Anirudh RegidiDec 27, 2016 16:54:18 IST
Nintendo’s baby, Super Mario Run has gotten off to a rocky start. For some reason, Nintendo felt that charging a significant premium for a mobile game in a market where free-to-play games rule was a very good idea.
Believe me, I’m no fan of the free-to-play concept myself and I appreciate that Nintendo didn’t want to ruin a game and our experience with micro-transactions. However, the price of $9.99 is easily 3-5 times what anyone can reasonably expect for the kind of game Nintendo gave us.
Quantum Break sells for Rs 640 on PC, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is selling for Rs 329 in the current Steam sales and even Minecraft goes for around Rs 400 on iOS. Rs 620 for Super Mario Run on the strength of nostalgia alone? No, thank you.
Recent reports indicate that Super Mario Run (SMR) is no longer earning money at the initially projected rate and there are clear signs of its growth slowing down. And I’m not surprised.
Apptopia Inc, a company that analyses mobile games has concluded that if Nintendo had released SMR for $1.99 (around Rs 150), the company would be seeing 60 percent more revenues than it does today.
By Apptopia’s and AppAnnie’s estimates, Nintendo will earn around $30 million in SMR’s first month. That translates to a conversion rate of about 1-2 percent. With a price of $1.99, Apptopia predicts that the conversion rate would have gone beyond 4 percent, earning Nintendo well over $50 million in revenue in the game’s first month alone.
The Guardian reports that Nintendo’s share price has fallen over 18 percent since SMR’s release. Investors are understandably worried.
But all of this is beside the point. If I ignore the price, I know that SMR is a decent game that, while limited in scope, can offer fans a great many hours of replayability. To be fair, it’s Nintendo’s first mobile game, its first experience on a platform it shunned for far too long.
And no, Pokémon Go doesn't count.
Was Nintendo late in jumping in the mobile bandwagon? Most definitely. Does the company have a lot to learn about the mobile gaming space? Of course; but none of this means that we can discount Nintendo’s vast experience and pedigree when it comes to making games.
SMR was a misstep; the company was just testing the waters. It can only do better from here.
In fact, recent reports indicate that Nintendo intends to stay committed to the mobile platform and plans to release 2-3 games a year targeting a variety of audiences and experimenting with various payment models. Come 2017, we can expect to see Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing release for iOS.
I've waited years for Mario to arrive on iOS, what's the harm in waiting for a few more?
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