One of Nintendo's latest business strategies involves spreading popular Nintendo IP to mobile devices. Toward that front, the company has released several different mobile games, including the likes of Fire Emblem Heroes, Super Mario Run, and the upcoming release of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp next month. And though Fire Emblem Heroes is reportedly on-track for meeting the company's profit goals, Super Mario Run has apparently fallen short.
According to a new report from Engadget, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima stated that despite the game's 200 million-plus downloads, the company has "not yet reached an acceptable profit point" from Super Mario Run. This information was gathered as part of a briefing regarding the company's quarterly financial results.
Unlike other mobile games put out by Nintendo in the past year, Super Mario Run is the sole entry that has an up-front cost: after the initial free download, everything after the game's third level requires a $10 unlock. This is in contrast to the free-to-play pricing structure and in-app purchases employed in Fire Emblem Heroes, a game that Kimishima said was "on track to meet our overall business objectives, including our profit objectives."
Considering that a huge number of mobile games are currently free-to-play, it's easy to see why having an obvious up-front cost would make a game less popular than freebie alternatives. And while Nintendo has stated that their "aim is for [Super Mario Run] to be the definitive Mario application for smart devices," it looks like a mandatory price gate isn't the way to garner favor from mobile players. Small wonder that Nintendo's upcoming mobile title Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will also be free-to-play.
Naturally, this setback hasn't had any effect on Super Mario Odyssey, the former plumber's latest Nintendo Switch outing, which has managed to sell 2 million copies in just three days' time.