Super Mario Run: Snap out of it Nintendo, you're living in the past

Nintendo needs to stop living in the past if it hopes to succeed. As a game developer, I believe that Nintendo is second to none. The company’s games have a degree of refinement and long-term replayability that few games can ever boast. In fact, the company’s games have consistently maintained their hold in the ‘top 10 games of all time’ list of many a gamer. That’s quite a feat.

However, the company is now entirely reliant on Nintendo nostalgia to drive its growth and lost out on many a great opportunity in the process. Take Super Mario Run for instance. As far as automatic runners are concerned, the game isn’t so bad. Will you pay Rs 620 (or $9.99 internationally) for a two-hour mobile game, though? Nope, not unless you’re a Nintendo fan.

The price of nostalgia meme 640

Looking at the game objectively, Super Mario Run is an automatic runner with no USP and a high price tag. Strip out the Mario and Nintendo branding and the game will barely rate a second glance, let alone the Rs 620 that Nintendo’s expecting.

For die-hard Nintendo fans, the company’s target audience, I’m sure that price has no meaning. These are people who probably pre-ordered the NES Classic Edition before its launch, people who’ve bought the Nintendo Wii or the 3DS.

30 years ago, spending $50 (almost $100 today) on Super Mario Bros. for the NES made sense. At that time, Super Mario Bros. held the same status as, say, Battlefield 1 does today. One expects the very best when one pays a premium and that’s what Super Mario Bros. delivered.

Expecting $10 for a mobile game today is asking for the same, and then some. For that price, I expect a sprawling epic, a riveting storyline and groundbreaking gameplay mechanics.

Minecraft offers all of that, is the second most popular game ever created (second only to Tetris) and sells for $6.99 (around Rs 420 in India), which is still considered expensive. And Super Mario Run is still more expensive.

Come on, Nintendo! You can’t possibly convince me that Super Mario Run offers more than Minecraft.

Is it any wonder that Nintendo’s stock continues to tank?


Published Date: Dec 20, 2016 01:58 pm | Updated Date: Dec 20, 2016 01:58 pm