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Super Mario Run wasn’t the success Nintendo hoped it would be

Super Mario Run is a solid if pricy mobile outing for the world’s most recognisable video game character.

Being Nintendo’s first foray into the mobile space, it stood to kickstart a new era for a company that at the time was struggling for marketshare.

While the successful release of the Switch appears to have reestablished Nintendo’s place among the living room juggernauts, its mobile gaming outings have been somewhat of a mixed bag.

That’s excluding Pokemon Go, of course, with which Nintendo only has a small albeit still lucrative share in.

Its direct, first-party release in Super Mario Run hasn’t seen the same amount of success, and one would think that Nintendo would have learnt a thing or two from the success of Niantic’s Pokemon Go, and Fire Emblem: Heroes, both free-to-play games with pay-to-win microtransactions.

At $9.99 US, Super Mario Run‘s price is seen as the largest roadblock for a game screaming out for attention, especially with its recent launch on Android platforms.

While the game offers a free component for a set number of levels, the core experience is locked behind a one-off fee that falls well beyond the average cost of similarly-sized and designed apps on mobile platforms.

Nintendo has faced the criticism of its pricing structure, with president, Tatsumi Kimishima, admitting to Nikkei that Super Mario Run “didn’t meet expectations”.

With the game’s Android launch came a longer free-to-play section, and fixes for a number of gameplay issues and glitches that Nintendo hopes will improve the value of the experience.

As it stands, however, Fire Emblem: Heroes is still the far more lucrative and popular game of Nintendo’s mobile attempts.

Interestingly, despite its success, Nintendo is adamant that the priced model we see with Super Mario Run is its preferred one.

“‘Heroes’ is an outlier,” a senior company official told Nikkei. “We honestly prefer the ‘Super Mario Run’ model.”

What are your thoughts on Super Mario Run, its cost, and its struggles? Should Nintendo change the price? Should it go free with IAPs, or should Nintendo just half the price? Sound off below!

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