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Miyamoto Talks Super Mario Run -- "We Didn't Want to Do Something in the Free-to-Play Space"

Also, Nintendo says it considered a Mario auto-runner a long time ago.


Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has discussed Nintendo's high-profile upcoming mobile game, Super Mario Run, saying in a new interview that Nintendo didn't want it to be a traditional free-to-play game. It is free, but you need to pay $10 to unlock all the content. Speaking to Glixel, Miyamoto talked about working with Apple and how they said the traditional free-to-play model might be a good idea.

"The timing was really fortunate for both of us. On the Nintendo side we'd been talking a lot about going into the mobile space but we hadn't decided that we were going to make a Mario game for smartphones," he said. "As we were talking about what we were going to create we started asking ourselves about what a Mario game would need to be. So we were experimenting with some things and we can up with the base idea, and that's what we eventually showed to Apple."

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Now Playing: Super Mario Run - Live Action Trailer

Part of the reason why Nintendo brought Super Mario Run to Apple was for technical reasons, it seems. "In order for us to have the performance we wanted we needed some development support to ensure that the game would run the way we expected," he said.

"Because Nintendo is always trying to do something unique we also wanted to try and do something different on the business side too. We really didn't want to do something in the free to play space, but in order to make sure we had the opportunity to do what we wanted [offer a taste of the game for free, and charge $9.99 to unlock the whole thing], we had to talk to the people who are actually running the shop."

Miyamoto went on to say that Apple initially recommended a free-to-play model for Super Mario Run, but after further conversations, they went a different way.

"Naturally, the people on the App Store initially told us that the free-to-play approach is a good one, but I've always had this image that Apple and Nintendo have very similar philosophies," he said. "As we started working together, I found that to be true and they became very welcoming of trying something new."

The full Glixel interview with Miyamoto is tremendously fascinating, touching on many other subjects about Miyamoto's life and career. Go read it here.

In a separate interview with Time magazine, Miyamoto revealed that Nintendo experimented with a Mario auto-runner a long time ago.

"We had, during the Wii and 3DS days, experimented with ideas where Mario ran automatically and you would play by making Mario jump," he said. "And after doing some of those experiments we felt that would probably be the best way to bring Mario to iPhone, where you're just playing with one hand just controlling the jumps. And once we zeroed in on that it became relatively straightforward for us in terms of the game development."

Super Mario Run launches on December 15 for iOS devices; it comes to Android phones and tablets later. Keep checking back with GameSpot in the days ahead for more on Super Mario Run.

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