Super Mario Run requires an always-on internet connection

Friday, 9 December 2016 10:40 GMT By Sherif Saed

You can only play Super Mario Run if you’re connected to the internet.

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Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s first proper mobile game, comes out next week on iOS devices everywhere. Super Mario Run is a take on the endless runner genre, so the last thing you’d expect looking at gameplay footage is for it to require an always-on internet connection to play.

Unfortunately, that’s going to be the case. Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed the surprising restriction to Mashable in an interview.

The decision was apparently made as a way of deterring piracy, according to Miyamoto. “For us, we view our software as being a very important asset for us,” he told the site.

“And also for consumers who are purchasing the game, we want to make sure that we’re able to offer it to them in a way that the software is secure, and that they’re able to play it in a stable environment.”

“So this is just – based on the current development environment – a requirement that’s been built into the game to support security and the fact that the three different modes are connecting to the network and interacting with one another.”

Miyamoto added that the requirement applies to all of the game’s three modes to “keep all of [them] functioning together,” despite two of said modes being single-player in nature. He also made the point of Super Mario Run being the company’s first game on a non-Nintendo device, and the fact it’s releasing in 150 countries, unlike typical Nintendo releases.

“But actually, the security element is one of the reasons that we decided to go with iPhone and iOS first,” the creator elaborated.

“So this is just – based on the current development environment – a requirement that’s been built into the game to support security and the fact that the three different modes are connecting to the network and interacting with one another.”

At some point during development, Nintendo toyed with the idea of making the World Tour story mode available offline, but the development team ran into issues that complicated how the game handled score when it came 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,” said Miyamoto.

On one hand, it makes sense for a company as paranoid about protecting its intellectual property and digital rights as Nintendo to do this. After all, Nintendo has no control over iOS devices like it does with its own systems, and can’t just release a firmware update to plug a security hole.

That said, piracy on iOS is nowhere near as rampant – or as easy to dabble into – as it is on Android. Given that the game is skipping Android for now, this requirement only makes Nintendo look like it still doesn’t “get” the internet.

Super Mario Run is out December 15.

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