Pricing A Big Hurdle For Super Mario Run, Despite Record Downloads

Super Mario Run, a popular iOS game released just last week on Thursday, set a new download record recently. The game reached 25 million downloads in just four days, according to SensorTower. This is even faster than Pokemon Go, which reached the same number in 11 days. One must not forget that Pokemon Go’s initial launch was limited in terms of available territories, notes MacRumors.

Super Mario Run popular, but not addictive

SensorTower’s current estimate puts the number of paid users for Super Mario Run at approximately 2.1 million worldwide. In comparison, the paid game Lara Croft Go, which released in August 2015, has been downloaded approximately 280,000 times on the App Store since its launch.

In a blog post, SensorTower said, “It can’t be understated, however, that the vast majority of early Super Mario Run downloaders clearly find the full game pricing prohibitive, and we can only image how much better the conversion rate could be at $2.99 or even $4.99.”

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Currently, the game is rated 2.5 stars out of 5 based on 4,919 reviews. This has further raised concerns over the game’s one-time payment model, which differs from the usual model of paying various small amounts for select in-game features.

So far, Nintendo investors have expressed disappointment with the game, because of which the gaming company’s share prices have dropped 11% since its release. The drop in the share prices stems from the negative user reviews of Super Mario Run, notes MacRumors.

A fee app disguised as a free app

In an interview with Reuters, Sensor Tower analyst Spencer Gabriel said Mario is arguably the most popular gaming franchise worldwide, but only about 8% of people who try the game actually buy it.

“I don’t think this is a statement on the game’s quality … but rather the perceived value when compared to free-to-play games that offer much more content with optional microtransactions that enable players to experience it sooner,” the analyst said.

Reviewer Racing Game Guy wrote that this is a “fee” app disguised as a “free” app. The reviewer added that one needs to pay after playing for 10 minutes.

“I don’t mind paying but the fee is a bit big. It’s a disappointment after waiting with so much expectation,” the reviewer said.

A Nintendo spokesman told Reuters that th pricing was designed to reassure parents that they would be charged a particular sum of money just once and not multiple times. Nintendo also shared the official download figures and claims the free version of the game has been downloaded 40 million times in just four days.