Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that Super Mario Run will only work on a device with a constant internet connection in iPhone.
The game creator Miyamoto chalked up the decision to security issues, concerns about that an offline mode would make the game unstable and open it up to piracy. Those worries are likely due in no small part to the fact that Nintendo simply isn’t accustomed to developing games for platforms it doesn’t have on lock-down.
“Unlike our dedicated game devices, the game is not releasing in a limited number of countries,” Miyamoto explained. “We’re launching in 150 countries and each of those countries has different network environments and things like that. So it was important for us to be able to have it secure for all users.”
Nintendo has since confirmed all of this, while listing off the benefits of keeping such a title always connected:
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.