Nintendo's announcement that it would be joining the mobile market brought with it the inevitable question of how they would bring their biggest character, Mario, to the platform. Earlier today at an Apple event, Nintendo answered that question with the announcement of Super Mario Run.
Super Mario Run has been developed by Nintendo as part of their partnership with DeNA, although development has been led by Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto. Super Mario Run utilizes the base of the endless runner genre and mixes it with platforming elements, as Mario runs forward on his own, and the player directs him when to jump over obstacles, avoid enemies, or capture flag poles to complete the level. There are several modes of play in Super Mario Run. The first is a mode in which you aim to collect coins and head for the goal. The second mode is designed to be more interactive, as players compete against others who have completed a course doing acrobatic moves. Additionally, there is a mode in which you can create your own Mushroom Kingdom.
Monetization is often a concern with mobile games for gamers. While more details may be forthcoming in the future, at this time Nintendo has revealed a pretty simple plan for Super Mario Run. Part of the game will be available for free for anyone to download and try, and the rest of it will be unlockable with a single in-app purchase of the full game. It is essentially an approach that harkens to the old shareware approach, although Nintendo left room to announce other microtransactions in the future.
“We have created Super Mario Run to be perfect for playing on your iPhone. Super Mario has evolved whenever he has encountered a new platform, and for the first time ever, players will be able to enjoy a full-fledged Super Mario game with just one hand, giving them the freedom to play while riding the subway or my favorite, eating a hamburger.” —Shigeru Miyamoto
At the same time, Nintendo has delayed the expected fall release of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem on mobile. It is possible one may arrive this year, but Nintendo has said that they will be launching after Super Mario Run and arriving before the end of March 2017.
Super Mario Run will be releasing on iPhone and iPad in December this year, in over 100 countries and nine different languages.
In some ways, this appears to be the likely end of the DS line of products, as Mario is the flagship for Nintendo. It does bring to mind some of the rumors surrounding the Nintendo NX and that it may be a home/mobile hybrid that can run the mobile games on it. It is possible that would be of greater appeal if they are releasing a Mario game this early in their work on mobile games. Mario makes a lot of sense as an endless runner platformer, and hopefully the game turns out to be a good example. The monetization model if not plagued by additional microtransactions already looks like a winner!
What do you think of this news? Are you interested in Super Mario Run? Or do you think Mario should stick to Nintendo platforms? Share your thoughts in the comments below!