Considering that Android has a larger install base than iOS, it’s always surprising when companies choose to launch their apps on the Apple operating system first, but that happened once again with Super Mario Run. The incredibly popular game quickly shot to the top of the charts and broke all sorts of download records shortly after its December launch. The automatic runner may well be set to do the same again when it finally launches on Android March 23.
Nintendo initially announced the March release window for the Android version in January, but the official date was revealed just this weekend on Twitter, less than a week out from launch.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) March 18, 2017
Android users can pre-register on Google Play to be notified by email when the download becomes available. The “2.0.0” update mentioned includes the game’s easy mode and modifications to Toad Rally, the multiplayer portion of the game, in late-January for iOS.
Although Nintendo resisted the urge to port any of its popular franchises to the mobile sphere for many years, perhaps fearing that it would impact sales in its handheld business, it finally relented in 2016, and that proved to be a smart move. In just days Super Mario Run became the quickest growing app ever and earned the company millions of dollars in no time at all.
When Super Mario Run launches on Android, it will no doubt mirror the success of is iOS counterpart, and could also add onto Nintendo’s already strong year highlighted by the popularity and impressive sales of the Nintendo Switch. The novel piece of hardware has exceeded expectations to the point where Nintendo has reportedly doubled production. The Android version of Super Mario Run will likely send even more eyeballs Nintendo’s way.
Exactly like its iOS version, the game will be free-to-try, in that you can play the first three levels for free, but have to cough up $10 after that for full access to the game. That means all of the levels, the Kingdom Builder feature, Toad Rally, and Friendly Run mode.
While Nintendo did take some flak for its rather high, $10 price for unlocking the main game, some did like the idea of not being bugged with micro-transactions, as is common on cheaper apps. However, despite making $53 million in revenue on iOS, only approximately five percent of the 78 million downloads translated to full game purchases. That’s certainly nothing to scoff at, but the company had hoped to convert 10 percent of downloads to purchases. Perhaps the 10 percent threshold could be met on Android.
Updated on 3-19-2017 by Steven Petite: Added official Android launch date, update and financial details.