In its first four days of release, Super Mario Run was downloaded more than 40 million times. Despite this, Super Mario Run reviews haven’t been great, suggesting that things aren’t going well for the heavily promoted game.
In a recent Japanese press release, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto and Apple’s Phil Schiller celebrated Super Mario Run’s early success. They noted that the game was No. 1 in the “Top Free” charts in 140 countries and in the top 10 in the “Top Grossing” category in 100 countries.
(As of today, Dec. 22, the game ranks first in 113 countries, according to App Annie.)
Great numbers, no? Perhaps not. One look at the App Store tells an interesting story.
Since arriving on Dec. 15, Super Mario Run has generated a lackluster 2.5-star rating on the App Store. Most of the complaints focus on the game’s unique pricing model. Though the game is free to download, it requires a one-time in-app purchase of $9.99 to unlock all of the features.
Though actual sales numbers haven’t been announced, The Wall Street Journal claims that they have “missed expectations in some markets.”
New updates will help, no? In the same report, The Wall Street Journal notes that Nintendo doesn’t plan on releasing additional content, either free or paid. This decision will almost certainly affect future App Store sales.
What about Android? Super Mario Run will eventually launch on Alphabet’s Android operating season. However, poor reviews on the Apple platform may hurt Mario’s performance on Android-based devices, according to Motoi Okamoto, a former Nintendo game director.
So what happened?
As the first Mario game ever to launch on mobile, Super Mario Run was always going to see a fast start out of the gate. Couple that with Apple’s huge promotion for the game, and its early success was guaranteed.
In the end, however, I think Nintendo’s decision to charge $9.99 to unlock all content was a bad move. Deciding not to release new updates makes the situation even more problematic for the company. Increasingly, this looks like a money grab, no?
What say you? Leave your comments below?
You will find more statistics at Statista