Super Mario Run is Nintendo’s first proper foray into developing and releasing a mobile game, and they did it on their terms. You could play a demo of the game, but to unlock the full thing, you’d have to shell out $10, a relatively steep download fee for mobile gaming. And now the numbers are in, and they have some interesting implications for Nintendo’s mobile future.
In terms of downloads, Nintendo has acquired over 90 million of them since its December 15th debut on the iOS store, making it one of the most popular apps out there. But, apparently, only about 3 million or so have paid $10 to unlock the game. So while $30 million is nothing to sneeze at, and Nintendo has yet to debut the game on the much larger Android platform, there’s a lot to consider here.
The main question is whether or not this is a success, which is hard to know. It is consistent with successful one-time purchase games like The Room franchise, which tends to move about three million copies an entry, on average, something Nintendo is likely to surpass. The vast majority of mobile games have tended towards free-to-play or subscription models; the game is free and then you have to pay for gems or stamina power-ups or what have you, which is why mobile games tend to be ranked by their “top-grossing” status.
Of course, what really matters is Nintendo’s perception of this. Super Mario Run is a tentative step by Nintendo into some unknown waters, and if it can’t make money, it won’t bother to pursue the market. We’ll see just what the company thinks of their latest take on Mario as 2017 moves forward.
(via VG 24/7)