One of the surprising announcements during the recent Apple event in San Francisco was the upcoming rollout of a mobile game featuring Super Mario. “Super Mario Run” is expected to become among the popular smartphone gaming apps when it is launched in December 2016.
Super Mario is a popular cartoon and videogame character in the 1980s and 1990s. The plumber usually gets into various adventures (and misadventures) that make him endearing to his followers. It is not clear though if his brother Luigi would also be part of the planned mobile gaming app.
When Nintendo Co sent Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto to personally appear in the annual Apple event in the first week of September, analysts instantly noted that the Japanese company is serious in this effort.
In its home front, investors in Nintendo have long been calling on the videogame maker to bring its popular game franchise to mobile devices, especially smartphones. This is a logical strategy to cover the current declines in the company’s console operations. Nintendo has been struggling to remain profitable in the past few years.
Super Mario Run will be a free-to-download action game to be released initially on iOS in December. It will also be available to Android users. The smartphone version is expected to be very similar to the original console series and would be optimized for mobile devices.
There are two ways Super Mario Run could bring in money to Nintendo. First, players must pay to be able to enjoy all levels of the game. Second, the mobile game is expected to also create a buzz for a new console (with a current code name NX) that Nintendo will launch in March 2017.
Following Pokemon Go’s footsteps
Analysts are confident that Super Mario Run will follow the success of Pokemon Go, which is also based on a popular cartoon that originated in Japan. Presently, Pokemon Go has been downloaded over 500 million times worldwide. Nintendo hopes that Super Mario Run would generate at least a billion times of downloads globally.
In August, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe surprised the audience during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro when he appeared on stage wearing Super Mario’s hat. According to the Summer Olympics organizers, the idea came from them as the costume is easily identified with Japan, which is the next host country of the Olympic Games. They emphasized that back then, they had no idea about Nintendo’s Super Mario plans.