Mario’s Mobile Adventures Come to an End: Nintendo Shifts Focus Away From Mobile Gaming

KEY TAKEAWAYS
​​The intuitive control system of Mario games on consoles is difficult to translate into mobile devices, which has been a challenge for Nintendo in the mobile market.
Although some of Nintendo's mobile games have been successful, the potential for success may not be easily replicable for Mario titles, as five of the nearly 20 mobile games released by Nintendo have been discontinued.
Nintendo is shifting its focus away from mobile gaming for future Mario games.
The highly anticipated Super Mario Bros. Movie captures the heart and spirit of the video games while offering a fresh, cinematic take on the beloved franchise.
As Nintendo shifts its focus away from mobile gaming, it will be interesting to see how the company continues to innovate and expand the Mario brand in other areas.

Shigeru Miyamoto, the renowned Nintendo designer and creator of the Super Mario series, recently opened up about the challenges faced when developing Mario games for mobile platforms.

In an interview with Variety, he explained that the intuitiveness of the control system is a key aspect of the gaming experience, which proved difficult to translate from the console experience to mobile devices.

Success and Struggles in the Mobile Space

Nintendo’s foray into the mobile market began with the release of Super Mario Run on iOS and Android in 2016, which amassed 90 million downloads within a few weeks.

This success prompted the development of other Mario-themed mobile games, such as Dr. Mario World and Mario Kart Tour, in 2019.

Of these three titles, Dr. Mario World was the only one to be shut down and delisted from app stores.

Although Miyamoto admitted that mobile devices enabled the Mario brand to reach a broader audience, he confirmed that mobile gaming would not be the primary path for future Mario games.

A Mixed Bag for Nintendo Mobile Titles

Following the release of Super Mario Run, Nintendo created mobile spinoffs for several of its high-profile franchises, such as Fire Emblem, Pokémon, and Animal Crossing.

Some of these titles, like Pokémon Go and Fire Emblem Heroes, experienced significant success, with the latter reportedly surpassing $1 billion in global player spending.

However, of the nearly 20 mobile games released by Nintendo, five have been discontinued.

As such, it seems that the mobile market’s potential for success may not be easily replicable for Mario titles.

Following the release of Super Mario Run, Nintendo created mobile spinoffs for several of its high-profile franchises, such as Fire Emblem, Pokémon, and Animal Crossing.

Anticipating the Next Mario Game

While fans eagerly await news on the next Mario game, Miyamoto remains tight-lipped, simply advising them to stay tuned for future Nintendo Directs.

With Mario being one of Nintendo’s biggest intellectual properties, it’s only a matter of time before the next installment is revealed.

In the meantime, the brand continues to thrive, with the highly anticipated Super Mario Bros. Movie recently hitting the theaters.

Super Mario Bros. Movie Takes the Franchise Into a New Direction

In the movie, Mario’s voice, portrayed by Chris Pratt, is unique from both the original Italian intonation and Pratt’s own voice.

The film also features other iconic characters, such as Peach, Bowser, Luigi, and Donkey Kong, all of whom have been thoughtfully developed to be faithful to their video game counterparts.

The film aims to recreate the most visceral aspects of the player experience, including the frustration of respawning after a mistake, the customization process in Mario Kart, and the adrenaline rush of perfectly controlling a Bullet Bill.

The directors, Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, describe the movie as an adventure akin to “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” or even the Brendan Fraser “Mummy” films.

Throughout the film’s development, Meledandri and Miyamoto worked closely together to ensure that the world of Mario remained true to its roots.

By meticulously examining everything from character design and movement to the overall aesthetic of the Mushroom Kingdom, they sought to create a film that would resonate with fans and newcomers alike.

Ultimately, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” captures the heart and spirit of the video games while offering a fresh, cinematic take on the beloved franchise.

With a strong focus on character development, an engaging story, and a reverence for the source material, this adaptation hopes to break the mold of unsuccessful video game movie adaptations and delight audiences of all ages.

As Nintendo shifts its focus away from mobile gaming, it will be interesting to see how the company continues to innovate and expand the Mario brand in other areas.

Craig Miller

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