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.

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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."

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.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for DEATHWlSH
DEATHWlSH

It's not free to play, it's free to demo. That's about it.

Avatar image for me3639
me3639

That's why they are charging 10 bones after considering 20.

Avatar image for aladan53
Aladan53

When you copy everyone else and make believe your game is original. The Nintendo way, lol

Avatar image for aladan53
Aladan53

Yeah, they want this thing called, Money.

Avatar image for FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@aladan53: Yeah, just like anyone who creates anything.

Avatar image for aladan53
Aladan53

@FLEEBS: Yeah money before substance.

Avatar image for Sindred
Sindred

There's nothing "traditional" about free-to-play. It's a freakin abomination of the gaming industry. Charge me for a finished product. That's traditional.

Avatar image for rushiosan
rushiosan

$10 is still incredibly high for such a game. I've played full, highly polished games like Bastion and Transistor for way less.

Avatar image for wtf_666
wtf_666

I thought about inventing the internet long ago.

Avatar image for Mr_Mark_Legion
Mr_Mark_Legion

@wtf_666: --al gore

Avatar image for Dark-Exsphere
Dark-Exsphere

Does this mean Nintendo feels apple is a better company than Android (Google)?

Avatar image for imajinn
Imajinn

@Dark-Exsphere: If you read inbetween all the lines there. Nin just likes Apples closed OS policies a lot better. Much easier to unlock everything and just slap it on an Android than it is to do the same on an Apple.

Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

@Dark-Exsphere:

No, I think he means that they have better API's, more consistent hardware, and Apple's internal policies and practices more closely relate to Nintendo.

I, personally, agree. Apple and Nintendo are both typically at the forefront of innovation, strive to be different, make well functioning products, and always use proprietary hardware. Some of the flaws are the same too. Such as a decrease in popularity in the last six years, underpowered hardware, and an innate stubborness.

Avatar image for Dark-Exsphere
Dark-Exsphere

@doctor_mg: lmao thats pretty deep. I've always wanted to support Apple products but just can't. I had the iPad mini and iPhone for 3 years and the versatility of a Google product just hooks me better. The marketing and advertisement of Apple really makes me want to own their stuff but after I have it, it's like meh

Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

@Dark-Exsphere:

The only thing I like about their products is reliability and support. When you buy an Android you are only guaranteed maybe 1-2 years of support. Then you will no longer get updated versions of the OS. For Windows laptops they constantly break for me, and I'm always having to fix them.

Apple's phones and devices get consistent support. I think that just this year the iPhone 4S wasn't updated to the latest version of iOS 10. Which means it had a solid 5 years of support. Their laptop devices aren't the most powerful, but they last a long time. My dad has a Macbook from 2007 that works great! Meanwhile, my lenovo laptop I bought last year is starting to have issues.

I pretty much agree though. Apple products can be pretty "meh" once you actually own them. Hopefully they start doing something different soon.

Avatar image for Dark-Exsphere
Dark-Exsphere

@doctor_mg: I'm not too sure about the support thing. When iPhone 5 came out and the ios update for it, my iPhone 4S slowed down considerably. Then later when ios 8 came out I could no longer use 3G from my service producer and phone had lag. Subway surfers started lagging as well.

Laptops I think are hit or miss. We have a MacBook that had battery death and now won't turn on for some reason. But I think regular windows laptops die after a year. I bought a 3000 dollar Msi gaming laptop in 2013 and it works but I've had tones of OS problems along with the now, speaker static sound problem.

The only reason they are meh is because everything is restricted. No customization. No direct transfer from and to PC unless you have iTunes. I hate iTunes so much.

Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@Dark-Exsphere: Yes all Nintendo fans should go full Apple

Avatar image for MAXTHUNDER99
MAXTHUNDER99

If predictions are true Nintendo will make roughly 500 million just in the first day. People are suckers for Mario so why wouldn't they charge that much? Even if Nintendo charged triple people would still by it.

Avatar image for atherworld
atherworld

"We didn't want to make something in the free to play space," because we really like money.

I'm not saying it has to be free, but $10? For a game where all you do is just jump? At 75MB's an hour?

Avatar image for petey_olivarez
petey_olivarez

@atherworld: 75 Mario Brothers an hour?

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

"We didn't want to make something in the free to play space, so we made a free to play freemium game."

Nintendo leading the way into the gutter.

Avatar image for ahpuck
ahpuck

Between this and Sky Force Reloaded I'm going to use my iPad more than my PC this month. Strange times.

Avatar image for melante
melante

Funny how the old shareware model now is called... "new"and "innovative" :P

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

So how does this lead people to Nintendo hardware?

Avatar image for kaminobenimizu
KamiNoBeniMizu

An auto runner sold for $10!? It better be worth it! Nintendo is not known for the freemium crap (like a limit of 40 moves in a Match-3 game, but you need an average of 300 to finish it for example) many others are pulling on people.

Nintendo likes the "FREE TO START, THEN PAY IF YOU LIKE" model more.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

i've already played the superior version of this game... it is called new super mario bros.

pass.

about time nintendo got their butts in check and put out a decent game on mobile, though. been saying it for years... was a no brainer move. this should help offset some of their wii u losses for the time being.

Avatar image for lateralus85
lateralus85

Im getting sick of Nintendo's bullshit!

Avatar image for chiefwiggum16
chiefwiggum16

Good to hear they didnt sell out. When it comes to android i will reward them with a purchase. And **** you Apple for trying to sway them to freemium bullshit.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@chiefwiggum16: ....It's still freemium bullshit, lol

Avatar image for chiefwiggum16
chiefwiggum16

@Thanatos2k: Not really, it's a game that is labeled as free which lets you play 3 levels then purchase the game if you want it, exactly like a demo.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@chiefwiggum16: Or exactly like freemium bullshit?

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@chiefwiggum16: Well, it could have worked as an ad-supported app.

Avatar image for chiefwiggum16
chiefwiggum16

@YukoAsho: screw adds in games. If i ever see them I delete the game and if I know it has adds before I download it I won't download it.

Avatar image for Orgodemir
Orgodemir

I was like...man a 2 minute ad....where is the Super Mario Run video....but that was the video. wtf.

Avatar image for monson21502
monson21502

Wow its got really good graphics

Avatar image for chris120379
chris120379

Yeah 'cause doing something different hasn't always been a good thing for Nintendo in the business side.

Avatar image for no_one
No_one

Never been a fan of 2D platformer Mario. 3D is great. Only 2D platformers I ever loved was Jazz Jackrabbit 2 and Claw on PC back in the day. Never understood the hype with these types of Mario games.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

That's funny. Even Nintendo's free to play games have a price tag.

Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@Barighm: Also called A DEMO!

Couple of years ago there was that study that pretty much killed the demos "Huge % of people dont buy game when they have a demo to try", but now we have this "It's a free game, but"

Avatar image for kaminobenimizu
KamiNoBeniMizu

@Barighm: *Free to start. Like that badge collector on 3DS.

Avatar image for rushiosan
rushiosan

@kaminobenimizu: I have over 1000 badges on that thing, and over 30 complete sets, and never wasted a single dollar in it. It's a completely different scenario.

Avatar image for kaminobenimizu
KamiNoBeniMizu

@rushiosan: Oh. From Nintendo's own words, I understood it was literally free to start and that you had to pay at one point (never played it though). Interesting... I consider what they consider free to start then...

Avatar image for brxricano
brxricano

"The full Glixel interview with Miyamoto is tremendously fascinating"

Eddie, you find reaction videos fascinating.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@brxricano: "It's so fascinating, I'll be able to make 8 separate articles out of individual quotes from it"

-Eddie

Avatar image for kaminobenimizu
KamiNoBeniMizu

@brxricano: Reaction videos are fascinating indeed. You see people react to things in that type of video!!!

But seriously. Same deal with people watching shows where people can win money like Deal or No Deal.

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