Nintendo’s first venture into the mobile space that could actually be qualified as a game, Super Mario Run, has been downloaded tens of millions of times, but only a tiny fraction of those downloads are actually translating into sales, the company reported in a recent financial call.
Nintendo revealed Super Mario Run has been downloaded 78 million times on iOS – it has yet to hit Android – but only 5% of those downloads have turned around into sales.
While that’s pretty much par for the course for freemium games, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said the company was hoping for a double-digit conversion rate.
Super Mario ran, and then he tripped
In his sprawling, 30-year history, Nintendo’s pint-sized plumber has done well for himself. Most of the stuff Mario has been involved in has been critically acclaimed or at least well liked. He’s had a few bumps and bruises over the years, but Super Mario Run might be his biggest and most visible one. The game’s been taking a beating since it launched. The initial reception hit Nintendo’s stock, confused consumers, and bored us.
The game has still made tons of money for Nintendo. About 4 million downloads at $10 a pop is right around $40 million. That’s more than enough to pay for the development of a mobile game and still take home a hefty profit. We have higher hopes for Fire Emblem Heroes in the fun-per-dollar department, but it’s unlikely it’ll net the big N the same wad of cash the underperforming plumber still managed to haul in.