Miyamoto Discusses Finally Bringing Mario to Smartphones
We talk with the Mario creator about his role on the game and Nintendo's future developing mobile games.
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This morning's Apple event had some surprise news on the gaming front, first with Super Mario Run being revealed and then Shigeru Miyamoto appearing on stage. Following the presentation, we got to speak with Miyamoto about the decision to bring a more traditional type of game to mobile than its debut offering, the possibility of porting older games, and more.
Miyamoto is serving as a producer on Run, telling GameSpot he's "working on it every day with [Takashi] Tezuka-san and the main members on the team." Like Miitomo, the game is a collaboration with DeNA.
"With Mario games, what's important is that they always be simple to understand, easy to know what to do," he says when asked what Nintendo is doing to make this a true Mario experience. "So this time we're really paying attention to that and making it one that you can play one-handed while still retaining the core essence of what makes a Mario game a Mario game."
He also suggests there's more depth to the game than you might suspect.
"Of course, we've been making Mario games for a very long time now, so we're not just making a simple or easy Mario game," he says. "There are a lot of techniques in the game that you can use, and the better you get at mastering those techniques, the better you'll perform in the game."
Rather than bring over an existing Mario game--or create a new one that relies on virtual d-pads and buttons--Run is being built specifically for touchscreen devices. That's in line with the disinterest Nintendo has expressed previously for the idea of porting older games to mobile, a position that doesn't seem to have changed.
"I don't think we'll take the past Mario games that we've made and just move them over to a mobile platform," he says when the possibility is raised.
That doesn't mean past work on Mario games has no relevance here. Miyamoto indicates past experiments have manifested themselves in Run.
"We've been working on Mario games in the past, [and] we've had experiments and structures to the game that we've experimented with but haven't been as best-suited for our hardware platforms as they are for other platforms. So in this case what we've done is taken some of those ideas and brought them to mobile, because really what we're doing is creating a Mario game that's best-suited for the mobile platform."
As for Nintendo's view on mobile gaming going forward, you can expect it to continue to leverage the platform in ways that make sense for it.
"Obviously if you look at mobile devices, they have a very unique set of features and our own hardware devices have a unique set of features," Miyamoto says. "And we really look at it as, there's now an opportunity for us to look at both of these types of devices--and you see this also with Pokemon Go, where we're creating new experiences that are unique to the device that it's playing on. So from our perspective what we're really doing is looking at continuing to find new opportunities to bring our characters to as broad of an audience as possible, and that's why we're moving onto things like the mobile devices."
"This game we're developing strictly for play on mobile devices," he says. "But of course we're continuing our own work on our own hardware platforms, and we'll be looking at how we bring Mario's next evolution to life on those platforms as well."
Run debuts on iOS this December, with an Android release coming later.