Nintendo and developer DeNA's shares have declined over the weekend in reaction to negative user reviews facing the new mobile game Super Mario Run, which currently averages a 2.5/5 star rating on the iOS App Store, based on around 54,000 user reviews. Shares in DeNA have gone down 14 percent since Super Mario Run launched on December 15, while Nintendo's stock has fallen about 13 percent in the same time frame.

Although many of the top reviews for the game remark on Super Mario Run's better qualities, the harshest criticism remains to be Nintendo's decision to make the game free-to-download, but $10 to unlock all of its content. Users can play nearly all of World 1 for free, but gaining deeper access to the remaining five Worlds, along with Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder modes, requires the $10 fee.

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Nintendo's argument has always been that the cost will help assuage parents' worries about their kids overspending on in-app purchases, but many users have now taken to the App Store to give the game a low score because of its cost. The always-on internet requirement has also been a sticking point for some players hoping to engage with the game during a commute.

A day after its launch, App Annie reported on the initial download numbers for Super Mario Run, and estimated that 10 million people downloaded the game, and that it made $4 million total in its first day of worldwide availability. Some have taken to comparing the game to Pokémon Go and its initial success, but as App Annie mentioned, the payment models of each game -- along with Pokémon Go's GPS-based gameplay -- means they "aren't truly comparable."

That said, it is important to bear in mind that Super Mario Run and Pokémon GO aren’t truly comparable. Pokémon GO follows a freemium model with optional in-app purchases to generate revenue. Its iOS revenue continued to grow in the following weeks as user engagement increased. Super Mario Run, on the other hand, offers a single $9.99 in-app purchase to unlock the full game. As a result, payments precede extended gameplay and, therefore, revenue is more likely to be concentrated early on in the game’s lifecycle.

According to App Annie, the real measure of the success of Super Mario Run will be in the weeks ahead as initial bulk downloads of the game at launch trail off, and shift towards mainstream users. "The ability to convert a meaningful percentage of these mainstream users into paying customers will be critical to Nintendo’s mobile ambitions."

Top Rated Comments

levitynyc Avatar
71 months ago
Hence the problem with the entire mobile game market.

People expect everything for free or loaded with ****** microtransactions.

$10 is not a bad price for something as polished as Super Mario Run but the entire mobile game industry has trained people that everything should be free to play.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenomorph Avatar
71 months ago
I wish it was $9.99 UP-FRONT.

1) It would get rid of the 1-star reviews from people just upset about the "pay wall" (and not about the game)

2) It would actually let me share the purchase with my family. I don't want to spend another $30 on the game so I can share it.

3) This one is minor - but it would make sure the game is playable in the future, when there isn't an App Store to connect to to "restore purchases".


Online only? Lots of games are online only.
$10 for a Nintendo game? From the company that keeps first-party titles priced at $39.99 for half a decade and has terrible eShop sales?
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Amacfa Avatar
71 months ago
Bad move. It's such a shallow game for the price, and then they made it even worse when they required an internet connection.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DMaki650 Avatar
71 months ago
Jeez get over the pricing!! Back when Super Mario Bros 3 came out it was $50! Nowadays that would be about $93. $9.99 is not THAT bad. The always on connection is WAY worse.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hastings101 Avatar
71 months ago
It's only $10 for the full game lol, it'd be $40 if it were on the 3DS. Why do people love freemium rip-offs so much?

*I agree with the person above though, it should have been $10 up front.

The always-on internet is ridiculous. Piracy or not that's a terrible restriction for a mobile device.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
71 months ago
Ben Thompson nailed it today...

I think the real thing they were opposed to wasn't so much the piracy, but the avoidance of Family Sharing.
They want their 1st tier franchises to always be getting a more full-ish $30-50 out of a household, in this case with multiple IAP sales.

Nintendo needs to evolve a bit. This game is not even close to a full fledged Mario experience.
Sell it for $10 up front with no online only crap and let the sales flow.

People that pirate are NEVER going to pay you Nintendo. All you're doing is pissing off the people that DO want to pay you. Really bad move.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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