Revenue from Super Mario Run “did not meet our expectations.” That comes from Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima in a report by Nikkei, a Japanese publication.
Super Mario Run launched exclusively for iOS devices in December of last year. It hit the Android platform this week. In both instances, it offers the same payment model. Players can enjoy a handful of levels for free, but then Nintendo throws up a $9.99 paywall for the rest of the game.
There are no microtransactions after that initial purchase. $9.99 unlocks everything. Still, it’s an auto-runner, and that price is a tall order for the genre.
Don’t expect them to drop the model entirely
Nintendo tried a different style for mobile game selling. That’s with Fire Emblem Heroes. It’s a free download, and it offers smaller microtransactions in a “gacha” system. They’re seeing success, but it doesn’t sound like that’s the future for their style of sale in the mobile space.
Here’s what an unnamed senior company official told Nikkei.
“‘Heroes’ is an outlier…We honestly prefer the ‘Super Mario Run’ model.”
Nintendo wants games that push mobile players to their consoles, and it seems like they think they’ll find that success with games like Super Mario Run. We’ll see.