Super Mario Run marked Nintendo’s move into the smartphone gaming market. It aligned itself with Apple and made Super Mario Run exclusive to iOS for several months before finally releasing it for Android earlier this month. Despite all the hype, sales of the game doesn’t appear to have met the company’s expectations, says Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima.
Speaking to business publication Nikkei, Kimishima and several other Nintendo officials revealed that while Super Mario Run had proved to be profitable for the company it didn’t hit the sales targets that Nintendo had set.
Super Mario Run did have a good start when it was exclusively released for iPhone and iPad in December last year. However, online requirements and the game’s pay-to-play model is believed to have caused players to abandon the game. Players can only try out the game’s first world before they either have to pay $9.99 to access the other levels or just stop playing. That’s why even though the game was downloaded tens of millions of times, Nintendo confirmed in January this year that only five percent of those who downloaded actually paid $9.99.
Nintendo has made some changes to its approach for Super Mario Run. The latest major update that brought the game to Android also adds new levels that can be played for free. This gives players an incentive to keep playing and Nintendo will hope that they eventually pay the cost.