Super Mario Run Fails To Meet Nintendo's Expectations

Despite hundreds of millions of downloads, Super Mario Run still hasn't garnered 'acceptable' profits.

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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.

Guides Editor

Kevin Tucker is a core component of Shacknews' powerful guide development team. For questions, concerns, tips, or to share constructive criticism, he can be reached on Twitter @dukeofgnar or through e-mail at kevin.tucker@shacknews.com.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    October 31, 2017 2:00 PM

    Kevin Tucker posted a new article, Super Mario Run Fails To Meet Nintendo's Expectations

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      October 31, 2017 2:01 PM

      it failed to meet my expectations also

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        October 31, 2017 2:30 PM

        it's pretty boring, and I wasn't expecting it to be that great in the first place.

        oh well.

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      October 31, 2017 2:29 PM

      Well the monetization model, while IMO the better way to go about it, has proven to be ineffectual on the mobile phone market. Straight up costing $10 instead of demoing it out would've been the better way to go. Also, I'm just not a huge fan of auto-runners (probably the only exception to this being the music based running levels in Rayman Legends), and the marketplace is filled with them. If you're going to do something everyone else is you've got to do it better and in a much more novel manner than implemented in Mario Run.

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        October 31, 2017 2:33 PM

        the music levels in Rayman are brilliant uses of the limitations of an endless runner

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      October 31, 2017 2:32 PM

      make what everyone understands is a budget product (ie not real Mario) but then price it like a premium offering on its target platform = __

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      October 31, 2017 2:36 PM

      Give me a real 2D Mario game in the style of the SNES and I will gladly pay $9.99 for that. Just pioneer a good control scheme first. Or let me use my 8Bit Do Bluetooth controller.

    • Zek
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      October 31, 2017 2:50 PM

      It's just kinda boring. Competently executed, but very bland in every way.

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      October 31, 2017 3:54 PM

      When I finally got an iPhone it was one of the first things I installed. Played for like 5 minutes and haven't touched it since. It wasn't very fun or compelling in any way.

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      October 31, 2017 4:20 PM

      if nobody ever makes an endless runner game again i think that would be ok

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      October 31, 2017 6:02 PM

      I enjoyed it. I still play the game today. The remix update added new life to the game.

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        October 31, 2017 6:13 PM

        Yep, it’s my go-to game when I have a few minutes to kill.