Japanese game giant, Nintendo has finally released its first full smartphone game. The game was released on Thursday for Apple devices.
It has been 2 years of waiting for Nintendo fans and fans of Super Mario, which has now become the first Nintendo game on Apple’s IOs.
Super Mario Run was developed mainly by Nintendo, with some assistance from partner DeNA Co. Expectations have swelled since the Kyoto-based company announced a strategic shift toward embracing mobile in March 2015, adding almost $20 billion to its market value.
Apparently, Nintendo is building on the success of Pokemon Go, released earlier this year on Android devices, attaining 200 million downloads within the first two months.
Investors are counting on Nintendo’s ability to breathe new life into the arcade and console icons of its heyday by getting them into peoples’ palms. Players get access to three levels with the free download while $10 will unlock all 24 stages. Super Mario Run will be available after midnight Pacific time (5 p.m. in Japan) in more than 150 countries.
Yet amid the euphoria, some are already discovering holes in execution. Macquarie Securities analyst David Gibson finds it puzzling that the game requires an internet connection and worries that the $10 price tag for the full version might be too aggressive, especially for users in developing countries.
According to Gibson, “It’s not like it will be Pokemon Go of 500 million downloads in two months,” Gibson said. Instead, he’s estimating about 200 million downloads by the end of March, with a tenth of users paying $10 for the full version. “Nostalgic Nintendo players will almost certainly spend. But what matters is if the marginal customer says this is good, yeah, I’ll spend the money.”
Unfortunately, Nintendo is not available in China, the country with the largest population and the largest market. The Super Mario game will be unavailable on Chinese Apple devices. China is also the world’s largest app market, which accounts for a quarter of all app revenues, according to Newzoo.
The decision to release the title first on Apple devices also runs the risk of alienating gamers on Android, which account for about two-thirds of the world’s 2.3 billion smartphones, according to the researcher. A version for Google’s smartphone software will be released sometime in 2017, Nintendo said, without specifying a date.
New footage and demos revealed last week did little to dispel concerns that game will largely lack the novel features that made Pokemon Go a global hit. Fans in love with Nintendo’s characters may be willing to overlook that, but for other casual gamers the lack of a fresh concept may limit their willingness to pay for the full version.