Thursday, September 8, 2016

Super Mario Run

Today, Nintendo announced Super Mario is going mobile -- Super Mario Run will launch on iOS and Android before the end of the year. We knew the company was making more content for smartphones, but for long-time Nintendo fans, this announcement still feels like a shock. For years, Satoru Iwata rallied hard against bringing Nintendo characters to the small screen. "If we did this," he said in 2011, "Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo." The company's leader was adamant: Putting Mario on mobile would make good short-term profits but would ultimately devalue the property. Now that it's here, we have to wonder -- is Nintendo still Nintendo?

The answer to that question might lie in Nintendo's motivation in taking Mario to iOS. At the 2011 Game Developers Conference, Iwata described Nintendo as a company that makes "platforms designed to demonstrate the high value of high-quality video-game software." Like the seal on your old NES cartridge says, Nintendo means quality. Can that quality persist on a mobile device? At the time, Iwata didn't think so. "These platforms have no motivation to maintain the high value of video-game software." (engadget)
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