The primary animation neighbouring Nintendo co.’s debut mobile game, Super Mario Run, appears to trying off.
This title, released on Dec. 15 for Apple Inc. devices, was no longer the highest grossing iOS app in any country as of Dec. 24, according to the latest data available from investigator App Annie.
A week earlier, it was the most profitable app in 49 nations. In terms of free downloads it was still on top in 88 countries, down from a peak of 138 on Dec. 17.
The drop in ranking may reflect problems with the app’s price: Super Mario Run can be downloaded for free, but users have to pay $10 if they want to improvement beyond the first three levels of the game.
That’s a departure from the industry’s standard, where most mobile games can be played for free but promote users to buy in game items to speed up progress. Fans appear to prefer the latter and have lashed out the lack of free content in Super Mario Run.
Another point of criticism has been the $10 price tag, which may games have said is too high. At that level, only 1 to 2 percent of people who download the games will buy the full version, according to Apptopia Inc.
If the price was lowered to $2, it could likely convert 3 to 4 percent. The investigator estimates the lower price would convert into revenue of $50 million for this month, versus, about $30 million at the current price.
Nintendo shares rose as much as 4.8 percent on Monday, perhaps because inventors have digested most of the negative news.
The company’s shares slid 20 percent from Dec. 12 through last week as the game’s messy debut raised reservations about the company’s ability to execute its mobile strategy.
Nintendo didn’t launch Super Run only in the United States. The game is actually the top downloaded app in 80 countries and top grossing in 30 countries.
Super Mario Run is a momentous release in the history of Nintendo. The publisher has traditionally held tightly to its characters and properties and kept them exclusively on its own gaming systems.
Super Mario is identical with the NES, super NES, and Nintendo 64 for a lot of people. But now, as the company is coming off the Wii U, which is widely regards as a failure, it is in need of new sources of cash, and that led it to finally embrace mobile.