Nintendo’s Super Mario Run Demands Alway-On Internet Connection To Curb Piracy

In less than a week Nintendo will release its first official Mario game for smartphones, Super Mario Run. It's a big moment for Nintendo, which is starting to embrace gaming on mobile handsets, and Super Mario Run could end up being huge. That is, if Nintendo doesn't get in its own way. The reason that is a concern is because Super Mario Run will require a persistent Internet connection.

Series creator and Super Mario Run producer Shigeru Miyamoto explained the decision to require an always-on Interconnection to Mashable in an interview, along with a string of other topics. In short, the online requirement is a move that's intended to thwart piracy.

Super Mario Run

"We view our software as being a very important asset for us. 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..

"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," Miyamoto said.

Miyamoto goes on to explain that unlike Nintendo's other game devices, Super Mario Run is not trickling out with a released in a limited number of countries; it's launching in 150 countries, each with different network environments.

Incidentally this is also the reason why Super Mario Run is launching to iOS devices before Android.

"But actually, the security element is one of the reasons that we decided to go with iPhone and iOS first. 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 said.

Nintendo considered making a standalone World Tour (story) mode available that would be available to play offline, but was concerned that would complicate the connection back to the other two game modes that would still require an online connection.

There are several other mobile games in the wild that require an online connection for the full experience, so Nintendo isn't treading new ground here. However, most of those titles support offline gaming, with whatever progress is made getting uploaded once a connection is re-established.

Super Mario Run releases to iPhone and iPad devices on December 15 for $10.