Here’s Why Super Mario Run Failed to Hit the Mark


Nintendo’s Super Mario Run debuted for iOS less than three weeks ago and already, the title has lost its No. 1 ranking among top-grossing games on the App Store. Ranking now at No.7, the game is already behind the likes of “Clash of Clans” and “Candy Crush Saga”, both of which are now entering their fifth year. According to The Wall Street Journal, the game failed to hit the mark and generate enough revenue because of the poor business model Nintendo chose for the game.

Super mario

In contrast to the majority of top-grossing games in the App Store which are free to play and only generate revenue through in-app purchases, Super Mario Run requires players to pay $10 one time for full access to the game. Although the game is said to have generated over $30 million in gross revenue, suggesting that nearly 3 million players have bought the full game, it is just over 3% of the estimated 90 million downloads of the game. 

It is undeniable that Nintendo’s popular characters are a draw in mobile, despite the fact that the company waited nearly 10 years after the first iPhone launch to get Mario on a touch screen. “Pokémon Go” has remained a top-grossing title six months after its summer launch. Nintendo is planning mobile versions of its popular “Fire Emblem” and “Animal Crossing” games. 

Nintendo is now in the process of registering Super Mario Run on Android, indicating that its launch on Google’s platform can be expected within the next few months.


  • Ben

    I love it, I bought it. But only because I had a 25$ itunes gift card to muck around with. Dont regret it, its a lot of fun and addicting. But the price is totally off for the mobile market.

  • madlogik

    Especially for a game where you just jump… it would have been a good 4.99 full game download (paid up front) … hard to sell for anything above that amount.

  • FragilityG4

    $14 in Canada — That’s why I wont be playing the full version. Too much money for a relatively short game with limited user input and promise of no updates.

  • raslucas

    I love it. I’ve already played it more than any other game I’ve ever had on iPhone. There’s so much to do from the multiplayer to the coloured coin collection.

    I think I’m just lucky to be up to date on my iPhone in Canada news, so I knew I was going to be asked to pay before I even downloaded it.

    I wish they’d trust Apple’s DRM and make the game work offline.

  • Biggy604

    The $14 cost for unlock a full game is the main reason ($10USD). When other games are less then that, why else the Final Fantasy Games don’t sell well, yet those ports are fully fleshed out RPG’s compared to Super Mario Run.

  • raslucas

    Nintendo will no doubt request Apple put a paid icon on reviews. No doubt the bad reviewers never paid for full game, else they’d give it five stars.

  • Si2k78

    Mobile gamers are a different beast, that required a different business model. Now expect to see the next Nintendo game to be free, but packed with hundreds of “99 cent” in app purchases.