Nintendo to Pump the Breaks on Future Mario Games for Mobile

Nintendo is no longer prioritizing mobile games as far as Mario’s future is concerned. While the iconic plumber has been the face of two of Nintendo’s mobile titles, it doesn’t appear as though additional games are ripe for development any time soon.

In an interview with Variety, promoting The Super Mario Bros. Movie, famed Nintendo director Shigeru Miyamoto said, “Mobile apps will not be the primary path of future Mario games.” This comes as a mild surprise as Nintendo has been leveraging iOS and Android for a number of years.

Looking at Mario’s mobile journey, in 2016 Nintendo launched Super Mario Run, earning more than $60 million USD (around $80.8 million CAD) in its first year. In 2019, Mario Kart Tour debutred on mobile platforms and became a smash hit, generating over $220 million USD (roughly $296.4 million CAD). Dr. Mario World also launched in 2019. However, it did not amass the revenue compared to its other Mario counterparts, generating $13.9 million USD (around $18.7 CAD).

Continuing on in the interview with Variety, Miyamoto discusses why the company may be pulling back on mobile innovations for Mario. “First and foremost, Nintendo’s core strategy is a hardware and software integrated gaming experience,” Miyamoto says. 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. That is why I played the role of director for Super Mario Run, to be able to translate that Nintendo hardware experience into the smart devices.”

While Nintendo may not be prioritizing new Mario titles for mobile, we may not have to wait long until we see the global icon in a new game. When asked about a new title, Miyamoto laughed as said, “All I can say is please stay tuned for future Nintendo Directs.”

Mario plays but a segment of Nintendo’s presence on iOS and Android. Alongside the aformentioned titles, Nitnendo published and supports games like Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Pikmin Bloom. Throughout the years other titles such as Miitomo, Dragalia Lost and Dr. Mario World have come and gone as Nintendo has cut support due to less than promising success.

News of this comes shortly after Nintendo and mobile firm DeNA launched the new joint venture program dubbed Nintendo Systems. While still vague in concept, the two companies are said to be working towards creating “a system that facilitates the delivery of Nintendo’s entertainment to our customers.”