It’s a well known fact that ninjas are better than pirates, and it really comes down to one simple fact: ninjas have never caused companies imposing more stringent copyright protection methods and DRM. The looming spectre of piracy is to strike once more with the release of Super Mario Run for iOS next week, as Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that the game would require players to always be online in order to play.
Speaking to Mashable, he said:
For us, 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.
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.
In truth, they did originally look to have the World Tour playable offline – Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder do more naturally require an online connection – but because elements of the tour feed into the other modes they decided to enforce it across the entire game.
On the one hand, I can see where Nintendo are coming from, as Super Mario Run would surely be one of the most pirated games of all time on iOS, especially given the premium pricing, but that same premium pricing is sullied somewhat if your play time gets interrupted because your train goes through a tunnel.
Either way, Super Mario Run is looking pretty damned good.