Nintendo‘s Kensuke Tanabe, Paper Mario producer, has been busy in interviews explaining the situation with restrictions that are on characters in the Paper Mario series. For example, Tanabe said in an interview with Video Games Chronicle that “since Paper Mario: Sticker Star, it’s no longer possible to modify Mario characters or to create original characters that touch on the Mario universe. That means that if we aren’t using Mario characters for bosses, we need to create original characters with designs that don’t involve the Mario universe at all, like we’ve done with Olly and the stationery bosses”.
Tanabe also said that the restrictions impact the Toads too. Tanabe said in a GamesRadar interview that “from the production of Paper Mario: Sticker Star onwards, we were no longer able to graphically represent individual characteristics, such as age, gender etc., in the Toad NPCs (non-playable characters), and so it has become that much more important to convey their personalities simply through text”.
Lastly, Tanabe said to Video Games Chronicle that “whether a character becomes an all-time hit or not isn’t up to us on the development side. I think it’s more the case that characters that fans truly accept naturally end up that way. I hope that the origami siblings in Paper Mario: The Origami King will stay in players’ memories, even if they do only end up appearing in this title.”