Super Mario Run will require always-on internet connection to play

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Super-Mario-Run-Dec-15
Mario won't run anywhere in offline mode.
Photo: Nintendo

Super Mario Run will sprint into the App Store on December 15, but while there’s plenty to be excited about with Nintendo’s first Mario game to hit iOS, there is one big potential downside for users: the game requires constant internet connectivity.

According to Mario creator and Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto, the decision to include no offline mode was made for anti-piracy reasons.

While Super Mario Run is a free download, it does offer a one-off $9.99 in-app purchase that unlocks every level.

“For us, we view our software as being a very important asset for us,” Mitamoto told Mashable through a translator. “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.”

Miyamoto confirms that the decision was made to protect against piracy, and says that, while initially they had thought about having one of the three game modes (presumably the free one) available for offline play, they realized this would be too difficult.

“We had thought at one point that it would be nice to have the World Tour [story] mode available standalone, to be able to play without that connection. But then the challenge is when that’s operating in a standalone mode, it actually complicates the connection back 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.”

The news is likely to be met with disappointment from some users who thought that the idea that Nintendo — which unlike most game developers still builds its own hardware, would bring one of its properties to iOS without compromise — was too good to be true.

Certainly, this isn’t the first time a game has demanded always-on connectivity, but it’s not a decision which proves particularly popular with gamers.

You can check out the rest of Miyamoto’s interview at the link above. While it doesn’t go super in-depth on any one topic, it does lay out some of Nintendo’s philosophy with Super Mario Run — specifically about creating a pick-and-play title designed to be enjoyed in short bursts.

As noted, the game is set to arrive in the App Store next week, although you can currently take it for a test drive at Apple stores.

Will the news of no offline mode affect your decision to buy Super Mario Run? Leave your comments below.