinet, the longtime voice of Mario in the company’s various Mario games, is stepping back from the role and will no longer record lines for the character.
Nintendo announced this in a tweet posted today, revealing that Martinet is now moving into “the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador.” While he is stepping back from recording lines for Mario, Nintendo says Martinet will continue to travel the world to interact with fans and share the joy of the character.
We have a message for fans of the Mushroom Kingdom. Please take a look. pic.twitter.com/U1ASicOuTO
Martinet has been the voice of Mario in the mainline games since Super Mario 64 in 1996. That’s more than 25 years as one of the most popular mascots of all time. Nintendo says it will share a special video message from Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Martinet at a later date.
This news is out of left field, as it’s unclear why Martinet will no longer voice the character. Perhaps Nintendo wishes to take the voice in a different direction – it hired Chris Pratt to voice Mario in this year’s massively successful The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Perhaps Martinet simply wants to move on from the character, although that seems unlikely as he’s now in a new role of Mario Ambassador, according to Nintendo.
Regardless of why, Martinet’s voice as Mario will be missed. Mario’s next outing, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, hits Switch this October but given today’s news, it’s now unclear if Martinet is the voice of Mario in that game. Game Informer has reached out to Nintendo to ask for confirmation on whether Martinet is the voice of Mario in Super Mario Bros. Wonder and will update the story if comment is received.
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