Even Mario hasn’t tempted gamers to spend money. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, research firm NewZoo estimates that only 3 percent of users have decided to pay for Super Mario Run.
$30 million in revenue for Nintendo
Super Mario Run is any Nintendo fans dream. But most don't seem to be willing to pay for the privilege.
The game is free to download for the iPhone/iPod touch and all iPad models, but it is basically a demo version. Gamers can pay a $9.99 in-app purchase to unlock the entire title. At least according to early reviews, the unique pricing model wasn’t well received by gamers.
NewZoo’s research estimates that Nintendo has made around $30 million in gross revenue so far:
Market research firm Newzoo estimates that “Super Mario Run” has generated more than $30 million in gross revenue, which suggests about 3 million players have bought the full game. That is a little over 3% of the estimated 90 million downloads of the game. Paying customers represented about 2% of King Digital’s monthly unique users before the “Candy Crush” maker was acquired by Activision last year, and mobile-game maker Zynga showed a similar representation in its most recent quarterly results.
In our original review, Christine Chan had some high praise for the game:
I’ve been waiting a long time for a Mario game on iOS, and it still feels a bit weird that the day has finally arrived. Honestly though, it took me a bit of warming up to the fact that this is not the traditional Mario platformer where you have complete control over Mario, but the more I play it, the more I’m enjoying it for what it is: a one-handed Mario platformer for mobile. The modernized graphics are gorgeous on Retina screens (albeit have some minor flaws with textures), the sounds and music just make me smile, and the controls are intuitive and responsive.
Super Mario Run was also named as AppAdvice’s Top Free iPhone App of the Year for 2016.
Only certain elements of the game’s three modes – World Tour, Toad Rally, and Kingdom Builder – are available to play in the free version. Most notably, only the first three worlds are available to play in the World Tour.
While the game was highly anticipated after its introduction at the iPhone 7 event in September, Nintendo was truly put into a no-win situation when it came to pricing.
With no way to offer a true demo, the chosen pricing model was probably the best way to offer the game on the App Store. If the game would have cost $9.99 to download, there would have been even more of an outcry from users considering the freemium model that has percolated throughout the store.