Super Mario Run is hitting iOS devices next week and its release shows how out of touch Nintendo is with modern gaming. Nintendo has previously underestimated online gaming and still releases games that are region locked, which in today’s connected world doesn’t make sense.
In an interview with Mashable, Shigeru Miyamoto announced that the game requires an Internet connection at all times to play. The connection is apparently to keep things ‘secure’.
For us, we view our software as being a very important asset for us. 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.
We wanted to be able to leverage that network connection with all three of the [Super Mario Run] modes to keep all of the modes functioning together and offering the game in a way that keeps the software secure. This is something that we want to continue to work on as we continue to develop the game.
An always-on Internet connection isn’t terrible for players using iPhone, those switching to iPad without mobile network coverage capability won’t be able to travel outside of Wi-Fi range without being unable to play.
Nintendo also mentions that they chose to release on iOS first for security reasons noting that app piracy on the devices were less than that on Android.
But actually, the security element is one of the reasons that we decided to go with iPhone and iOS first. So this is just — based on the current development environment — a requirement that’s been built into the game to support security and the fact that the three different modes are connecting to the network and interacting with one another.
We had thought at one point that it would be nice to have the World Tour mode available standalone, to be able to play without that connection. But then the challenge is when that’s operating in a standalone mode, it actually complicates the connection back to the Toad Rally and Kingdom modes. And because those two modes are relying on the network save, we had to integrate the World Tour mode as well.
Super Mario Run is launching for iOS on the 15th December 2016. While the game is free to download and try, to get the full experience you will need to purchase the $9.99 unlock. To play, you will need an iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices running iOS 8.0 or later.