Nintendo’s Super Mario Run has become the fastest-growing app ever, after it was downloaded more than 40 million times in just four days after its release. This was enough to beat out previous record-holder, Pokémon Go, which, although licensed, was based on a Nintendo property, suggesting the Japanese firm has a bright future on mobile.
Considering the success Nintendo has had with its first mobile venture, it seems crazy that this is the first first-party release it’s had on a mobile platform. The auto-runner game is free to download on the iOS App Store right now, with a $10 charge to unlock all content. It has yet to see a release on Android, which suggests we could see another big influx of players in the near future.
Critical reviews of the game have been strong, though user reviews have it at around a 2.5/5 on the app-store currently. Many of the complaints stem from the fact that the game charges a relatively hefty one-off fee to unlock extra content. Analysts believe that this negativity stems from mobile users’ being more used to having to wait to play more, or paying smaller fees incrementally.
Still, it doesn’t seem too many people had a problem paying, as Nintendo reports (via TechCrunch) that as well as becoming the most-downloaded game shortly after its launch, Super Mario Run is also one of the top-earning games in 100 of the 140 territories in which it’s been launched.
However, giving a little of the game away for free has let it hit the top of the “free” chart on iOS, so Apple’s strategy there was a smart one: Use the free aspect to give a low barrier for entry, but encourage payment for the rest of it.
While this is a strategy that is commonplace among many of the top-earning applications in the world, Apple did at least make it a one-off payment, rather than small ones which will require a constant drip of payments to progress.