The surprise announcement came during Apple's iPhone 7 event Wednesday morning, when Apple CEO Tim Cook brought Nintendo's famed game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, on stage.
"We want as many people around the world to enjoy playing Mario as possible," Miyamoto said, "and they'll be doing it first on iOS."
To be sure, for many industry watchers this effectively marks the biggest step yet in Nintendo's long-awaited embrace of the broader mobile gaming industry, as Super Mario titles have only been supported on Nintendo's own gaming systems to date.
Relatedly, Apple also showcased support for Pokemon Go on its Apple Watch Series 2. Though it bears repeating that while The Pokemon Company is a joint venture between Nintendo and two other Japanese companies, Nintendo has previously cautioned investors that Pokemon Go's viral success is not expected to significantly bolster Nintendo's bottom line.
But it's exciting to see Nintendo finally taking steps to make its prized Mario IP more accessible outside its own proprietary hardware. More specifically, Nintendo followed Apple's event with a press release confirming Super Mario Run will be coming to iPhone and iPad this December. A portion of the game will be available for free, and players will have the option to unlock all game content for a set purchase price.
In the end, as Nintendo continues to expand its presence within the world's leading mobile game platforms, it's no surprise to see shares trading significantly higher today.
Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.