Super Mario Run received quite a bit of publicity leading up to its release. That is a fact. You could hardly visit a website without seeing something about the debut Nintendo game on the iOS platform. Did you notice much advertising though? That is right, Nintendo made great use of the “free advertising” websites that are willing to garner a few clicks from potential readers. We are no different here at Retro Gaming Magazine, we cover what is good and what we like, whether there is advertising to match it or not (not many Sega Master System ads floating around, but we still love that console and cover it regularly). This release is also interesting to point out that even Mario is not impervious to poor sales conversions in the mobile market.
The same is happening with Super Mario Run, though for different reasons. We are covering this one hard because it is possibly the first title of many coming from Nintendo to non-Nintendo hardware. This is something we have not seen since the 1980s and early 1990s. Even Nintendo sees a humbling moment here and there.
According to App Annie, a popular app tracking service, Super Mario Run on the iOS platform is suffering a horrible conversion rate from free to paid players. While the game surpassed $14 million in the first three days, that only represents about 1.5, or so, million paid purchases worldwide.
To put that in perspective, Super Mario Run registered approximately 37 million downloads with only about 4% worldwide making the $10 jump to play the rest of the game. That is not great numbers for Nintendo, though amazing numbers for an indie studio. I know, $14 million in what amounts to a long weekend for most of us working folks is amazing, it is, but not so much for Nintendo. Mario is the flagship game and character for the company. Has his appeal started wearing off?
We are waiting on updated numbers that cover more of the period after Super Mario Run was released. This should be quite telling as most games receive a ton of downloads and purchases in the first few days of release.