It's not every day that Nintendo changes the name of a 40-year-old character in its largest franchise, but that's exactly what they've done.
In a tweet from the official Nintendo Japan Twitter account, the Japanese giant revealed that they will be changing the name of series villain 'Blackie' to 'Spike.' Spike is, of course, the name that the character has always been known by in the West since he first appeared in Wrecking Crew in the 1980s.
There has been speculation as to why this change has been made, but it has been posited it's due to his original name's racist connotations. We haven't had any official word on the change yet, though.
Nintendo also states that he will take on his new Spike persona in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Movie Japanese release. So Nintendo really isn't hanging around with implementing the change.
According to Japan Today, Japanese Twitter users have reacted with confusion and nostalgia. "I’ve always known him as Blackie, so I feel a little sad about this," says one user. "Blackie will always be Blackie in our hearts,” says another Twitter user.
Regardless of why the decision was made, it's interesting to note that Spike appears in the new Mario movie given his relative background-character status in the series (he's no Bowser).
Since Nintendo have taken the time to rework the character, maybe we'll see Spike cropping up in games more often sooner rather than later?