"For us, we view our software as being a very important asset for us," Miyamoto explained to Mashable. "And also for consumers 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."
The constant network connection will not only be used to save progress, but it will also sync that saved info across devices. Nintendo apparently wanted to make the World Tour available offline, but the technical hurdles to doing so and having it still play nice with the Toad Rally and Kingdom modes proved problematic.
"We wanted to be able to leverage that network connection with all three of the modes to keep all of the modes functioning together and offering the game in a way that keeps the software secure," Miyamoto continued. "This is something that we want to continue to work on as we continue to develop the game."
In a statement to Engadget, Nintendo said that Super Mario Run's online connection allows it to "enhance the play experience." An internet connection provides access to scores from other players' Toad Rally challenges and handles new in-game events while you're playing. The company also reiterated that being constantly connected lets users to link to a Nintendo Account so that saved progress can sync across all of their iOS devices. You know, if you need to switch from your iPad to your iPhone for some reason.
Super Mario Run arrives for iPhone and iPad on December 15th. While the game is free to download, you'll need to hand over $10 to unlock all of its levels. Of course, with no offline mode, you won't be able to play during your next flight or on a commute that takes you underground. Here's Nintendo's full statement on the matter:
Online connectivity allows us to offer a variety of features and services that enhance the play experience. Super Mario Run is not a static experience, but rather one that players can continue to return to again and again to enjoy something new and unexpected. For example, online connectivity can offer the following:
- Access to other users' play data and scores for automatically generated Toad Rally challenges.
- In-game events that will offer players new challenges and rewards for a limited time.
- Linkage to Nintendo Account to access save data from multiple devices. For example, if players have Super Mario Run on their iPhone and iPad, they can share one save file across the different devices. However, this save data cannot be used with different devices at the same time.