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Miyamoto says stripped back mobile titles can revitalize console counterparts

Miyamoto says stripped back mobile titles can revitalize console counterparts

December 8, 2016 | By Chris Kerr

Nintendo's mustached mascot, Mario, has come a long way since he made his barrel-dodging debut in Donkey Kong -- he was simply known as Jumpman back then. Now, 35 years on, he's preparing to make his first appearance on mobile screens in Super Mario Jump

The one-touch platformer is being pitched as a full-fledged Mario game by Nintendo, despite its simplistic touch screen controls.

There's method behind Nintendo's supposed madness, though. And in a recent interview with The VergeSuper Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto revealed the company hopes that watered down control scheme will provide newcomers -- those who might be to young to master the complexity of a 3D platformer -- with a viable point of entry. 

"Nintendo has been making Mario games for a long time, and the longer you continue to make a series, the more complex the gameplay becomes, and the harder it becomes for new players to be able to get into the series," said Miyamoto. 

"We felt that by having this simple tap interaction to make Mario jump, we’d be able to make a game that the broadest audience of people could play."

Citing the success of Pokemon Go, and the subsequent impact it had on the record-breaking sales of Pokemon Sun and Moon, Miyamoto explained Nintendo sees its mobile offerings as metaphorical gateway drugs: a way of introducing new people to its biggest franchises and herding them towards their console counterparts. 

Of course, they also give the Japanese giant the chance to remind some of its oldest customers why they fell in love with those games in the first place. 

"We have Super Mario Run releasing now, and it’s already decided that we’ll be making a Mario game for our next system," continued Miyamoto.

"Similarly with Animal Crossing, the hope is that when we release the Animal Crossing mobile game, we’ll have more people who become familiar with the Animal Crossing world and characters, so that when we next release an Animal Crossing game we’ll have a much larger audience who will be interested."

To hear Miyamoto talk more about Nintendo's mobile ambitions, head on over to The Verge.

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