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Super Mario Run Will Require an Internet Connection

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, speaking to Mashable regarding the always-connected requirement of Super Mario Run:

We wanted to be able to leverage that network connection with all three of the [Super Mario Run] modes to keep all of the modes functioning together and offering the game in a way that keeps the software secure. This is something that we want to continue to work on as we continue to develop the game.[…]

We had thought at one point that it would be nice to have the World Tour [story] mode available standalone, to be able to play without that connection. But then the challenge is when that’s operating in a standalone mode, it actually complicates the connection back to the Toad Rally and Kingdom modes. And because those two modes are relying on the network save, we had to integrate the World Tour mode as well.

This really does remind me of the debacle with the SimCity launch, which prompted this blog post from Lucy Bradshaw at EA:

Always-Connected is a big change from SimCities of the past. It didn’t come down as an order from corporate and it isn’t a clandestine strategy to control players. It’s fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity. From the ground up, we designed this game with multiplayer in mind – using new technology to realize a vision of players connected in regions to create a SimCity that captured the dynamism of the world we live in; a global, ever-changing, social world. […]

Cloud-based saves and easy access from any computer are another advantage of our connected features. You can pop from work to home, play the game and have your cities available to you anywhere.

While I appreciate Miyamoto-san’s forthrightness in stating that the always-connected requirement is for both security (DRM)1 and game capability purposes, I still don’t think it’s a customer friendly decision. If you don’t have a connection to the network Super Mario Run simply won’t work. That’s a huge disappointment.

It’s also important to note that SimCity launched as an always-connected game, was then hacked to play offline, and only then did EA release an official offline mode.

I’m guessing Nintendo will release a standalone game mode via an update at some point in the future.

  1. EA, on the other hand, continually stated that SimCity’s always-connected requirement wasn’t for DRM purposes. ↩︎