Super Mario Run, available since December 15th, has been one of the most anticipated apps in the market this year. The iconic Nintendo title has been adapted to smartphones with great expectation due to its history as one of the most popular platform games of all time.
The game even included the participation of its creator, Shigeru Miyamoto for the first time since 2007, as well as some of the original developers from “Super Mario Bros”. Also, it has had an effective advertising campaign. It is clearly a notable effort by the company to make its appearence in the applications market.
The connection of the audience with a game of this magnitude is undeniable: according to different analytic companies, “Super Mario Run” saw nearly 5 million downloads in its first day. Those are great numbers compared for instance, with the 900,000 “Pokémon Go” achieved when it was first launched.
And so far, Mario has had over 50 million downloads worldwide. However, there are two drawbacks that could affect Nintendo’s revenues: the considerably high cost compared to other apps in the market and the necessity of an internet connection to play it.
The controls of the game are restricted by a single button since Mario will run automatically and you have to tap the screen to make him jump, which makes the interface of the game agile and intuitive. It can be played by a single hand while you only worry about not falling from the platform, defeating enemies and collecting the pink, purple and black coins of each level.
There are three different modes in the game: World Tour, Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder. In the first one you try to finish each of the 24 levels with the best score possible, however if you want to fully complete the game you must get all of the 15 special coins of each level.
Toad Rally allows you to compete against other players online and in the third mode is all about creating your own Mushroom Kingdom from the coins you have been collecting.
Nintendo’s first foray into mobile devices
For the moment, “Super Mario Run” is only available for iOS devices but since its announcement it was confirmed to hit Android market as well in 2017. “Super Mario Run” is a free app that uses a unique in app purchase to get the entire levels of the game.
The user has the option for a free version and can decide if it is worth buying the complete game for a single payment of $10.
There are mixed thoughts about the success that “Super Mario Run” is getting right now. In only four days it became the fastest mobile game to get 25 million downloads, while earning more than $21 million in global gross revenues over the same period of time.
However, the negative reviews the game is getting in the App Store may be the reason why Nintendo’s stock are falling, due in large part to its business model and the high cost of the game. Even so, its acceptance in the Android market is still to be seen.
Surely, Nintendo is not trying to leave the console market to move into mobiles exclusively, as they have announced a new console called Switch expected to be launched next year. However, the company has understood the importance of mobile phones nowadays as they plan to launch mobile games based on popular franchises such as Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem.
Some of the strategies they are using might be signals of Nintendo’s inexpertise on the mobile market, but only time will tell whether if it worked out or if the strategy needs to be changed.