Nintendo today rolled out an update to Super Mario Run that includes a collection of feature additions and bug fixes, along with a new "Easy Mode." The relaxed mode turns off time limits for each course and provides players with unlimited bubbles, so they can take as long as they want to complete a course and die as many times as needed to get past tricky sections.
The update comes the same day as Nintendo's third-quarter earnings call, where the company announced that Super Mario Run has been downloaded 78 million times globally since its release in December (via The Wall Street Journal). Although unspecified, Nintendo said that "more than 5 percent" of those users have gone on to pay the full $10 price tag required to unlock all of the content in the game, resulting in more than $53 million in revenue so far.
“For a game that charges this much, the performance is pretty amazing,” said Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based mobile game consultant. He said even games that charge only a dollar or two for in-game items usually convert fewer than 5% of downloaders into paying customers.
Today's update to Super Mario Run also includes compatibility with Korean, new events, an adjustment to how many toads are lost and gained in Toad Rally, and more. A few days after the game launched last month, Nintendo began surveying some customers and asking their opinions on how much the game should cost, what modes they liked, and if they would play a sequel, suggesting that the company is willing to take constructive criticism regarding the largely negative feedback to the game's pay structure and tweak it for a potential Super Mario Run 2.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, some gamers remain satisfied with Nintendo's decision to lock most of the game's content behind a $10 pay wall.
However, some users said they liked the idea of paying $10 to unlock all the game functions, rather than paying $1 or $2 for some functions and constantly being pestered to spend more.
“It made me feel safe to download,” said Taku Ojima, a 24-year-old game fan who lives in Miyagi prefecture north of Tokyo, who said he hasn’t paid for extra functions on other free-to-download games.
Also taking place during its earnings call today, Nintendo confirmed that Animal Crossing for iOS would in fact not be launching before March 2017 as originally planned, and would be delayed until the following fiscal year. This means that players could see the game launch as early as April 2017, or as late as March 2018. On the bright side, Fire Emblem Heroes launches this Thursday, February 2.