31 January 2017
Super Mario Run, the much-anticipated retro game by Nintendo which launched on iOS has set a new Apple App Store record. Super Mario Run looked promising already when it launched, beating Pokemon Go's launch day numbers. But no one would have guessed it would get 40 Million downloads in just 4 days!
In contrast, the next most popular game - Pokemon Go - took 11 days to hit the 25 Million mark. According to an estimate by Sensor Tower, 2.1 Million users have purchased the full version of the app, whereas 25 Million have downloaded it. Nintendo, however, has disputed the claim, and has released its own statistics that put 40 Million downloads in the first four days.
The app is free to download and play a limited world. The full content, however, is available for $10, which should put Nintendo's revenue at around $21 Million within the first four days of launch, according to Sensor Tower's reckoning. The game was already said to be a game-changer for Nintendo.
While the statistics are nothing short of impressive, a high download rate does not always equate to popularity - it only shows one side of the coin. The game only has a 2.5 star rating on the app store from around 62,000 reviews, which is disappointing for a franchise such as Mario. This has caused Nintendo to lose 11% value in stock because investors are disappointed.
"Mario is arguably the most popular gaming franchise in the world, yet we see only about 8 percent of those who try the game actually purchasing it," a Sensor Tower analyst said. "I don't think this is a statement on the game's quality ... but rather the perceived value when compared to free-to-play games that offer much more content with optional micro-transactions that enable players to experience it sooner."
Nintendo has also lost big on the opportunity by setting a high price for paid content which is a one-time purchase only. The pricing model does not show foresight. As Sensor Tower puts it:
"It can't be understated, however, that the vast majority of early Super Mario Run downloaders clearly find the full game pricing prohibitive, and we can only image how much better the conversion rate could be at $2.99 or even $4.99,"
In the meanwhile, Nintendo is busy working on the game and has added a new game mode for playing with friends.
- Super Mario Run | iOS | Apple App Store | Free