Super Mario Run No Longer Highest Grossing App in Any Nation

  • Game is still the most downloaded iOS app in 68 nations
  • Nintendo shares slide since game’s release on mobile worries

Nintendo Co.'s Super Mario Run

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

The initial excitement surrounding Nintendo Co.’s debut mobile game, Super Mario Run, appears to wearing off.

The title, released on Dec. 15 for Apple Inc. devices, was no longer the highest-grossing iOS application in any country for Dec. 24 and 25, according to the latest data from researcher App Annie. In terms of free downloads, it was still on top in 68 countries, down from a peak of 138 on Dec. 17.

The drop in rankings 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 progress 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 encourage users to buy in-game items to speed up progress. Fans appear to prefer the latter and have lashed out at the lack of free content in Super Mario Run.

Another point of criticism has been the $10 price tag, which many gamers have said is too high. At that level, only 1 to 2 percent of people who download the game will buy the full version, according to Apptopia Inc. If the price was lowered to $2, it could likely convert more than 10 percent. The researcher estimates the lower price would translate into revenue of about $50 million for this month, versus about $30 million at the current price.

Nintendo slipped 1.5 percent in early Tuesday trading. The company’s shares have fallen 18 percent from Dec. 12 as the game’s messy debut raised doubts about the company’s ability to execute its mobile strategy.

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