Super Mario Run gets downloaded 40 million times in 4 days, but earnings still falter

Such is the power of Nintendo nostalgia that Super Mario Run has crossed the 40 million downloads mark in just 4 days.

Within the first hour of launch, the game had already hit the number 2 spot on the US app store and number 7 globally in terms of revenue. Analytics firm App Annie told Polygon that the game hit 3.5 million downloads in 14 hours and about 10 million by 24 hours.

Apple’s Phil Schiller apparently claimed that 40 million downloads in 4 days is a new record for the App Store, defeating even Pokémon Go on this front.

The game is free to download and the brand value of Nintendo and Mario together is obviously responsible for this demand. The “free” version of the game is only limited to 3 levels, which you can get through in a matter of minutes. To unlock the full game, you’re required to pay an astronomical $9.99 (or Rs 620 in India).

Since the game is free and again, Nintendo has great brand value, a great many more people will download Nintendo’s games, but we don’t know how many of those 40 million people are actually playing the game still. A 2014 study that tracked the habits of 10 million gamers suggests that only 2.2 percent of gamers actually pay for free-to-play games and that over 66 percent of gamers stop playing within 24 hours.

Nintendo estimates that the game will see 500 million downloads on iOS and another 500 million when the game eventually makes it to Android. The company also expects that around 10 percent of customers will actually pay for the game. That’s 5 times higher than the industry average.

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When you think about it, that estimate is rather high. The game’s ratings are also tanking and currently stands at 2.5/5 on the US app store. In fact, App Annie's estimates suggest that only 4 percent of users are actually paying for the game. This would translate to a revenue of approximately $11 million for Nintendo.

Investors are also worried about Nintendo's payment model and the company's stock is still in decline.

Published Date: Dec 22, 2016 10:31 am | Updated Date: Dec 22, 2016 10:31 am