Nintendo debuted the company’s first foray into the world of app games with Super Mario Run in the middle of December, and its success has been unsure (but hard to measure). Since the app became available for download on Dec. 15, over 50 million people have downloaded it. According to a report by The Economist, all other Mario-themed titles in the last three decades have sold some 558 million copies.
Relative to the other big mobile release of last year, Pokémon Go, Super Mario Run was downloaded nearly five million times the first day of its release, compared to Pokémon Go’s nearly two million. As word spreads of the iconic Italian plumber’s debut on smart phones, the numbers are sure to continue going up; Nintendo announced on Dec. 29 that the game will be available on Android devices as well as iOS, giving millions more access to play.
However, there have been many users who’ve complained about lacking gameplay, a high price tag ($10 for the entire game) and more. As with many other mobile games, the challenge is in getting players to pay; the game is free to download but in order to access the majority of features, players are asked to pay. The Economist reported only one to two percent of users paid the full price for the game.
Read more of The Economist story here. A Wall Street Journal article with more information is here.