Super Mario Run is coming out December 15th, but to play it you’ll need an active internet connection. That means no using the game on a subway or plane — unless you’re above ground or connected to Wi-Fi. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed this detail in an interview with Mashable, saying the requirement was introduced to curb piracy.
“For us, we view our software as being a very important asset,” said Miyamoto. “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 [...] We wanted to be able to leverage that network connection with all three of the [game] modes to keep all of the modes functioning together and offering the game in a way that keeps the software secure.”
When asked if “security” referred to the risk of piracy, Miyamoto said: “That’s correct.” He added that Nintendo had considered making the single-player World Tour story mode available offline, but that doing so would have “[complicated] the connection back to the Toad Rally and Kingdom modes,” which rely on mobile data. In Toad Rally you can challenge “ghost” versions of other players to complete a course fastest, and in Mushroom Kingdom you can create and share your own courses.
The news will be a disappointment for Mario fans hoping to get to grips with the game during (offline) commutes, but if Nintendo has created a compelling-enough title, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.