Nintendo designers are uploading Mario Maker levels under fake names

Nintendo's latest Super Mario Maker update has a new hub to showcase "Official Maker" levels, some of which are designed by Nintendo employees, uploaded under pseudonyms like "Bowser" and "Parakeet."

Earlier this month Nintendo rolled out an update for Super Mario Maker that included a new hub to showcase "Official Maker" levels, which are designed by Nintendo employees, uploaded under pseudonyms like "Bowser" and "Parakeet."

While many game developers have already tried their hand at building Mario levels in Super Mario Maker (we profiled a few great examples last month), new levels uploaded by Nintendo designers have been noticeably absent since the game launched in September.

But what really stands out about this update, as Kotaku notes, is the fact that these designers aren't being credited for their efforts. That may well because each is a collaborative effort, or because that's the way the designers prefer it -- it's not unheard of for developers to want their names left off their work, especially in Japan, which has an established culture of 'secret' game development.

(It could also just be a fun goof, or a way of denoting difficulty based on which fictional character uploaded a level -- Bowser levels might be harder than Parakeet levels, for example.) 

Giving credit where it's due has long been a contentious issue in the industry, but Nintendo has been accurately crediting its developers for decades. In all likelihood these levels are being designed and uploaded by people who worked on Super Mario Maker, who would already be in the game's credit list.

Still, failing to credit developers by name can cause problems for historians down the road -- video game composer Yoko Shimomura's full name is listed in the credits of recent games like Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, for example, but her earlier work on Street Fighter II is less well known because she's credited only under the pseudonym "P-Chan."

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