In little over a week, Super Mario Run on iOS devices garnered over 40 million players. That’s quite an impressive feat, however, it doesn’t mean 40 million players payed the $9.99 USD to access the whole game. Many opted to download the game’s free version, which offered up a smaller slither of the whole game. That being said, perhaps it’s not a huge surprise that the game hasn’t been a big moneymaker for Nintendo, or at least not as much of a moneymaker as the company expected, with Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima recently being quoted by Nikkei Asia Review saying that the game “did not meet our expectations.”‘
As you may know, since the launch of Super Mario Run back in mid-December, Nintendo released another new mobile game: Fire Emblem Heroes, and unlike the aforementioned, Fire Emblem Heroes uses the more standard free-to-play model where players pay money for randomized characters and/or in-game content. Notably, as of this writing, Fire Emblem Heroes is 48 on the US App Store top grossing charts, while Super Mario Run is 117, despite Fire Emblem Heroes being hardly a mainstream IP, while Mario is well, Mario.
However, for those of you who don’t want Nintendo to go down the free-to-play model with its mobile games, don’t worry, it doesn’t appear that’s the company’s intention. Despite the relative performance of the two games, Nintendo says it still prefers the pay-once model. A Nintendo company official specifically told Nikkei the following:
“Heroes is an outlier. We honestly prefer the Super Mario Run model.”
Super Mario Run is available on iOS devices and launch earlier this week on Android devices as well.