Lifetime Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto admitted that mistakes were made on Super Mario Run during a talk at CEDEC 2018.
As the keynote speaker at the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference in Yokohama, Japan, Miyamoto provided a personal retrospective on the past 10 years.
In that time, smartphones entered - and subsequently took over - the gaming sector. Nintendo infamously kept distance up until 2016’s Super Mario Run, a one-tap platformer featuring the company icon.
Run along then
Miyamoto stated two “regrettable decisions” made during the development of Super Mario Run. The first is purely design - Miyamoto felt the final product was too hard, despite his push to make the game more challenging in production.
The introduction of a “Remix 10” mode, which staggered shorter levels together to combine a total score, is how Miyamoto said he "should have made it from the beginning." (courtesy of Japanese outlet Gamer.ne)
The second regret is in the game’s business model. We’ve seen Nintendo transition to free-to-play mobile in games like Animal Crossing and Miitomo, but Super Mario Run was a fixed-cost title.
Nintendo was sticking to its traditional "Nintendo-like business" model. Miyamoto firmly believed that Mario should always be about trying and failing without punishment.
While Nintendo might not consider Super Mario Run a huge success, that hasn’t stopped the game bringing in over $60 million in revenue worldwide.