UPDATED 22/12: Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s highly anticipated new iOS game, achieved more than 40 million downloads in four days after launch, but questions still remain over its long-term prospects.
In a press release by Nintendo, the company revealed the figures, adding that the app ranked top in the “free charts” in 140 countries, and is also in the top 10 in the “top grossing” category in 100 countries.
The game has clearly kept up its momentum since launching on 15 December in 151 countries. Apps analytics firm App Annie said it ranked top on the App Store in 60 countries “immediately”, generating $4 million in consumer revenue on day one alone. This reached $19 million by 19 December.
The game featured heavily on the App Store before launch, racking up more than 20 million pre-registrations, which helped it attract a base of fans that were likely to pay to unlock the full game, App Annie explained.
However, Nintendo’s model to offer the whole game for a one-off cost of $9.99 means the majority of revenue will come early on in the game’s lifecycle.
Notably, rival success story Pokémon Go, which Nintendo is also involved with, operates a freemium model, with optional in-app purchases to generate revenue, App Annie said. And despite its impressive figures, Pokémon Go was still more popular in the US five days post launch, hitting 16 million downloads, compared to Mario’s 12 million, revealed App Annie.
The task will now be for Nintendo to transition Super Mario Run away from pre-registered users, and generate downloads and revenue from mainstream users. App Annie noted doing so “will be critical to Nintendo’s mobile ambitions”.
It is also yet to release on Android, which presents another opportunity for a big windfall in revenue.
However, achieving any bump in revenue could prove challenging, with the game’s content and longevity already coming into question.
Initial reviews on Apple’s App store were “below par”, said the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). While the game racked up over 50,000 reviews, it generated a rating of 2.5 out of 5 on the App Store.
The $9.99 price tag also proved unpopular with many on social media, and the game was criticised for being too short by many players who have shelled out.
A Nintendo spokesman said the company didn’t plan to release any additional content for the game, either free or paid, added the WSJ.
The game’s long-term future will also not be helped by a report indicating it is consuming a high amount of mobile data.
With Super Mario Run requiring an internet connection to play, it reportedly uses data of between 40MB and 70MB each hour it is in use.
Sources told AppleInsider the high data consumption was being caused by a large server load upon launch, while an Apple engineer recommended people play the game on Wi-Fi for the time being.