Nintendo’s mobile entry for the “Super Mario” franchise has been a huge hit in terms of revenue generated. Sensor Tower, a mobile app market intelligence group notes that the title is third in revenue generated by mobile games, only behind “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” (which recently passed the $25 million mark in net worldwide revenue) and “Fire Emblem Heroes.”
The $60 million is combined Apple Store and Google Play Store profits. Most of the revenue generated by “Super Mario Run” comes from the U.S. at 43%, with Japan following behind at 17% of revenue generated.
“Super Mario Run” was originally released in 2016, in 151 countries. The premise of the game was quite simple and similar to other “runner” mobile games, in which the player can just use one hand to play. Plus, the title is free to download and unlocks the first few levels with no cost to the player. Players can also take all four modes (World Tour, Toad Rally, Remix 10, and Kingdom Builder) out for a spin. Then, if the player decides they want to continue, the full game can be purchased for $9.99.
The response to this varied, with some consumers feeling that it’s a relatively high price for a mobile game, and others were just pleased that Nintendo wouldn’t be adding microtransactions to the title.
While the initial downloads for “Super Mario Run” have been consistent, the carry-through rate to actual purchase has been a rough journey for Nintendo. The higher price tag to play only six worlds and ensuing controversy during its launch meant the game had a steady build-up to reach this level of revenue generated, compared to the meteoric rise of “Pokemon Go” revenue, which also released in 2016. If nothing else, publishers can look to “Super Mario Run” as an example of how a mobile game can still make money without microtransactions— and maybe avoid some of Nintendo’s missteps.