GungHo, Nintendo to combine ‘Super Mario Bros.’ and ‘Puzzle and Dragons’

by

Staff Writer

GungHo Online Entertainment Inc. said Thursday its latest title for the Nintendo 3DS represents a mash-up of two immensely popular games.

“Puzzle and Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition” will hit stores April 29 while Nintendo will market the title overseas as well.

“I think I’ve never been this nervous before . . . you’ll probably understand why I’m so nervous now after seeing the new title,” said GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita.

Morishita said he used to play “Super Mario,” and that the game inspired him. “Getting involved with the title is such a great honor as a creator,” he said.

Morishita did not disclose when and where Nintendo will market the game overseas, saying it’s up to Nintendo to announce later.

“Puzzle and Dragons” is a hugely successful game for smartphone platforms, with 40 million downloads worldwide. Nintendo’s “Super Mario” is possibly the world’s best-known game series.

The tie-up appears to be win-win for both firms. GungHo expects a brand boost for “Puzzle and Dragons” from “Super Mario’s” global following, while recently struggling Nintendo could reach new gamers by collaborating with “Puzzle and Dragons” — especially in the domestic market.

The new game features familiar scenarios from “Super Mario” but allows the player to control their development by solving “Puzzle and Dragons” brain teasers.

Players will also hear the familiar “Super Mario” sound effects.

“We tried really hard to preserve the world of ‘Super Mario,’ ” said Daisuke Yamamoto, who oversees “Puzzle and Dragons” development at GungHo. Meanwhile, fun aspects of “Puzzle and Dragons,” such as erasing many puzzle tiles at once, will be preserved, he said. “We focused on how we could bring together the best parts of the two games.”