Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto says that the gaming landscape has changed, and that mobile is where people are playing games now.
Two years ago, a Nintendo investor urged the company to make the move to smartphones, saying it was a huge source of untapped revenue. Nintendo refused, beliving that its consoles and handhelds were how people wanted to play games. Now, Nintendo has surprised us all by announcing Super Mario Run for iOS devices. What caused it to change its tune? The father of Mario himself, Shigeru Miyamoto explains to Time Magazine that the gaming landscape has changed, and mobile is where people are playing games now.
"[There was] a point in time when our hardware systems were the number one gaming platforms in the world," Miyamoto told Time. "But now we see that smart devices have reached significant penetration across the globe. So for us as designers, our goal is always to try to bring our characters and games to as broad an audience as possible."
That's not to say that Nintendo has given up on its consoles though. Miyamoto goes on to explain that Nintendo's mobile efforts are in part a way of driving more customers to purchase its more traditional games. "As you've seen with Pokemon Go, we have millions of people who may never have played a Pokemon game, or maybe just knew the name Pokemon, who are now playing that game...and the result of that is that we're also seeing sales of things like our original Pokemon Red and Blue games on the rise. We think we'll see a similar effect with Super Mario Run."
As for Super Mario Run as a game, you can rest assured that it won't be just a cheap mobile cash-grab, as an all-star team has been brought in to develop it. "We've brought together the developers at Nintendo who know the side-scrolling Mario games best, to work with them to develop the best side-scrolling Mario game for a mobile device," said Miyamoto.