Super Mario Run Didn't Make The Money Nintendo Hoped For

Mario's first mobile game falls short.

83 Comments

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Nintendo's president says revenue from Super Mario Run was lower than expected, but he insists pay-to-play mobile games are here to stay at the gaming giant.

In an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review, Tatsumi Kimishima said the mobile game's earnings "did not meet our expectations."

Super Mario Run, the first mobile game to feature Nintendo's star character, is free to download, but only a limited amount of content is free-to-play. To unlock the full game, players must pay US $10 / £10 / AU $15. By the end of January, the game hit a whopping 78 million downloads on iOS only, but only 5% of players had purchased the full game.

The game made its Android debut this week alongside the release of a major update for the iOS version. In version 2.0.0, Nintendo has expanded the free-to-play content in the game, which is included in the Android release.

While Super Mario Run has gotten more free content, it is another Nintendo game that is the company's smartphone "cash cow," according to Nikkei Asian Review. Fire Emblem Heroes, a more traditional free-to-play game, has been wildly successful in sales. Despite that, Nintendo insists pay-to-play is the preferred business model.

"Heroes is an outlier. We honestly prefer the Super Mario Run model," a senior company official told Nikkei.

In 2015, Nintendo announced an ambitious plan to break into mobile games. It has released two games so far, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes. Animal Crossing, originally supposed to be released last year, is now delayed with a release sometime in the next fiscal year. Nintendo now says it plans to release 2-3 mobile games a year.

For more on Super Mario Run check out GameSpot's review.

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def_mode

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Edited By def_mode

Internet connection needed, $10 and leaving android users behind until recently are what made this game fail.

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jonnybrownieboy

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Of course super mario run flopped, it was a mobile game that was priced at $10. Mobile games dont succeed unless they are free to play with "optional" microtransactions. Im surpised that the company behind pokemon go didnt anticipate this would happen.

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tinoush

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Bad business model, the should have prized under $5

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Henchman216

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@tinoush: that's still too much. Playing the demo screamed that this game shouldn't have been more then $.99

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Dack_Lancer

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just pirate the apk... who TF buys these games when you can steal em

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PSYCHOV3N0M

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Edited By PSYCHOV3N0M

I'll wait for Super Mario Odyssey thanks!

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quinnd6

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Edited By quinnd6

Because it's complete and utter crap. Mobile gaming is crap. Pay to play is crap. Nintendo don't learn from their mistakes. They keep making them again and again. The CEOs and President of Nintendo are running Nintendo into the ground. It's terrible that what was once a great video games company has become a shambles.

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W4LLW4TCHER

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@quinnd6:

Signed!

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Xylymphydyte

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In true Nintendo style they even admit they plan to keep doing the thing that doesn't work then bitch about how it's the customers' fault they lost their monopoly when they stopped putting out any effort and competitors edged them out.

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turtlesInTime

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Edited By turtlesInTime

Consumers COULD buy Mario for $10 (a simple and relatively short game) OR they could buy GTA Vice City (a full game) and GTA Chinatown Wars for their phone for the same price. Don't like GTA, well there's dozens of other phone games under $10 offering a full gaming experience. I really wish Nintendo would join us in the 21st Century. They haven't even made any new IPs worth putting up against Mario since they first came on the scene in the 80's with Mario, Zelda, Metroid, DK, etc.

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JustPlainLucas

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Just got it on Android last night, and I stopped after World 1. Not really sure if I'll get my money's worth if I unlock the rest for 10 bucks.

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deactivated-5a0b0bf0c8fa5

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So nearly 4 million in revenue, wish I could be disappointed with those kind of figures.

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DEATHWlSH

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Edited By DEATHWlSH

I'm sure it would have done a lot better if it had been a real Mario game and not a runner with a Mario skin.

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fillup0

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Edited By fillup0

It's a great game but the always online requirement coupled with the fact that people expect mobile games to be free to play is holding it back. It's nice to see mobile games with great controls though.

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angrycreep

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This game looks more like a quickie and a quick buck and it hasn't work out for them so far. Not enough worlds and not enough levels and the worst part poor choice of control for the game.

They should have done the game as you are use to play a Mario game. The just running didn't do it for me and most Mario fans as the game is too difficult to control and not having the ability to go back or forward with a common Mario control didn't do justice to this game. Also the levels are too short and the ones that the game has are very limited with only 24 levels and not the traditional 8 worlds with the at least 8 levels per world.

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Strathmore

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Not rocket science. The game wasn't very good, and in true Nintendo fashion it was really overpriced. Hopefully they'll learn. Because Nintendo does that we'll, right?

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hystavito

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@Strathmore: And surprise it's not 1995 anymore, everyone is not obsessed with Mario (or other Nintendo IP), especially in the mobile market, more and more people did not grow up with Nintendo IP and don't care nearly as much as those who did. Even those masses that bought a Wii, many never bought a single game for it and are also not huge Nintendo fans, not like they're all on their phones now dying for a Mario game :).

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straightcur

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"We didn't make as much money as we wanted to with our copy&paste runner. Maybe we do need to actually put in some effort."

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dethtrain

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Why would you pay $10 for this simple game??

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RJS86

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Edited By RJS86

Silly devs, you make a game like this, with arguably the most popular franchise in gaming history and then charge a high value.

If this game was 99cents, millions or billions would have purchased buy now making it a crazy success

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angrycreep

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@RJS86: Ehh, $4.99 is not bad price either and it would have been the common price for a mobile game, as most paid mobile games are been sold at least $4.99 or less. Very rarely you see games that go for more than $4.99

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RJS86

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@angrycreep: all the "big devs" does that sorta thing. Square enix games can range between 10-20 in the Google play store. Not sure about the apple store.

They need to remember that mobile games are mostly played casually even if its a port

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mirage_so3

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This game is so frustrating. Being forced to move forward makes it so much harder to doge monsters and collect coins. Then if you lose a rally you lose Toads.

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Pyrosa

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Because it's not a real Mario game...

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drumjod

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I agree that $10 is a bit high, but I'd buy it if they would ditch the online only restriction. Come on, it's primarily a single player game and pirates will find a way around that kind of thing... Come to think of it, maybe someone will eventually distribute a hacked version that doesn't require online access.

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ECH71

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Good. Stupid always-online DRM protected game.

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Brettsky128

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They overestimated how much people would pay for a mobile game. $5 would have been a sweet spot I think. I will never spend $10 on a phone game. And once the game stops getting support it may just stop working on newer devices.

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iandizion713

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Just make it free to start next time Nintendo. Then yall be rollin in the dough.

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KillerCondoms

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@iandizion713: See I told you this game wouldn't make it :P

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iandizion713

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@killercondoms: Make what? Its one of the most popular mobile games ever made.

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KillerCondoms

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@iandizion713: Yes but we talked about it making money and how I argued that it would not surpass Pokemon and I was right.

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iandizion713

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@killercondoms: Im pretty sure everyone knew that. But this game made a lot of money for Nintendo.

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KillerCondoms

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@iandizion713: Not what you said when we first had this conversation when the game came out. It made some money yes but Nintendo isn't impressed.

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iandizion713

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Edited By iandizion713

@killercondoms: I never said it would pass Pokemon. Pokemon is the biggest mobile game ever made. Nintendo is impressed. It just didnt meet expectations. Which is a sign theyll change their practice. Theyre basically telling us, investors want something else and theyre gonna do something else. Like what they did with the amazing Fire Emblem game.

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Silverline62

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High price point for a mobile game combined with the bs of having to stay online to play offline content.

Geez I wonder why it's not selling...

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Daveof89

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$10, as others have stated, is just stupid. There are games ported from steam going for $4-$5, and they are much more complex. This game is too simple. $2-$3 at most.

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koospetoors

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@Daveof89: Agreed! Guess Ninty really thought the fact that its Mario was justification enough for the price. Guess they learned that the hard way xD

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Silverline62

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@Daveof89: Simplicity and quality are not mutually exclusive to one another. ;)

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Daveof89

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@Silverline62: You are correct. Simple AND stupid ;)

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Archangel3371

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I purchased it and enjoyed it myself, better then any other of the free to play runners that I've tried. Playing Fire Emblem Heroes and while I like it I'm not going to spend any money on it. Personally I just prefer buying a game straight up as opposed to spending any money on the typical free to play format.

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EdwardNygma

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@Archangel3371: Ditto

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Redsyrup

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Edited By Redsyrup

No worries Mighty N. I hear Pokemon GO is through the roof!

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inkman66

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I downloaded the free version......played it for ten minutes.........uninstalled it.

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sargentpsgamer

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Games boring and overly simplistic, typical of a mobile "game." Then I see it randomly trying to download assets and needs data to play at all so I deleted it.

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KahnArtizt

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So much hate. I thought the game was exceptional for a mobile game, but a little underwhelming for a Mario game. Still better than 99% of 2D autorunners.

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