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People are shocked and pissed that Super Mario Run actually costs money

by Joey Davidson | December 16, 2016December 16, 2016 7:00 am PDT

Super Mario Run is out. It’s currently an iOS exclusive, a choice Nintendo partially blamed on Android’s piracy issues. Which bums me out, friends. I’d like to play, too.

The game is free to download and start with the first world open for play. From there, the title is $9.99. That’s cheap for a Mario game, but it’s pretty darn expensive for a mobile entry. I wrote about this already, but $9.99 for a mobile runner might be a tall order.

The consumer pool at large is actually rather shocked that Super Mario Run costs money. I know, right? Nintendo expects money for the time and effort they spent creating a product. How dare they?

The tweets are flying out incredibly fast, and they’re constant. I mean, every minute or two, someone out there is expressing frustration about the fact that the first world is free while the rest are $9.99.

Here, I’ve grabbed a few safe for work wonders.

https://twitter.com/Kyngs_Vision/status/809761165064732672

https://twitter.com/BaileysaPumpkin/status/809759324608331776

https://twitter.com/BcUnicorns_/status/809758336317059072

https://twitter.com/arii_9906/status/809749167711129600

Mobile gaming has devalued game making, as the late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata predicted

Video games cost money to make. I know that might be mind-boggling to some, but it’s true. These things aren’t cheap, especially when they’re developed by a big company like Nintendo.

Super Mario Run being $9.99 makes it an expensive title on the mobile marketplace only. A 2D Mario game on a genuine console for $9.99? That wouldn’t happen even remotely close to launch.

So, what’s up with the frustration? Well, people are used to ad-laden, cheaply made crap being tossed around for $0.99, and they’re mad that Nintendo would dare charge a premium price. I get it. I don’t think these people are wrong, per se. Nintendo came at the market with a price point it wasn’t used to, so the company is catching flak.

That doesn’t mean that Nintendo is charging too much, though. I’d rather buy a game that’s worth $9.99 than suffer through ads and microtransactions for a “free” experience. The $9.99 price point gets you everything. No hidden costs. Buy it once, it’s yours forever.

Until you try to take it offline. Oy, Nintendo, I’m still upset about that.

Former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was a bit concerned about the mobile gaming industry. There are two choice quotes that say a lot about his stance, and I want you to actually read them all the way through in order to get at what he means here.

From 2011 at GDC:

“We make platforms designed to demonstrate the high value of high-quality video game software. But, there is a second, entirely different way to consider the value of software. The objective of smartphones and social networks, and the reason they were created, are not at all like ours. These platforms have no motivation to maintain the high value of video game software — for them, content is something created by someone else. Their goal is just to gather as much software as possible, because quantity is what makes the money flow — the value of video game software does not matter to them.”

Smartphone and Facebook gaming devalues game software by pushing quantity over quality. That’s the fault of the marketplaces and the style of development they foster, not game makers.

During an Investor Q&A in 2013:

Some say that they do not need dedicated gaming systems because they can play a number of games for free or for 85 yen each on smartphones. We believe that neither Nintendo nor dedicated gaming systems are worthy of existence unless our games give consumers unparalleled fun, which games for free or for 85 yen do not supply.

You want fun that lasts? You’ll need to pay for it. Plain and simple.

I haven’t played Super Mario Run yet. I don’t know if it’s worth $9.99. Those familiar with the Mario franchise have told me it is. Mobile gamers who are suffering from sticker shock? They’re not so sure.

Is Super Mario Run too expensive?


Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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