According to Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo won’t be focusing on making more Mario mobile games going forward.
In an interview with Variety about the upcoming The Super Mario Bros. Movie, famed video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto was asked about the future of Mario. According to Miyamoto, “Mobile apps will not be the primary path of future Mario games.” Of course, this comes after Nintendo has spent years making mobile Mario games.
Back in 2016, Nintendo launched Super Mario Run, an ‘endless runner’ style mobile game in the general vein of something like Subway Surfers or Temple Run. Then, in 2019, Nintendo launched Mario Kart Tour (a mobile version of the company’s Mario Kart series) and Dr. Mario World, a match-three Mario game.
While mobile Mario games likely were successful for Nintendo in the sense they don’t cost too much to make and yielded a decent return on the company’s investment, these games paled in comparison to the success of mainline Mario games, like Mario Kart 8 that’s sold over 50 million copies.
Going on, Miyamoto had the following to say about developing mobile games, “The intuitiveness of the control is a part of the gaming experience. When we explored the opportunity of making Mario games for the mobile phone — which is a more common, generic device — it was challenging to determine what that game should be.”
Put simply, Mario games tend to be rich stylistically and offer up consistently inventive, engaging ways to play, but in the context of a mobile phone with a touchscreen, it’s proven harder for Nintendo to manage that same level of innovation it’s able to offer up on gaming consoles like Switch.
However, it’s important to note that Miyamoto says mobile games won’t be Nintendo’s “primary path” for Mario, so that doesn’t necessarily rule out mobile Mario games in future.