“As far as what’s going to happen in five years, it really depends on what new technology I come across.”
The one thing that you can say about Mario is that he truly is the spokesperson for gaming- he has been at the forefront of every major advancement and evolution that video games have had, very often leading the charge himself. From Mario on the NES to Super Mario 64 on the N64, to Super Mario Maker on Wii U, to now Super Mario Run on iPhones, the character has proven himself to be highly versatile, which has led to his enduring popularity.
And speaking with Apple, when Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto was asked about what he saw in the future of Mario, Miyamoto replied that it would ultimately depend on the technology available at the time, and what he chose to do with it and Mario.
“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,” Miyamoto said.
“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 realized 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.”
I would be very excited to see where Nintendo take their icon next- AR gaming? VR? Something new entirely that we haven’t yet even thought of? The world’s Mario‘s oyster, and I am excited to see where he goes next, and what he does next.