It doesn’t look as if Nintendo will be developing any more smartphone games that involve its mascot. Speaking to Variety in a interview for its cover story on the making of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Shigeru Miyamoto was asked when the next Mario game was coming, and while he had no details to share about that, he did say that “mobile apps will not be the primary path of future Mario games.” Some of the mobile games that Nintendo has released so far include LEGO Super Mario, Mario Kart Tour, and Super Mario Run, a title that was produced to bring the traditional side-scrolling and platforming experience to smartphone users. Miyamoto noted at the end of the interview that he will never make a Mario game where he hurts people.
From a Variety report:
After two moderately successful but dwindling iOS games, plus another that shuttered after two years, Nintendo is pulling Mario away from the mobile market. Released in 2016, Super Mario Run grossed $60 million in its first year, while 2019’s Mario Kart Tour has generated $300 million (compared to Mario Kart 8’s $3 billion and counting). Without explanation, Nintendo removed 2019’s Dr. Mario World from app markets two years after its release.
“First and foremost, Nintendo’s core strategy is a hardware and software integrated gaming experience,” said Miyamoto, who played a pivotal role in designing the Wii, among other Nintendo consoles. “The intuitiveness of the control is a part of the gaming experience. When we explored the opportunity of making Mario games for the mobile phone — which is a more common, generic device — it was challenging to determine what that game should be. That is why I played the role of director for Super Mario Run, to be able to translate that Nintendo hardware experience into the smart devices.”
Elaborating on the merits of Run and Tour, Miyamoto continued, “Having Mario games as mobile apps expands the doorway for far more audience to experience the game, and also expands the Mario gaming experience, where you only need your thumb on one hand.”