If you’re planning on playing Super Mario Run on your next flight the plane better have WiFi because it requires an always-on internet connection. Nintendo says that’s by design because they want to prevent game piracy.
Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto was asked about the always-on internet requirement by Mashable. He responded,
For us, we view our software as being a very important asset for us. And also for customers 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.
That’s not exactly a clear confirmation, so Mashable asked, “Just to be clear: When you say ‘security,’ you mean the risk of piracy, right?”
His response: “That’s correct.”
Super Mario Run launches on December 15th exclusively on the iPhone and iPad. That means the game is available only through Apple’s App Store, and includes anti-piracy protection baked in, locking it to the devices linked to individual iTunes Store accounts. In other words, if you didn’t buy the game, you can’t play it.
Requiring users to have an active internet connection when playing Super Mario Run won’t be a big deal for some users, but it’ll be a giant pile of Goomba-doo for anyone hoping to kill some time on a flight, or anywhere else they can’t get online.
Super Mario Run costs US$9.99, and while its required active internet connection will turn off some potential buyers it won’t likely keep Nintendo from collecting coins like Luigi on a power jump. Still, it’s yet another opportunity for the pundits to say Nintendo found another way to shoot itself in the foot.