"Our goal is always to try to bring our characters and games to as broad an audience as possible."
- Shigeru Miyamoto
It's been more than two years since an investor memorably urged Nintendo to reconsider its stance against mobile game development, arguing that the company was leaving money on the table by not embracing mobile game business models.
"Just think of paying 99 cents just to get Mario to jump a little higher," he wrote in an open letter to then-president Satoru Iwata.
Today, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage during an Apple press event to announce that yes, Nintendo will be releasing a mobile Mario game (titled Super Mario Run) later this year -- and while it doesn't seem likely to include jump boosts as in-app purchases, some portion of it will be free-to-play while the rest will be unlocked via microtransactions.
It's a significant step in Nintendo's ongoing shift to focus on mobile, one that became clear to the public last year when Nintendo announced a deal with mobile game giant DeNA to produce 5 mobile games by the end of its 2017 fiscal year.
In a new interview with Time conducted shortly after he stepped offstage at the Apple event, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto acknowledges that Nintendo now expects to release just four mobile games by the time that deadline passes -- but more intriguingly, from a game dev perspective, he speaks a bit more about where the mobile market fits into Nintendo's plans for the future.
"[There was] a point in time when our hardware systems were the number one gaming platforms in the world," Miyamoto told Time. "But now we see that smart devices have reached significant penetration across the globe. So for us as designers, our goal is always to try to bring our characters and games to as broad an audience as possible."
The full interview is brief and well worth reading over on Time's website.