Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has explained why Nintendo’s iconic mascot has managed to remain so enduring over the past three decades, as well as giving a hint about the future of the franchise.
In a recent Q&A session held to promote the upcoming mobile title Super Mario Run, Miyamoto was asked by special guest Austin Creed – better known as WWE superstar Xavier Woods – about where he saw the future of Super Mario going.
Speaking via his translator, Nintendo executive Bill Trinen, Miyamoto responded by saying: “It’s impossible to know the future. I don’t know what’s going to happen in five years; I don’t even know if I’ll be alive in five years! -Laughs- But I’m fine; I’m fine.
“There was a point just a few years after we released Super Mario Bros. where somebody had done a character popularity poll, and Mario had become more popular at the time than Mickey Mouse. And people said, ‘Well, how do you feel about that?’ To that I replied, ‘But Mickey Mouse has been around for 40 years; Mario has only been around for three!’ And that was when I started to think that maybe what I should do is worry about what is happening with Mario 40 years from now, and then we’ll see how he’s doing against Mickey at that point in time.
“At that time, I realised that Mickey Mouse was a character that had evolved with the evolution of cinema and animation, and so it was then when I felt that if I want Mario to continue to survive as a character, then Mario needs to evolve with technology and video games.
“That’s why when we were making Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64; that’s why it was such a fun project for me. And it’s why when we made Super Mario Maker – and all of you could then become Mario game designers – that was a fun project for me as well.
“As far as what’s going to happen in five years, it really depends on what new technology I come across, and then at that point in time I’ll partner that technology with Mario – or maybe Link – and create something new.”