Nintendo's upcoming smartphone platformer Super Mario Run will only work if the player is connected to the internet.
Unlike our dedicated game devices, the game is not releasing in a limited number of countries. We're launching in 150 countries and each of those countries has different network environments and things like that. So it was important for us to be able to have it secure for all users,” creator Shigeru Miyamoto told Mashable.
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.
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.”
Miyamoto also clarified that by ‘security' he did indeed mean ‘risk of piracy'. The developer also said it was this concern that drove it to iOS first, presumably because of Android's ongoing piracy problems.
One the one hand, so what? Phones are always connected to either the mobile network or wi-fi, right? Yes, to an extent, but it's also true that the internet requirement might pose problems in poor reception areas, or those who hoped to play on an iPod (which is something a lot of kids will do).
Mind you, it's hardly like network requirements dented the success of Pokemon Go, is it?