Mario mobile games like Super Mario Run and Mario Kart Tour may be good fun, but Shigeru Miyamoto – Mario and Zelda creator among a dozen other things – doesn’t see mobile devices as a likely place for future titles featuring the moustachioed plumber.
“Mobile apps will not be the primary path of future Mario games”, he said in a recent interview with Variety. As the site notes, Super Mario Run grossed $60 million while MK Tour managed $300 million – not exactly the numbers of a failure – but the challenge of designing for mobile means it’s not a spot Mario is likely to return to.
“First and foremost, Nintendo’s core strategy is a hardware and software integrated gaming experience,” said Miyamoto. “The intuitiveness of the control is a part of the gaming experience. When we explored the opportunity of making Mario games for the mobile phone — which is a more common, generic device — it was challenging to determine what that game should be.”
In spite of this, Miyamoto still understands the benefits of mobile apps. “Having Mario games as mobile apps expands the doorway for far more audience to experience the game, and also expands the Mario gaming experience, where you only need your thumb on one hand”, he said.
Still, Miyamoto also said “the ultimate evolution of a Mario adventure game on a typical 3D platformer,” so I suspect that’s something that’s round the corner. When Variety asked him about a future mainline Mario, he apparently started laughing before the translator had even told him the question. “All I can say is please stay tuned for future Nintendo Directs”, he replied. Ominous.