Super Mario Run is coming to iOS devices next week, but an always-online guarantee might mean that some fans stay away from Mario’s debut on smartphones.
Unfortunately for those looking forward to the Nintendo mascot’s debut on iOS next week, it looks like the Super Mario Run will require a consistent internet connection in order to be usable in each of the title’s three initial game modes, meaning that playing on public transport may prove difficult for fans.
In an interview that is sure to make a lot of people unhappy, Shigeru Miyamoto explained to Mashable that Super Mario Run would always require players to be connected to the internet, in order to remain functional. This is part of an effort to keep the game protected against software piracy, claims the producer. So far Super Mario Run is predicted to make over $70 million in its first month, something that Nintendo are understandably very eager to protect.
“For us, we view our software as being a very important asset for us,” claimed the Mario franchise creator. “And also for consumers who are purchasing the game, we want to make sure that we’re able to offer it to them in a way that the software is secure, and that they’re able to play it in a stable environment.”
Although forcing players to remain online at all times is historically never a popular decision in the gaming industry, Miyamoto makes clear that the choice was not made lightly by the development team. While originally Nintendo wanted to at least keep one of the game’s three modes available to offline players, this reportedly became too difficult to integrate, presumably due to the transfer of coins between game types.
Having to keep a game online is more problematic for mobile gaming than it is with consoles however, as it removes the portability option that phones tend to provide. As with Niantic’s Pokemon GO, Super Mario Run is going to prove difficult to play on trains, buses, or planes, where many fans would conceivably be looking to make use of their phones for gaming.
If you’re unwilling to part with $10 for a game that isn’t playable at all times, Nintendo are offering a partly free-to-play version of the title that might help push the more sceptical fans towards investing their hard-earned cash in the full copy. The free version of the game will offer a one-time upgrade fee that allows players to unlock the rest of the title’s content, but then the game will continue on with no microtransactions whatsoever, meaning that the company can keep Super Mario Run as child-friendly as possible.
Super Mario Run will be released on iOS on December 15, 2016.