As part of a new regular blog series, we'll be chatting to some esteemed members of Team Tag about current hot topics in the games industry. To start, we'll be finding out what they think about the imminent arrival of Super Mario Run, the first mobile game to star Nintendo's beloved mascot. The game is due to hit iOS devices in December and will be "free to start", with users paying a one-off fee to unlock the whole game.
Paul Farley, CEO
One one hand you could say it's uninspiring, but on the other Pokemon Go was a massive success built on a game structure that was around on mobile 15 years ago. An auto-run platformer may not be ground breaking but it shows Nintendo understands the play patterns of mobile gamers and the need to keep control schemes simple. I was a little disappointed to see that this won't be a true F2P title as there are so many ways to innovate with the F2P model, but it might be a while before we see the big N take that route.
Marc Williamson, Development Director
It was an obvious option to do a Mario runner and it looks extremely polished as we would expect. I think the decision to go (sort of) paid is really to protect The House of Mario's image and the value behind the mascot. With Nintendo likely to present NX to the world soon anything that they deem to cheapen the brand will be a big no-no.
With the likes of Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing on the way soon we're going to see plenty of F2P experiments with Nintendo's 2nd tier brands. Only once these are successful will Mario be allowed to go free.
Gavin Moffat, Marketing Executive
They've played it as safe as possible but as they're making their first steps in mobile it's not surprising. In the current climate paid games are a difficult sell on mobile and with literally thousands of one-button platformers available completely free, Nintendo will have to be able to convince people that it's worth opening their wallets for the full experience here.
However, in all likelihood this will be among the most polished and finely-tuned platformers around and it's one the most famous IPs of them all, so I expect it still to be a hit.
Robert Henning, Head of Game Technology
Mario coming to mobile is great as Nintendo will bring production values and a quality brand. I think it is the right choice not to go F2P as Mario is a family brand and doesn't quite fit with the culture of heavy monetisation that comes with F2P. For this game I think a one-time purchase makes sense.
Derek Patterson, Game Producer
We've seen with Rayman that platformers can work on on mobile and with the added Nintendo magic this could be a real winner. I'll definitely be playing it! Nintendo don't always get it right these days, but when they do, they do it better than anyone.