Nintendo has decided that after selling over 430 million games, it just might be onto something with this Mario character. The Nintendo EAD team located in Tokyo, Japan has confirmed that production for a brand new game in the series is underway, but it can't confirm which formula of Mario it will follow or which device it will be on.
Confirming the existence of the game in an interview with EDGE, Producer Yoshiaki Koizumi says that the platform "is still a secret."
"I can tell you, though, that we've already started approaching our next challenge."
Nintendo is currently wrapped up with two different takes on the Mario franchise. The first is the New Super Mario Bros. series, which has proven to be a massive financial hit with casual audiences, but not quite so successful critically with critics and longtime fans. The other is the Super Mario 3D World brand of Mario which hasn't sold nearly as well, but it pleases the fans a lot more because of its originality and imaginative take on the series.
Which path does Nintendo follow from here, or does it do something entirely new? Koizumi indicated that this new Mario might be just that.
"There's still a lot more room for discovery and invention, and we'll continue to propose new and exciting game mechanics going into the future."
I would like to see something new, and I have little doubt that we will. Nintendo detractors like to point out that Nintendo has been "milking," which I think is the silly term they use, the Mario franchise for the last thirty years, but the reason Nintendo is able to do this where others are not is that it never lingers on a single formula for too long. Super Mario Bros. lasted for four great games, and the basic 3D platformers lasted for two fun outings before Super Mario Galaxy reinvented the 3D formula for two more games. New Super Mario Bros. lasted for four and Super Mario 3D World will hopefully only see two before the next fresh spin.
Keep in mind that all of this has unfolded over 30 years.
Not a single one of those Mario games feels exactly the same, except for the New Super Mario Bros. games that fans don't like, and I would hardly call it "milking" if a company can constantly reuse a character while still making him feel fresh. Milk eventually goes bad, cows die, and new franchises don't necessarily mean new ideas. Mario is something special because its creators are able to reinvent themselves every few years, and this newest game will be no different.
Looking forward to more.