Nintendo confirms that its Super Mario experiment on iPhone is over

Mario Dead
(Image credit: iMore)

If you're expecting a Super Mario Run 2 anytime soon, Nintendo has some bad news for you.

In an interview with Variety, Nintendo's designer and 'Father of Mario,' Shigeru Miyamoto, confirmed that Mario will take a break from appearing on mobile devices for the foreseeable future.

Super Mario Run debuted in September 2016 alongside the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, where Miyamoto took to the stage at Apple's event and surprised everyone by confirming that Mario was coming to iPhone. While you could play the first few levels for free, the rest were accessible with a one-time fee of $10. However, apart from Mario Kart Tour, there's not been another game only involving Mario since, leading others to wonder if there was going to be another game on iOS again.

While other games such as Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Pikmin Bloom, both co-developed with Niantic, have grossed over $100 million, it looks as though Nintendo now wants Mario to focus on its Switch device, and if rumors are true, the Switch 2 soon.

An Odyssey of apps

Mario on iPhone felt like the next natural step - for years, users were pushing Nintendo to look into bringing some of its IPs to mobile devices. It made sense, but the lack of dedicated physical buttons concerned the company, as Miyamoto said in an interview back in 2011.

However, its experiment can still be seen as a success - the Variety interview mentions that Super Mario Run grossed over $60 million. Still, Miyamoto gives off a vibe that it didn't seem like a natural progression for them to move Mario to a mobile device.

Miyamoto says, "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.”

Since 2016, Super Mario Odyssey debuted on the Nintendo Switch, a fantastic game where you use Mario's hat to possess enemies and other objects. There has also been Super Nintendo World at the Universal Studios Hollywood park and, of course, the Super Mario Movie.

So it seems as though Mario is only going to expand further beyond games but, ironically, will go back to being played exclusively on Nintendo devices for the foreseeable future. And with hints from Miyamoto to tune into future Nintendo Directs, the company's way of announcing new games, we might be close to hearing about Mario's next adventure.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.